Apple iPad 2 vs Asus EEE Pad Transformer

Why is this comparison important? Well, because the Transformer is the first HoneyComb tablet to come with powerful hardware, slightly improved OS and proper pricing (RM300 cheaper than the iPad 2), plus it has that nice and also affordable docking station (goes for RM200++ extra).
However, this post is mainly a quick comparison. Because i had to return the EEE Pad shortly after shooting the clip, It might not include all the aspects it should have, but you can read more about those in the post below

And there’s the problem with Apps. There are a bunch of Apps in Android’s market, but only some of them are optimized for big screens. I for one have still failed to find any good Twitter app for my Pad, while the native app on the iPad is just amazing. Then, I hate it that the Market doesn’t offer a distinction between apps made for tablets and apps made for phones, like the AppStore does. It’s been countless times when I installed an app only to find out it’s made for small displays and looks awful on my 10 inch tablet. Yes, Android 3.2 now offers the option to play apps at native resolution, but that’s not really a solution in my eyes.
There’s also the multimedia playing part. It’s great that you can easily add files on the Transformer by just copying them in the required folder, without having to use stupid software like iTunes. I don’t like however the fact that the Transformer won’t be able to play a bunch of different types of files, for instance some .mkvs, .movs or .mp4s . If I get to copy easily all these files on the Pad, it’s quite frustrating when I can’t actually run them. You can run certain types of 720p and 1080p files, but they will have to be reconverted in .wmv in most cases. And that kind of defeats the whole fast copying purpose.
Of course, the iPad ain’t much better, it can only deal with specific files, mainly .movs . When you’ll sync different movie files to your tablet, it won’t even copy those that are not supported, thus the ones you’ll get on will work flawlessly, including up to 720p .mov files (Full HD ones are not supported).

Of course, there would be many things to be added in here. I should also mention that the Transformer comes with a mini HDMI and a microSD card slot, plus when getting the docking unit you get Full-size USBs, next to that keyboard and extra battery. All those will be quite handy if you plan to replace your laptop with a tablet.
In the end, comparing the iPad 2 and the EEE Pad Transformer is more complicated, as there are far more aspects to consider. Still, here’s a list of main attractions and cons for each of the two

iPad 2

  • light (1.33 lbs), sleek, solid built
  • has an IPS panel, 4:3 display and lower 1024 x 768 px resolution
  • gets access to thousands of dedicated apps, despite the fact that most of them are not free
  • AppStore is easy to use and you can easily distinguish between apps made for iPad and iPhone
  • snappy in everyday use, almost never freezes
  • camera placement is not that good and still pictures are poor. 720p recording works OK though.
  • up to 10 hours of life on a single charge
  • actual tablet lacks card extension, HDMI, etc (you’ll have to pay for all extension add-ons)
  • you get no widgets and customization options on iOS
  • you’re stuck with iTunes for adding content on it
  • Google specific apps offer less options than what you get on HoneyComb
  • prices start at $499

EEE Pad Transformer

  • solid built, pretty light (1.49 lbs), wider than the iPad
  • 16:10 display, IPS panel and big 1280 x 800 px display
  • not that many HoneyComb dedicated apps available in the Market Store
  • while using the Market is quite intuitive, there’s no way to tell which app is made for a big screen before actually installing it
  • sometimes can be sluggish in everyday use and can even freeze, requiring restarts in order to get it working again – that happens quite rarely now with Android 3.2 on board
  • 5 MPx camera with no flash, gets good still pictures and offers 720p recording as well
  • only up to 7-8 hours of life, but you can get 4-5 extra with the docking
  • comes with micro SD card slot, micro HDMI
  • interface allows customizations
  • you can easily add content by Copy/Pasting it like on a regular drive on your computer
  • comes with an useful docking, with keyboard, extra battery and 2xUSB 2.0 slots, SD card-reader
  • prices start at $399 ($159 for the docking)
And we could add some more. All in all, I do not mind the fact that the Transformer is slightly bigger and heavier. Plus, the screen is better suited for watching video content (as it is wide) and comes with increased resolution. You do get a card reader and micro HDMI slot on the tablet and overall price is very good.

The iPad 2 is a much easier to use tablet, the interface and all the gestures are intuitive even for first time users. It doesn’t require any fancy setups, getting apps on it is a no-brainer and overall everyday experience is flawless. Using it is smooth, it won’t freeze or get sluggish . Thus, if you want a tablet for browsing, listening to music, watching video content and playing, basically for entertainment and leisure, this is what I would get. Prices start at RM1,499 for the 16 GB Wi-fi Only version and go up if you want more storage space or 3G connectivity

The Transformer ain’t a bad tablet also, not at all. I feel it’s probably the best one with Android you can get these days, right there on par with the Galaxy TAB 10. Still, while Android has come a long way in these last months, it still requires a learning curve some of you might not enjoy. Using it is not as intuitive, all the settings and customizing options can be a bit overwhelming for some. And even if you like these challenges, overall the Transformer won’t perform as smooth as the iPad during everyday use