I first laid hands on the Asus Eee Pad Slider back in March and now, after eight long months, it has finally made it onto the shelves of Blighty’s gadget wallahs. Has it been worth the wait though? Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 Android tablet Tucked away: Asus' Eee Pad Slider SL101 Let’s start with the reason the Slider is so …
So its like a laptop with Android and a touchscreen
only smaller, less powerful and more expensive... is it really a netbook as MS likes to see them>
Android is interesting, but can this thing run full-on GNU/Linux?
Signs point to no
Seems like it should be possible in theory, given that Asus machines and Ubuntu go together pretty well in general, but as yet there is absolutely no useful information about the Pad Slider on the Ubuntu boards, which is not a good sign.
It would certainly make it more interesting
The basics probably work, but I've not heard of anyone trying. The main problem is that nVidia haven't seen fit to provide a linux driver for the GPU, so you're left with an unaccelerated framebuffer. If they'd used OMAP 4 it would be another story!
The legendary folks over at xda-developers have got ubuntu running on the transformer (the slider is very closely related).
The big problem is that nVidia have only released drivers for an out of date version of X and as a bonus they are buggy as an overcrowded ant hill....
No word on video performance?
I tried a friends transformer, and the Tegra 2 was pretty weedy for anything over standard def video. The tablet become slow to respond, and was out of sync/stuttering in seconds.
There's always an app for that in the Android world as well :) If playing video is important, I recommend Dice Player. It will set you back a few bucks or pounds, but it will play smoothly 720p.
My HTC HD2, which was released in 2009 and originally had WinMo but now has the TyphooN CM7 v2.3.7 (Gingerbread) ROM in NAND, can do 720p video absolutely perfectly (tested with around 2000kbps AVC / 150kbps AAC). Surely the Transformer, designed for Android and with its newer Tegra 2 chippery, should easily be able to do 720p? Perhaps your friend has a shed load of stuff going on in the background, syncing, calling home, etc?
Come Back Psion Series 7/Netbook!
no track pad, check - touch screen, check - colour, check, screen half across keyboard, check
I guess 2001 was just too early!
That rating seems high for a product nobody should ever want to buy. If you want to buy a tablet with keyboard, then you can buy the Transformer at the same price and get double the battery life. If you prefer your tablet without a keyboard, then you can buy the Transformer sans keyboard for considerably less money. Either way, the Slider is not the device you want.
I guess it's just a tablet - lying around on the coffee table and handy for web browsing and playing games - but if you want to send a long email, then the keyboard is handy - not stuck in a drawer upstairs for the odd occasion when you might need it.
Might be just me, but there is something about using tablets compared to a netbook - lifting the screen on a netbook at home or work hides you behind it. It becomes a solitary, secret experience. A tablet sits flat so everyone can see what you're doing, you share it more and it becomes a more social thing to do. You don't get this with phones - they're too small so share easily. So I can see the attraction of having a sliding keyboard over the Transformer netbook style.
As the article says, the price should be pitched between a Transformer with and without keyboard.
You might want to hide
Writing a tech review should not be a social experience. If having a screen hide you from people who would otherwise try to make conversation with you, that's a good thing.
Use a Transformer the other way round - have it always in the dock when not in use, remove it from the dock when browsing the web etc.
The old Transformer can be had for about £400 and £300 with and without the dock, and the new one is about £100 more AIUI. So the Slider is priced as you'd expect against the newer model.
Ebook Reader App
Just out of interest, what is that ebook reading app you're using there? I like the landscape two-page view.
Which is an integrated book / newspaper reader / bookstore than can handle pub and PDF and does so rather well. Its also got text to speech as well.
Netbooks start at under £200, sure they're not as shiny as this Asus but you certainly get more for your money.
Very true, I paid £149 for my Asus EEE 1215 a few months ago. Very pleased with it too.
nice to see....
that ARM laptops have finally come about.
Only a few years late. Can't even remember what year the hype was - 2009 was it?
The win for this device would be if it fitted in a coat pocket.
I can't see the point unless, so please do a 7" one Asus!
I appreciate the effort that companies like Asus put in to tablets, but a big part of me thinks it is all worthless at this point. Give Android some more time to mature (manafacturers pay attention to custom roms, they are much better than yours) in terms of both system and apps and you have another customer here.
However, my phone is just as good as any tablet today and my laptop is much better. I'll be going for a second generation ultrabook instead of this overpriced toy.
from the author....
@bigphil9009 - it's the built-in reader app. It's called Asus MyLibrary. If it's a re-brand of another ereader app it's not one I'm familiar with. It is very good though.
@ Craig12. H.264/MP4 files will play at 1080p but, MKV, AVI and WMV files will only play at 720p. That's from a combo of MoboPlayer, V Player and the stock video player.
@ jedit. I think you underestimate the potential. I took the Slider down the London for a day of meetings last week and the option to either use it as a regular tablet or set it up on a desk to bash away at my mails came in very handy. It's the first tablet - iOS or Android - I'd actually consider buying because it could earn it's keep at work and replace my netbook.
I underestimate nothing, Al
If you want a regular tablet that can double as a netbook, you can detach the Transformer from its keyboard and have a lighter, thinner device when on the move with it.
I've seen and used a Transformer in its dock, and consider it to be not so much a tablet which can be converted into a netbook as a netbook with a detachable touchscreen. I don't see any advantage that the Slider has over it, and quite a few things that it doesn't.
I can't be the only one that cackled like a loon when they saw the following line in the review:
"Slip a finger into the crack ..."
Nope, you are not the only one!
"Slip a finger into the crack between the two halves in the top edge and they part to reveal a........."
No you weren't the only one i was going to write something similar but you beat me to it :)
The price un-excites me. I was excited but now I'm cured. Especially with the the Transformer 2 arriving presently with quadcore. This thing was more or less ready at the other end of the year; it's not cutting edge anymore so the price is wrong. I mean, my phone is faster.
I think Asus are going to be the ones to watch in the tablet space for 2012. Can't speak for their netbooks but they're quick on updates and have put a lot of work into the design and support for keyboard. Latest Transformer update was a few days ago and I could swear the keyboard felt more responsive than it had been.
Mine with UX380N in the pocket.
Apple patented godly unugliness, so there's not much hope there.
I would love one with a keyboard, but it has to have adjustable screen angles, to avoid screen reflections behind and above me. The fixed angle seriously puts me off.
Nice try Asus, but wake up to why people need adjustable screen angles.
... but too expensive.
I think that's really the biggest problem when it comes to Tablet devices - the magical price point.
For that price, I'd opt for an iPad, but because I'm not that enamoured with tablet devices in general (passing fad), I'll skip.
I find it interesting that in devices like this, we're seeing the merging of the last fad (netbooks) into the latest fad (tablets) - so eventually, we'll come full circle and end up with reasonably priced, powerful, small form factor laptops with touch screens.
Then I'm interested.
Interesting that you should say they're a fad. I've had my iPad for over a year now and I carry around a MacBook Air, iPhone 4 and the iPad. Of the three devices, the iPad gets the most use because it has the best browsing experience and sits nicely between the power of the laptop and the portability of the iPhone. I use all three devices in my daily work, but at home it is the iPad that sits next to the sofa. Sure, I can pull the laptop out and it has features that make it better for e-mail for instance, but it is a faff and I can't sit as comfortably as I can with the tablet. I would say tablets are here to stay and they work really well in their intended role.
Personally, I prefer the Transformer concept, but this is not uninteresting. I think Asus are really doing a job in the truly compact area, from tablets through netbooks to ultrabooks at the moment; there's a model for most people, and they seem to be making product that's actually useful, rather than just leaping on the bandwagon.
I still don't get
why I need one.
Whilst this looks like a nice piece of kit I still struggle to understand what I would do with it :/
But it needs to be 1/2 the price.
You really do need a mouse for a few hours use. Lifting your arms up all the time and prodding the screen does get tiresome. With a mouse your arm rests on something.
Wow, wow, wow. Why put a keyboard on something that's touchscreen of that size? It's backwards thinking. Where would I plonk this thing? Oh, I already have notebook. I already have desktop and it's probably too heavy to use as a portable tablet.
Anyone saying tablets are a fad, why so? Who thought the concept would live on which died on Microsoft's sword in the late 90s/early 00s? Same with touch screen PDAs which Microsoft originally killed with their poor OS. Now we're littered with them in the 21st century.
If Apple stopped making iPads tomorrow, it's companies like Asus and co who would kill the concept.
You don't get it
the-it-slayer wrote: "If Apple stopped making iPads tomorrow, it's companies like Asus and co who would kill the concept.". Wrong, wrong, totally wrong! Apple are the in business of incremental upgrades - so iPad1->2 gave cameras and dual core, 2->3 looks like "even better" display. On the other hand Asus genuinely seem to want to explore what the form factor can do - so we have a tablet/netbook in the Transformer, a touchscreen netbook with the Slider, a phone/tablet with the Padfone. So they get kudos from me for that alone, although like all experiments, some will work, others not so much.
I can see what they're getting at with the Slider, but given the lack of advantages over the Transformer I think I'd stick with the latter. On the other hand, if they dropped the price, to say £250-300 then that'd make it a more attractive proposition.
Speaking of the Transformer, I'm pretty happy with mine - it's completely replaced a netbook, and I'm finding it more and more useful.
the-it-slayer- No your wrong,previous iterations of slabs,slates,bricks what ever utilised hardware and software that were to expensive and not up to it.But Apple thought it had the right formula,integrate all form ,software- hardware -battery life-small light form factor and crucially price,and hit the quality market where it's consumer base is and has been proved, have a winner.
Now Apple spent a lot of time and money on R@D,then hit the market running and all the other manufacturers had to start from square one to get in on this potentially lucrative market.They have been remarkably quick with there development with some about to introduce the second generation while Apple is to bring out a third generation early next year?.
As true integration O/S for Android is about to be released in ICS and it gets smoothed out and the app market gets evened out between Apple and Android,I can see the market next year getting better for the quality makers of Android.
Ah well time will tell.
"No your wrong,previous iterations of slabs,slates,bricks what ever utilised hardware and software that were to expensive and not up to it.But Apple thought it had the right formula,integrate all form ,software- hardware -battery life-small light form factor and crucially price,and hit the quality market where it's consumer base is and has been proved, have a winner."
You have just proved my point. Microsoft attempted a market that wasn't reachable/feasible at that era with the piss poor OS and hardware attempts manufactuers made. However, Microsoft did nothing to help anyone to understand the idea of the tablet. Again, if they had spent the R&D on developing the Windows Mobile platform back in the early 00s, they'd be top. Like Apple, they had the financial power to push technology and bring the price down because bulk-production of components did that. Did they use that to their advantage to set a standard? Nope.
And again, why did it have to rely on Apple to hit the tablet segment going? Any major technology corporation could of done that and became a standard setter. All Asus/Dell/HP/RIM are doing is reacting to the market place with a relatively weak Android OS. Small pockets of income based on the hype of Apple's tablet. Nothing revolutionary and nor does this product become that either.
If I want a physical keyboard, I'll get out my MacBook =).