ASUS eeePad Slider Hands-On Review vs ASUS eeePad Transformer

The ASUS eeePad Slider

About two months ago, I posted about the ASUS Slider being officially announced to the public. Since then, things have been pretty silent in the ASUS world. This week, it finally landed on my desk for review. Yes Malaysians, those of you who have been waiting for it, the time has finally come! As always, I am here again to review the gadget for all you ASUSthiasts out there. To spice things up a bit, I have done a head to head comparison with the ASUS Transformer (B70 generation). I have to say, it is a really tough pick for those who are waiting for the comparison. Lets not waste any time.

The slider slides out to reveal a keyboard underneath

The “Slider”

Out of the box, the slider looks just like the transformer if you just look at its screen. The significant difference starts to flow in when you actually take it out of the box. The sleek hardware feels really light compared to its predecessor. Not only that, it looks sexier too. So lift the back a bit and push the front edge, and the screen just slides open. Out comes a full QWERTY keyboard but this time, without a touchpad!

The Slider and Transformer side by side

The Hardware

I’ve got to say, ASUS really is good when it comes to build quality. As much as I’m disgusted with Samsung’s cheap plastic hardware, that’s as much as I get wowed by ASUS’ build quality. However, this time, its a trade! Unlike the transformer that has a scratch-resistant back, the Slider will be prone to scratches. But it has better looks! The maroon and silver really blends nicely. Material is a soft matte rubberish kind of texture. Nexus One users will know what I mean. It grips better than the Transformer too but I still think trading off the scratch resistant is a bit on the downside for me as I’m a rugged user. One thing that I would like to stress here though, is that the slider feels very fragile in the hands. Especially when you slide it out. Somehow it doesn’t tightly latch to the keyboard once it pops out. It feels a little “breakable”. Kinda like the Slider was made for chics while the Transformer for the dudes. The slider’s hardware gets a score of (7.8/10).

The Display

The slider features an IPS screen

Once again, ASUS has included their legendary 10.1″ IPS into the slider. I still am amazed with the IPS really. Oh, and its a gorilla glass too just like the transformer. I really don’t see any difference in the screen between the transformer and the slider at all. The glossy finishing looks elegant too. The resolution stays the same too at 1280 x 800 making no difference with the Transformer at all. 10 fingers support is still there too. Personally, I don’t see a reason to do an upgrade to the screen for the slider too since it was announced together with Transformer in CES. Unlike Transformer, the Slider can’t tilt itself, so you have to position yourself according to it instead of positioning it according to you. Bummer! Display gets a score of (9.5/10).

Storage

The Slider comes in 16GB and 32GB variants from what I was told by ASUS. I got the 16GB version for review, making it equivalent to my Transformer. Now some people are not going to happy with storage on Slider. First, they removed one USB from the bottom dock – compared to two of Transformer’s. They also removed the MMC/SD storage slot, leaving only the micro SD slot. The Transformer had one slot for MMC/SD and another for micro SD. But still, ASUS gives unlimited storage for one year so it might still be a catch for some of you. If you add a 16GB SD card to it, that gives yo a total of 32GB of storage – which is actually pretty decent. Storage gets a score of (5.5/10).

Performance

The slim side of the slider

Some, if not most of you must be eager to know this. The processor in the slider is exactly the same one that you will find in the Transformer. Its the same nVidia Tegra 2 clocked at 1.0GHz. The performance feels the same with the Transformer too, but when I ran a benchmark score, surprisingly, the Transformer had a slightly higher benchmark score. RAM is also the same = 1GB. The fun part of the Tegra is when you start playing games. Especially Tegra-tailored games. I don’t know how to explain the feeling of playing “Riptide GP” on the tablet! performance score is (7.6/10).

Camera

The Slider’s rear camera is a 5MPx camera and the front camera is a 1.2MPx. Again, ASUS did not include flash into this camera just like the Transformer. But it does take good pictures even in decently dark places. The front camera is great when it comes to video chats! I tried video skype with my overseas relatives and the experience is one in a million – a lot better than phones really! Oh, did I mention, that the rear camera takes 720p video recordings too? :) Camera score is (5.2/10)

User Interface

The back of the Slider is really sleek!

Sadly enough, there was one thing biased on this Slider compared to my Transformer. It came with Android Honeycomb 3.1 instead of 3.2. But don’t jump to conclusions, this is just an engineering unit. The actual unit will come pre-laoded with the Honeycomb 3.2. I will not be explaining about the Honeycomb experience here as I have already briefed it in my Transformer review in the past. DLNA is in both tablets too. Since there is no touchpad in the Slider’s dock, you will not get the mouse cursor and no multi-touch experience on the Slider. Score (8.0/10)

The Verdict?

All in all, the slider is a great device. However, if you own a Transformer already, the only possible reason I can see you changing to the Slider is either to reduce the weight of your pocket (cash), or reduce the weight of your luggage (mobility). Its an ideal device for your girlfriend while you use the Transformer. It has a chic persona and its built for those who are very careful with their gadgets. If you drop your phone within the first month of purchasing it, you may want to consider the transformer instead :)

Nothing is perfect

As much as I like the Slider, Transformer will be moving a lot more with me. Like I said, I’m really a rugged person, always on the move and my hardware has to be robust. The Slider doesn’t have anything that protects the front side of the tablet. Since the screen doesn’t face towards the keyboard like the Transformer, there’s higher chances of it getting scratched. Yes, the screen is Gorilla screen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tamper with it. Also, the bezel is exposed making it bare to scratches. Another major downside for me was the unadjustable screen level. Maybe I’m too conditioned to the Transformer though coz it still is an IPS screen, viewable at any angle. By any chance, if you are planning to get one, I suggest you try both devices first. The winner will be clear within minutes really.

Overall ASUS eeePad Slider Satisfaction Score = (7.3/10)

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