When it comes to tablets, it seems Asus is on a bit of a roll. In my estimation, its Transformer Pad is the best value 10-incher on the market and, lest we forget the company makes the altogether excellent Nexus 7 for Google. There is no sign of Asus resting on its laurels either, if its latest Transformer device is anything to …
Re: I have a TF300
So do I. I've had it for a week now and I often say "WTF!" as I try to use it. I'd be here for a long time if I tell you all the things I've noticed that are just plain 'wrong' with it; so here's just one:
Take some pics with your Android phone (or any camera) on a day out.- Transfer them to the SD card in your Transformer Pad. - The Gallery app can't find them. - There is no way to tell the Gallery app to look for them (I've tried refresh, it doesn't work). [WTF!]- You have to put them in a particular directory, then turn off the device, turn it on again and wait for it to search memory to find pictures, [WTF!] which it does eventually. Then you can see the pictures you tranfered to the Transformer Pad. -You decide you want a slide show, so you press 'play'. It does a slide show, starting with the LAST picture you took and ending with the first one [WTF!].
Re: I have a TF300
That's odd, I regularly stick the SD card from my camera into the dock of my Pad and the images show up in the gallery instantly. Not sure about the MicroSD card slot with images but it works OK with music and video files.
@AC 10:25 Re: I have a TF300
Yes, that's because you are mounting a new storage device, which is then scanned to see if there are any image files on it. I use Wi-Fi to transfer files between devices (no messing about with pulling cards out, modern way of doing things, etc).
In this case the Gallery app doesn't know about it and there is no way to tell it, "look in here", unless you do a full restart. It's the same with my Wildfire and Desire phones and my old Advent tablet. It's an Android thing.
As for the Transformer Pad slide show, it takes a *special* kind of developer to show images in reverse alphanumerical order :)
Re: @AC 10:25 I have a TF300
Try Gallery Refresh. One of a number of apps that provide the ability to trigger a scan :)
@Neill Re: @AC 10:25 I have a TF300
Thank you Neill, but I've figured out a method. I transfer a folder of pics over WiFi to the SD card, then use the Settings menu to remove and then remount the SD card. This works well and it only has to rebuild the thumbnails that it doesn't already have, so it's not slow.
Interesting comments - thanks. But: "ASUS need to provide a settings where I can adjust the pressure and duration that the pad is touched for it to respond. Just like any other laptop device."
I'm sure they exist, but I've never knowingly used a laptop which allows you to set the pressure at which the touchpad responds, nor the duration (apart from double click speed).
Re: I have a TF300
If they are niggles, they are damned annoying niggles.
I have the TF300 and the wife has an ipad, I had to 'borrow' her ipad to buy a new goodybag on giffgaff as my tab couldn't handle it. The wife has never had to borrow my TF300.
I don't think I will purchasing another android device, I suspect I may become a fanboi unless windows manage to produce the goods and, unfortunately I don't hold out much help.
Re: Touchpad pressure/duration
"I'm sure they exist, but I've never knowingly used a laptop which allows you to set the pressure at which the touchpad responds, nor the duration (apart from double click speed)."
Actually it depends. If you use Linux on your laptop - pretty much any laptop will have those settings available. I had to play with those settings in Xorg.conf to get an overly sensitive touchpad to work properly. You could set the pressure threshold, and duration before a tap registered as a click. Really handy when you need them. Then again, on most laptops, the defaults seem to work just fine - so you don't normally have to fiddle with them.
On the other hand in Windows - yes, don't recall them being exposed by regular mouse or touchpad drivers. But there could be exceptions to this one.
Really nice machine
I've been using one of these as a note taker for the last week - it's a fantastic peice of kit!
RDP to a windows machine and having a better resolution that the desktop it is connecting too, whilst still being readable, is really usefull!
Movies look just absolutely stunning
Working on documents and presentations, comfortably, whilst out and about is great (actually the reason I brought it).
And it fits in my handbag without being too heavy (which is just one reason why I would not a crappy notebook for the same price)
I have the same issues with as DrXym with my Prime. They are (for me) minor niggles as I mainly use the keyboard for its battery.
As for the ips+ function, I use it regularly on my commute to work. My Prime is used for watching movies or TV episodes on the train and the ips+ function is brilliant when its a really sunny day, I can watch my prime while ipad users are confronted with a washed out screen ;)
Yes the iPad screen is better quality in colour reproduction, but I wouldn't swap.
just only 1 gig of memory....
They can keep it at this price. No doubt they'll release a similar spec'd machine with 2 gig of memory and Windows RT for the same price and that will shift like hotcakes
Re: and STILL
Rumors have WinRT going for $65-$85 to OEMs, so I doubt if they would price it the same.
"The dock part of the Infinity partnership is very similar to those that ship with the lesser Transformers though they are not interchangeable."
Not even slightly true. Firstly, it's been made clear since well before release that the Infinity is compatible with the Prime dock (although not others). Secondly, the reason for this is now clear since there is, in fact, only one dock. The dock for the TF700 is exactly the same TF201 dock as for the previous models. They've changed the name on the box, but the model numbers are exactly the same and they didn't even update the manual, which only mentions the Transformer Prime, not the Infinity.
As for price, yes, it's seriously overpriced in the UK. Just order from amazon.com instead of .co.uk and you can get it for close to half the price (you need to make sure to order from a reseller though, since Amazon themselves refuse to ship to other countries. I've found EXcaliberPC very fast and reliable). Unfortunately you're forced to use the ASUS charger even though it's just a USB cable so you'll need a US to UK adaptor, but as long as you can manage to find one for less than around £200 (I think mine cost £2) you'll still come out ahead.
It's also worth bearing in mind that although the Prime is sold along with the dock, the Infinity requires you to buy them separately. So while the Prime costs £500 for tablet and dock, the Infinity is £600 for just the tablet. If you buy in the UK, that will probably mean an extra £150 for the dock (tablet is $599 in the US while dock is $150 at full price).
To use yoru words... Not even slightly true :)
At least not in Holland. My infinity came in a box resting on the rubber pads of the keyboard dock. (Which is the TF201 as you have said)
"Not even slightly true. Firstly, it's been made clear since well before release that the Infinity is compatible with the Prime dock"
Sin of omission. the Infinity dock will work with the Prime but the Prime dock wont work with the Infinity. The Pad (300) dock won't work with either the Infinity or the Prime. The important fact is that if you own a Prime you can't buy an Infinity tablet and dock it, ditto if you own a TF300.
Mea culpa. You can indeed attach the Prime to the Infinity dock, but not the other way around. Or rather I should say apparently you can. I've certainly not tried it.
If you'd actually looked at the Asus mains adaptor, you'd have noticed it can output 15 volts. Standard USB it isn't (hence the many pinned connector).
Ordering from the States
OK, looking at EXcaliberPC as you suggest, they're selling it for $709 (64G model == UK spec) + $61.03 postage + $4 insurance: total $774.03, which is £493.51 according to random currency converter site. If you have a 0% foreign transaction loading credit card you'll pay something like this to the supplier. Fine if you're lucky, but you will most likely have to pay 20% VAT and handling charge on top of that, which brings it up to £600 again. Saving is more like £150 than £200 if your estimation of £750 here is correct, with a degree of uncertainty and hell to pay if you need to return it.
Afraid the market has moved on...
I agree with reader K (Too pricey and too late)
Basically, the iPad3 has raised the bar and pricing above it is a no-go now. Sure, it's got a keyboard with battery dock, but at around 100 Quid more, a bluetooth keyboard for the iPad is about half the price. Now one can debate about the extra features and so on, but at the end of the day, to compete, you need to be better and more cost effective than the incumbent.
There is another often overlooked aspect where, in my experience, the Transformer loses hands down. I own a Prime and recently, my son cracked the screen. Cost of repair? More than a new prime, if you can find someone to do it! Cost for iPad - about US$200, and plenty providers offering repair services. This is particularly worrying if you crawl the Transformer forums and see people complaining about screen cracks suspected to be the result of regular dock insertion.
My other son managed to insert the USB charger the wrong way round (WTF!). This melted off the USB connector. Try get a replacement cable, nope, no-one carries stock. Not even the local Asus distributor, who did not even bother to answer my emails. Had to import from Amazon Germany, the shipping being more than the cable!
In summary : I really like the Asus Transformer range, but they have to get the pricing better and beef up the after-sales support. The iPad simply represents the better buy at the moment : at purchase time, app-store time and repair time.
Just my 2c worth...
"at around 100 Quid more"
Actually it's £40 more. 64GB iPad is £559, 64GB Infinity is £599. So £40 for keyboard, battery dock and the capacity to boost it up to - what, 160GB of storage?
All that said, I do agree with you that pricing it above the iPad is not the best move.
Too much, you compare it to the iPad 64GB and say that it's perhaps not that much because of all the accessories it comes with. trouble is, the iPad is massively over-priced.
You could buy a Lenovo x201t for that much money.
It's a shame about ASUS diabolical customer service though. I have a transformer TF101 and the screen got faint brighter screen blobs for NO REASON whatsoever. They had it back and refused to repair it, as they said it was CUD (Customer Induced Damage) and returned it, and they didn't charge me for the return carriage (Some guilt perhaps ?) as they normally would if it is the customer's fault.
Well I'd done *nothing* to cause this, and remember that the unit had crashed whilst on charge and had overheated. I told them this but it made no difference. PC world were no better after I complained and protested to them.
Futhermore my mother's ASUS laptop virtually fell to bits at 14 months old. One of our ASUS desktop machines here at work failed after a week, an ASUS laptop we have won't produce any sound after Windows is installed under the EFI BIOS rather than standard MBR. I have had nothing bit negative experience with ASUS and diabolical ineffective customer service. Buy their products at your peril in my opinion.
I wouldn't by a 13 amp mains piug made by ASUS now.
I've probably been lucky...
I have an ASUS Eee 701SD (remember those? the "original netbook"), and perhaps they're a different prospect to ASUS' usual laptops and tablets, as mine is still going strong - it must be pretty well five years old by now, though I bought it "refurbished" in 2009.
Just about the only problem I've had with the machine, was that the left button on the touchpad no longer works, but I've never bothered to try and get it fixed. (I imagine the repair would cost more than the Eee is now worth, and a tap on the touchpad works for most LMB actions (aside from drag'n'drop, then I plug in a mouse).)
And in case anyone wondered: I'm running Arch Linux on the Eee (with the Fluxbox window manager), and it flies like the proverbial off a clean shovel. Wonder how easy it would be to get Arch Linux ARM on the Infinity...
The Android update debacle
I bought an Acer Iconia a500 last year out of sheer geeky will to spend some cash and that was the only model I could pick up from the shop there and then. For months the tablet had very little proper reason for existence with only netflix being its saviour. Then I bought a Kensington case and bluetooth keyboard and brought it on my honeymoon to back up photos and provide some web access etc while we were away. Frankly now I think i can get rid of my old Linux laptop - the tablet now provides all the functionality i need - light web surfing, media management. So I'm thinking I'd like a maybe faster tablet with better battery life and screen and less portly. I'm a google slut so Gdrive and Gmail do the business. I have a 3 mi-fi so need only wi-fi only.
But, what a bloody minefield it is. Does anyone have any idea what is coming around the corner from the hardware manufacturers? If i were to pay the inflated cost of this ASUS, am i going to discover that just around the corner, better again chip and screen designs are going to make this look old? I am very aware that tech keeps developing and if you wait for the next big thing, you'll be waiting forever. However, the tablet market is still young and volatile and can change beyond recognition very quickly. Is Android 5 and Windows RT going to move the boundaries so much that my ACER is going to become a digital picture frame?? I don't know.
Theres a reason why Apple still own this market - they have kept their wares simple. Android has simply confused it and constantly muddies the water. And frankly that perfect for Microsoft to wade in and absorb the Android market.
So, I need a very portable machine to be able to work away from home for a little over a month (PHP web app dev / support, including offline, so need Apache or similar & MySQL. AAMP stack??). I've been on the verge of getting an 11" Macbook Air (currently use Netbeans on a 15" Macbook Pro) but 1366x768 mkes me want to cry. I also can't find any Windows laptops below 12" which have better than 1366x768.
So, does anyone use Android for dev work? I've looked around a bit for solutions and the only suggestions I find are to VNC or whatever to another machine, or use an online IDE. I don't really want to do either of those (would rather cope with 1366x768). Anyone actually do this in reality? I wonder if Linux can be installed on this machine in any useful way. I expect I'll get the Apple mahcine but thought I'd check with all you experts first :) Sorry if I'm an idiot!
Re: Proper resolution!
You could take a look at a Samsung Series 9 (NP900X3C-[I think this last bit varies with the country]). It supposedly has a 1600x900 screen. I've requested one, but it hasn't been delivered yet, so I cannot actually recommend it.
Re: Proper resolution!
Looks good yeah, am really after < 12" screen though... Though the weight is right. Will see if I can find one to look at in the (metal) flesh perhaps.
Re: Proper resolution!
As fate would have it, it got here a couple of hours after I posted ;)
Didn't put it to any serious use though. Looks gorgeous, IMHO. The screen is excellent.
The problems are what I knew beforehand: small ssd disk (128G), small memory (4G), no VGA connector, colleagues get really jealous, etc.
works for me
Had my prime since Feb and use it day in day out servicing infrastructure clients and their kit (via rdp) at their various sites whilst keeping on top of email etc. I needed about ten quids worth of apps to complete the picture (decent VMware/RDP client and touchdown for mail) but otherwise the cost of the prime has been entirely justified by usage and convenience. You simply cannot buy a tiny 100% solid state win/nix laptop with three days battery life for 500 notes otherwise I might have done.
The USB hub was very useful on holiday. Dumping my camera onto the thing each night was a breeze. Trains are now a multimedia pleasure (headphones make the single speaker a non issue). micro HDMI is occasionally a decent crowd pleaser.
Very disappointed that there's no 3g again though otherwise I'd have upgraded and ebayed the prime in a heartbeat.
Regarding the touchpad issues mentioned earlier..
Plug a mouse in....wireless nano detects fine.
Here's my question
When are screens this good going to make their way into netbooks? Those of us who like smaller computers would be very keen to get one...
...oh wait, with a laptop you have to use battery life-crippling x86 processors and buy Windows for it or nobody will want it. Great.
Yeah, nice screen.
Now wake me up when you can see more than one [native, not RDP] app on it at a time.
Seriously, why the hell can't tablets multi-task properly yet?
Anyone visiting Switzerland soon...?
They sell these beauties for 669 CHF here in Switzerland.. that works out at about £438 for the "Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, 64 GB - WiFi" version. Now that's a bargain. And they're in stock. But they don't deliver to the UK.
(Digitec is a well-known chain of retail stores, like Currys, about 10 minutes from Zurich station)
Battery charging annoyance fixed?
Have they fixed the battery charging fiasco from the original?
I'd hope that powering the keyboard (now) will:
a) charge the keyboard while the tablet is unplugged
b) charge BOTH tablet and keyboard at once
I've been out the loop a while, so maybe this is fixed now.
You think six hundred quid's expensive? Pah!
I don't know why people are whinging about the price in the UK. Here in France Amazon have it on sale at €59,079.10. It's those last 10 centimes that tip it just outside my price range...