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All posts tagged "asus"


Monday, July 23, 2012

Notes from an iOS User: My Week with a Google Nexus 7

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 01:30 PM

"My first Android experience has been very, very positive, thanks to Google's Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). I received my tablet a week ago, and also received a $25 Google Play credit as an early purchaser. My initial thoughts were that I'd use the tablet primarily as a reader - but it's much more than a Kindle (Fire) replacement."

As a longtime iOS device user, and like most modern device users, I have my biases, and have kept them firmly in mind when using an Android device for the first time. But, maintaining objectivity has been easy with this tablet. I'm guessing that skipping the earlier Android releases have saved me from some amount of frustration, just as skipping earlier iOS versions would have in the iDevice world. The bottom line is that so far I'm not finding much missing from Android.

I have several "must haves," including Banking, Browsing, Calendaring, Contacts, Dropbox, Email, Facebook, Foursquare, Kindle reader, LinkedIn, MS Office-type apps, PDF reader, Search, Skype, Text editing, and Travel apps. All present, and arguably equal to the iOS versions. Not as many app choices from Google Play, but all I need is one of each.

Things that I like so far, in no particular order: Android 4.1.1 - already one patch automatically downloaded to Jelly Bean; Battery life is very good; Customization is as simple as the iPad - the home screen is easy to configure; the display is very, very good - not quite up to the new iPad, but excellent for much less money; Sound quality is good; Security is good - face recognition login authentication can be configured to require a blink, making security stronger; Performance is excellent - I haven't noticed anything crapping out or any lags in performance, at the app or UI level; Shutting down running apps is a breeze, much simpler than iOS; Removing apps is easy; Reading is a breeze on this form factor - no more carpal tunnel holding and reading an iPad. Comfortable to hold and use. Many pros to this device!

Things that are less than stellar (and I admit freely that maybe I just don't know enough about Android yet): Apps on the home screen cannot be ordered or arranged for a whole screen - must be dragged and bumped individually; Setup options are not as rich as iOS; iCloud mail is handled a bit better in iOS, as one would expect; Google Play Store doesn't seem to have an easy way of selecting "tablet-only apps," aside from Staff Picks for Tablets. A pretty short list of cons.

Overall, a very positive experience so far, and, while I'm not dumping my iPad, my Nexus 7 is already getting more use than my earlier small tablets, a Nook tablet and a Kindle Fire, both of which were too restrictive for me, and were sold pretty quickly. For the money (I got the 16GB model), this is a superb tablet, and the Android experience is a pleasure. I like the fact that it is not "carrier specific," so it has none of the bloatware associated with subsidized devices. The Nexus 7 is a keeper!


Friday, July 6, 2012

The ASUS Google Nexus 7: A Performance Beast

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.wired.com/reviews/2012/0...y-number-7/all/

"Note to all tablet makers not named Asus: This is how you make a 7-inch tablet.

The Nexus 7, the first tablet to wear Google's Nexus brand, sets a new standard for smaller slates, proving that just because it isn't as big as Apple's iPad doesn't mean it can't be just as useful, as fast, or as fun. If you've been on the fence about Android, or tablets in general, this is the tablet you've been waiting for."

Most of the initial hands-on reviews for the wifi-only Nexus 7 are positive, and this one is no exception. The biggest complaint so far has been the lack of tablet applications for Android, so, for example, the user can be "stuck" with up-sized phone apps for popular apps like Facebook and Twitter. The near-IPS quality 1280x800 screen, at about 216ppi, is superb, and the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 coupled with 1GB of RAM and either 8GB or 16GB of storage, is, as the author puts it, a beast. The first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet screams, with none of the earlier OS hiccups, and the price is right, at $199 for 8GB, and $249 for 16GB. Out of the box, the tablet is obviously Google-centric, but can be tweaked, and the full Google Play store is available. Early purchasers (I was one) receive a $25 credit for the store, so I'll be able to add my obligatory "MS Office" equivalent. Shipping is scheduled for mid-July 2012 (I hope) so check back here as we review more real world experiences with the Google Nexus 7 from ASUS.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

ASUS Transformer Prime: Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) Improvements

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

http://www.businessinsider.com/fina...used-to-2012-1#

"I've been hanging on to the Asus Transformer Prime for the last month for a reason.

Even though the tablet launched a few weeks ago, the real news was that Asus was going to push out a major update to the new version of Google's Android called Ice Cream Sandwich."

Looks like a very good Android tablet has gotten better with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) - better performance, better multitasking, and the hardware just feels faster. In fact, the author states that swiping between screens is now faster than on the iPad2. Improved browser performance is another advantage, and there is now a control panel "for controlling stuff." Unfortunately, quality tablet apps are still lacking, according to the author, and there appear to be bugs in the ICS update process, and with the tablet's GPS. Despite these improvements, again according to the author, the iPad2 still is ahead in the overall user experience, but this is the best Android tablet to date.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ASUS Announces New High-End Tablets

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:30 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/09/...former-prime-t/

"Flustered with the original Transformer Prime you just purchased? We'd advise you to have a seat. ASUS just took the wraps off an all new Transformer Prime (the TF700T) here at CES, which is presumably designed to rival Acer's newly-announced Iconia Tab A700."

There are tons of new devices being announced at CES right now! How about a new ASUS Transformer Prime TF700T. It's a 10.1" quad-core tablet but with a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU/GPU and a 1920x1200 Super IPS+ display!!! It also just weighs over a pound and will come with Ice Cream Sandwich! It will be compatible with the current tPrime keyboard/battery dock and is due to hit North America next quarter.

If you've been eyeing up the Kindle Fire you may want to consider the ASUS Eee Pad MeMO (ME171). It has a 7" 1280x800 IPS display and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm CPU/GPU along with 1GB of RAM and 16 or 32GB of built in storage. The Eee Pad MeMO will also ship with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Make sure you check the article for all the details on both of these tablets. Does either of these look like what you've been waiting for?


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ASUS Announces Bootloader Unlocking Tool and ICS for Transformer Prime

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.slashgear.com/asus-trans...nlock-03205655/

"ASUS has announced that due to the response they’ve had on the subject, they’ll be releasing a bootloader unlock tool for the device as well! Developers and hackers alike will be able to work with their NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core toting Transformer Prime on an intimate level, and will be able to do it with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well, starting on January 12th, 2012!"

In case you missed it there was a public outcry due to the locked bootloader on the Transformer Prime over the weekend. Because of that ASUS said it will release a bootloader unlocking tool on January 12 and also start pushing out Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to the Transformer Prime at the same time!!! This should make everyone happy! I'm impressed that they'll have ICS ready for the Transformer Prime so soon. Hopefully this will push other manufactures to get on the ball and release ICS for their devices sooner rather than later.


Monday, October 31, 2011

New ASUS Tablets (Android and Windows 8) Coming in 2012

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Eee PC Transformer" @ 05:30 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/31/...vember-9th-two/

"The Transformer Prime, with its quad-core silicon and tasty OS, has rightfully garnered much attention lately. A PowerPoint deck detailing ASUS' Q3 earnings now gives us a peek at its Eee Pad strategy -- confirming the aforementioned Prime's November 9th release date, while also promising two more bot-powered slates in the first quarter of 2012."

Looking at the accompanying information from ASUS, translated into English (somewhere), and then extracted from a German-language site, the news is about an ASUS Transformer Prime, followed by an ASUS PadFone and a variant on the Eee Pad Slider. Two (2) Windows 8 tablets (Eee Slate E121 and the Eee Slate Business B121) are scheduled to be available in the autumn of 2012, giving ASUS two tablet technologies (consumer *and* business) in the marketplace.

The Transformer Prime looks to have NVIDIA's new Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a 10-inch display, 14.5-hour battery run time, and should run Android's newest OS. The current Transformer is a very solid tablet, and these updates should be welcomed by its fans.

ASUS estimates that it will sell roughly 1.8-million tablets in 2011, with an additional estimate of 600K still to be sold/delivered in Q4 2011 in addition to the 1.2-million sold to date. While the news is (and dates are) a bit contradictory in translation, we can expect some new competitors to the iPad from ASUS.


Friday, September 23, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Slider Review

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/tab...101.aspx?page=3

"While most Android tablets make due with a touch keyboard, for many typists a set of virtual keys just doesn't cut it. It's for these users that ASUS has designed the Eee Pad Slider SL101, the first 10-inch Android tablet with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The $479 Eee Pad Slider also features a bright IPS screen, a full-size USB port (for attaching a storage drive or mouse), and a sleek soft-touch chassis. But do these goodies justify the 2.1-pound weight? And just how good is the typing experience?"

For those that prefer physical keyboards, ASUS has heard you! The Eee Pad Slider is larger and heavier than both the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (without the keyboard), but add a keyboard and the Slider is lighter. The wide bezel around the glossy IPS screen allows for a larger (but still smaller than a netbook) keyboard, and includes dedicated numeric keys. It is also possible to attach a mouse to better approximate a laptop. One point to note is that there is no palmrest, so support for the wrists is lacking, and no built-in pointing device.

If you do a lot of text entry, this is a good tablet choice, but if not, there are better (lighter, and less expensive) options.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Slider SL101 Hands-on Video Review

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Asus Eee PC Transformer" @ 08:36 PM

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Produc...X35827(ME).aspx

This is the first video I've seen of the shipping version of the Asus Eee Pad Slider - if you're looking for an Android tablet that has a keyboard but don't want the added weight or cost of the detachable keyboard a la Transformer, this is worth considering. Although checking the prices, I see that the Transformer with the dock is only $20 more than the Slider. Hmm. Given the huge benefit to battery life that the Transformer offers with the keyboard dock, I'm not sure why I'd go for the Slider...you?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ASUS' Padfone Brings A Cool Summery Treat Just In Time For the Holidays

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/30/...dfone-launch-v/

"We just got to spend some quality time with ASUS' newly unveiled Padfone and you can see the smartphone that doubles up as a tablet on video after the break."

Is it too early to start thinking about the holidays again? ASUS doesn't think so! They are working on the Padfone, a smartphone/tablet combo, and hope it will be released later this year. It isn't official, but they have hinted that it may ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. If we find out more details we will let you know!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. Is it More Than Meets the Eye?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.technobuffalo.com/review...sformer-review/

"As the name would suggest, there is much more than meets the eye with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The tablet’s spec sheet reads nearly identical to its biggest Android-powered competitor, the Motorola Xoom. Both are powered by NVIDIA’s incredibly capable dual-core Tegra 2 processor, augmented with 1GB of RAM, and enter the market amidst significant hype. "

If you like the portability of tablets, but find yourself sometimes in need of some more heavy text input, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer may be what you are looking for. The specs are nice and about as speedy as one would expect any pricey Android tablet to be, but the big draw for the Transformer of any other tablet is its optional keyboard dock. A standard dock would raise questions with me, as if you are doing enough data entry to need a keyboard, would you not be better served with a netbook or Macbook Air? And at the price of the keyboard dock and the tablet, you are already in that price range. Still, it is an interesting addition, and it might be an indication of the netbook of the future. I read reports that the original netbooks that had Linux installed were often returned in favour of Windows based ones. With the market, consumers and expectations much different now, a netbook might be seen as no longer needing a traditional desktop OS.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Asus EEE Pad Transformer in Short Supply

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/26/...iately-sells-o/

"We can't say for sure whether we're looking at overwhelming demand or just limited supply, but it's hard to argue with ASUS' excellent value proposition here: a 10-inch IPS display, a dual-core SOC and a feature-rich tablet OS all for less than four Benjamins."

If you're interested in Asus' new EEE Pad Transformer, you may have a difficult time finding one in the US. Not only did it sell out in short order, but reports are surfacing that their supply may be limited to just 10,000 units per month. This is a very nice looking device at a great price, so it's no wonder it's popular, but supply issues may end up hurting it's sales.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Asus Eee PC Transformer: This Thing Looks Killer!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee...nsformer_TF101/

I can't say much for Asus' marketing tag line on the Transformer - "My Multiple Life, I decide" sounds like a bad translation of bottle of Chinese bipolar disorder drug - but the device itself is shaping up to me quite impressive...at least on paper. It has all of the standard goodness that we've come to expect from a modern Android tablet - the NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 Ghz dual-core CPU, 1080p playback support, a nice 10.1 inch IPS display running 1280 x 800 resolution, 16 Gb or 32 GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 megapixel front camera, and the usual assortment of sensors (G-Sensor, Light, Gyroscope, E-Compass, GPS).

What's really interesting about the Transformer is the fact that it docks with a keyboard that takes the 9.5 hour battery run-time and boosts it to an impressive 16 hours. If those are real numbers, and not inflated marketing numbers, this tablet will be an amazing breakthrough for people who need a device with incredible endurance. The fact that it has two USB ports, and an SD card reader in the keyboard base station, make it all the more tempting.

The best hardware in the world though won't make up for a lack of tablet-friendly applications, and based on my experience so far with the Motorola XOOM, this is a significant problem. I can only hope that as more Android 3.0 tablets come to market, developers will take note and gear up their coding efforts.


Asus Transformer Rooted Before Release

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/11/...t-out-the-door/

"Before it hit store shelves here in the US MoDaCo founder Paul O'Brien managed to get his hands on one of the upcoming Android devices and, with a little help from Twitter user BumbleDroid, gained root access to the tablet."

The quote above pretty much says it all. The Asus Transformer has already been rooted! So why would anyone want this? Well, apparently this Honeycomb tablet will be available with a Tegra 2, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 1.2MP webcam, and a WXGA 10.1" IPS LCD for $400. Not bad and you already know you can root it, plus you can add a keyboard to the thing if you want (that's the "Transformer" part)! Will anyone be picking this up when it's released or will it at least make you hold off on a purchase until you get to try it?


Friday, March 25, 2011

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Tablet/Notebook Hands-on

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 PM

http://blog.laptopmag.com/asus-eee-...ile+Technology)

"After showing off the Eee Pad Transformer at CES, Mobile World Congress, and other shows, ASUS finally announced that it has launched the 10.1-inch tablet and the optional keyboard dock that effectively turns it into an Android-powered notebook.. The unique device features a 1280 x 800 display with 10-finger touch support, a speedy Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of storage, and Android 3.0."

The hybrids are landing! Is it a tablet, or is it an Android notebook? Add an optional keyboard/dock to a Honeycomb tablet, and you have a very workable, powerful travel companion. Initial pricing estimates for the tablet itself (16GB) are in the $400-500 range, with the dock adding another $100. Details on North American pricing and ship dates are not yet available. Check out the video to get an idea of the speed and features of the Transformer, and note how well the two components work together. Impressive stuff!


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