Apple iPad 2 vs Asus EEE Pad Transformer – quick comparison

Andrei Girbea September 23, 2012 Apple, Comparisons, Tablets 65 Comments

After previewing the EEE Pad Transformer a couple of weeks ago, I finally got to play with the final version and give it a proper look. Also, just recently got my iPad 2 tablet as well, thus, before actually posting the reviews for both these devices, I put together this post, a quick comparison of the two devices that go head to head these days.

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 ($100 cheaper than the iPad 2), plus it has that nice and also affordable docking station (goes for $160 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

Update: I’ve rewritten part of this post. The Transformer has gone a long road since i first tested it in April so it’s fair to put together a more uptodate comparison. So, the following are based on a Transformer with Android 3.2 and an iPad 2 running iOS 4.3.3 .

iPad 2 vs EEE Pad Transformer

iPad 2 vs EEE Pad Transformer

There is a video comparison below but bare in mind that’s the initial comparison i shot back in early April, when the Transformer was still running an early HoneyComb 3.0 OS version. A lot has changed in the meantime. While back then the Asus tablet was kind of sluggish even in everyday use, it’s not anymore. Browsing speed has increased as well and you can now stream video content from Youtube, Vimeo or other sources flawlessly. I still enjoy more the Youtube HTML5 based player you can get on the iPad and its pinch-to-fullscreen feature, but that’s another story.

As for the browser, it is quite fast now and like you know, it offers Flash support. Still doesn’t feel as fast as the one on the iPad during everyday use and navigation (scrolling, zooming, panning around) ain’t as smooth, but the overall experience is pretty good. And if you’ll turn off Flash and Javascript from settings, it will get even faster.

So, while initially I considered the Transformer a great piece of hardware which lacked the needed hardware support, I feel this changed a lot with Android 3.1 and Android 3.2 .

The clip below will show you more details, but be aware that the part that speaks about everyday use and performances is outdated. I promise to shoot a new clip as soon as i’ll get iOS 5 on my iPad. In the meantime, you can read my updates on the EEE Pad Transformer running Android 3.1 and Android 3.2 (coming soon) , both with videos.

Despite all these changes the Transformer still does not feel as snappy as the iPad. Not having software specially optimized for the hardware inside, like in Apple’s case, is visible during everyday use. Of course, HoneyComb is a lot more customizable and offers more freedom and more options than the iPad. But it will still feel sluggish and require a restart after a couple of hours of intense use or it might occasionally (rarely though) freeze completely.

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).

iPad 2 vs Asus Transformer

iPad 2 vs Asus Transformer

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, valid today, April 20th 2011 August 2011 (the date of the last update):

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. But these are still not enough to make it my first pick.

Improved resolutions makes fonts better, but overall browsing experience is better on the iPad

Improved resolutions makes fonts better, but overall browsing experience is better on the iPad

In the end, while initially the iPad was clearly my pick, I feel right now choosing between the two really depends on what you need and what are you planning to use your tablet for. I for one own both and mostly use the iPad, and here’s why.

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 (I only had to restart it twice since I bought it in early April). 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 $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 (remember, I own them both and have been using them for months).

Still, there are things I love about the Transformer: it’s100 bucks cheaper than the iPad, starting at $399 , with $129 extra if you want the docking station (there is however no 3G versions available for now). You can customize it, add useful widgets to your screen and improve your productivity. It offers a bunch of ports the iPad lacks and with the help of that docking unit it can even replace a mini laptop (I for one however tried to use it as a laptop replacement but I’ve failed. I still need my Windows software and browser for blogging, editing multimedia content or conducting various researches). There’s more about the EEE Pad Trasnformer in my review.

In the end, it’s up to what you want: for me, as a fun multimedia tool I only lightly use for business purposes (edit documents, check emails), the iPad is the better pick. For you, the EEE Pad Transformer might be, especially if you’re an Android user already. Plus, the 20% lower price does make a difference.

PS: Once again, remember that the clip is outdated, but the post is not. So don’t judge me for the things I might have said or might have missed on that clip. And wait for the update on that pretty soon.

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About The Author

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

65 Comments

  1. aleifuu April 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Great comparison review !, yes OS selection is crucial and very important for full seamless tablet experience. it does seems iPad2 has slight advantage in this area compare to the current form of android’s honeycomb. hope the next version will be able to adress this issue and take full advantage of the platform. is there any information that we can flash the current honeycomb installed in transformer ?

    • Mike April 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      no info on that and the guys at ASUS said they can’t comment on that…

  2. Cristi April 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    super prezentarea…dar ai uitat sa mentionezi…ptr a detine un ipad si folosi 100% trebuie un account itune care daca nu ai un pc nu_l poti crea….P.s. Nu sint fan Apple

    • Mike April 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Cristi, please keep it in English :P And i doubt that problem you mention can’t be solved somehow…

  3. Dean April 21, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Your chart comparing the iPad and Transformer seem completely fair and unbiased to me. I wouldn’t say you’re a fanboy at all, you just like what works best overall and right now that happens to be iOS. Like I said in my comment on your review, perhaps with software updates we’ll see the Transformer’s performance up-to-par with, or better than, the iPad 2.

    • Tim September 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      The ipad is more like a toy Transformer is better for business more like a laptop with a better screen

  4. Ken April 24, 2011 at 1:00 am

    If it is the software glitch that’s causing the problem. Will they be fixing that at all? when do you forsee that a system update will be available for the Eee Pad buyer?

    • Mike April 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      I expect Honyecomb to see improvements during the next months that should make it overall better…

  5. Erin April 26, 2011 at 8:05 am

    This is a detailed and helpful review, but i can’t help but notice in the video you sound a lot like you are favoring the IPad. Is it possibly you could be leaving out important information about the Asus tablet because you are in favor of the IPad

    • Mike April 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

      i will get back with a more detailed follow up post. i agree that i might have got over enthusiastic over the ipad 2, i onlt had it for a couple of hours when i shot that clip…

  6. Jeff April 27, 2011 at 6:09 am

    iPad 2 clearly wins here. Not only is it more responsive, thinner/lighter, it also has a wealth of apps that are available today. I think a lot of people get caught up in the specs of these devices not realizing that you buy it for the apps you will run on them. And by the time Honeycomb matches the iPad in apps the next gen Honeycomb tablets will be available. I’m not saying that the Asus Eee and/or Honeycomb are bad, it will just take a generation or two before they catchup and eventually pass the iPad – not just in hardware but also with software.

  7. shen April 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Years back when PC’s were cost $2500 to buy and I bought my mac for $4700, Asus (then Acer) churned out low cost PC in the hundreds of dollar range, potentially ruined the BIG guys. Now I am glad Asus starts the same trend again for tablets. Android is way to go.

  8. ZY April 29, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Great review, it does seem like the iPad2 is winning currently. However, would like to see a comparison on how the docking makes a different experience, as that’s probably the make/break decision point for me – and from individual reviews I’ve read here and on other sites, it seems the Transformer is doing a pretty decent job of that. How does the IPad2 do regarding that?
    Thanks

  9. Tom May 1, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Even for non-techie people the Android platform is easy and in my opinion will be the clear winner.

    The eee transformer is a wonderful tablet for the older generation who aren’t great with typing on an actual keyboard let alone a virtual one. It’s a much much easier transition.

    Android is fast. Certainly fast enough and with time it’ll get even faster. You point out that the iPad is so great for non-techie people, but you don’t realize that non-techie people aren’t as picky about speed! They don’t know what to expect. So subtle speed differences won’t be the breaking point for them.

    Android is not overcomplex, but it does allow for some fantastic applications and features that iOS does not. So this makes it a very good replacement for a desktop or laptop computer actually.

    In fact, I would suggest to my parents an eee transformer because it will function like a laptop for them, yet it won’t fall victim to viruses and all the problems of a normal operating system.

    I would also suggest an iPad…But…it’s not going to do as much and it’s overpriced. I appreciate Apple adding an sdcard slot because that would have most definitely been a deal-breaker for my recommendation to my parents because they’d want to view camera photos.

    Apple wins on simplicity they always have…But Android also brings with it simplicity itself. You don’t HAVE to customize anything. Android does just work out of the box. It’s not something you need to do a ton of things to immediately (like say Windows, or at least Windows in the past). So all those things that Apple had as benefits are now out the window (no pun intended). In fact, the ONLY edge that Apple has is in its marketing. It does such an amazing job selling things. If it weren’t for that, the company would be out of business and if not out of business, certainly in need of a bail out (again).

    Don’t get me wrong. I would expect non-savvy people to use Apple products. I would even recommend them…But the minute people start to cringe over prices…I have to say, well, yo know…Yes, you can get the simplicity and peace of mind in cheaper products too these days.

    You aren’t sacrificing anything by getting an Android tablet over an iPad.

    • Tim September 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      i guess the ipad is more for the simple minded and the transformer is more for people that want more freedom to change things around …….

  10. Alex May 3, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Was going to order one myself, but now that I’ve seen all the problems, I think I’d rather wait and see what happens with the software on this thing.

    I’m honestly very disappointed in Google more than anyone. Its clear that a lot of the problems people see with these devices are software related and to ruin the great potential of this hardware with such a buggy software release is shameful.

    As an Embedded Software Developer myself, I am disgusted by the state that Honeycomb was released in. Google better put their stuff together as I expected much higher quality from them. Shame!

  11. Sunny May 6, 2011 at 3:06 am

    If u were in the market for a tablet for the first time Whicj one would u personally chose between iPad 2 or eee pad?

  12. joe May 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Ipad2 doesn’t support Flash… game set match winner is transformer by a mile. What good is a tablet that doesn’t support the entire internet and don’t say html5 because it’s a mess and will be for a long time.

  13. Richard May 7, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I am not an android boy. I have an ipad my self. But if you compare browsers android vs ipad, you should make the conditions similar for each tabled. On adroid I noticed that plugins (flash) were enabled (youtube was displayed). The flash plugin is result of the slower response. Turn it off, you will see it is even better than iphone experience.

    This review gives a much better comparison.

    http://t.co/nFhCM7M

    • Mike May 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      yes, i agree this was not a great comparison from me and i wish i could go back and do it all over again. I don’t have the transformer anymore though. I still believe browser is faster on iPad even with flash disabled on android, tired it on transf and xoom but there’s a barely noticeable difference. however there are many aspects i took to lightly in this clip

      we live to learn from our mistakes though and I’ll definitely step it up next time

  14. Newton May 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Hey Mike,

    I stumbled on this column, but am really glad that I did. It’s good to see that you were extremely open and not defensive at all.

    Myself, I am glad there are choices out there. I would be happy with either one, but being the more tech savvy type, I’m going for the Transformer (if I can get my hands on one…frustrating).

  15. Alistair May 15, 2011 at 1:07 am

    I own both of these devices and a friend interested in buying one passed this review to me via youtube. There are many flaws in this comparison, some which I can and some which I can’t explain.

    To confirm my software version on the eeePad is 8.2.3.9.

    I was taken to the part in the review comparing web performance. This review praises zooming speed on the apple and it is indeed fast, but that’s because it’s smoke and mirrors. When you zoom on an iPad, all that effectively takes place is that a still image of the website is taken and resized, so if you zoom in, the text remains very blocks and animated images freeze until you let go and the screen redraws.

    On the Eeepad, when you zoom, as soon as it can the Eeepad continues to redraw the page WHILST you’re zooming to provide you with a better font and correct layout, all animated objects continue to function, you are essencially seeing live content at all times unlike the iPad.

    I confirmed this with a direct comparison, also noting that I received a big black please get flash box on the iPad whilst the video loaded no issues on the eeePad. I was able to play the video clip with a single click and zoom in and out on the Eeepad with no performance loss whilst the video continued to play. There was a short but noticeable lag after initially pressing down to zoom vs the iPad though performance was almost identical once zooming in and out, the iPad still having the edge though.

    I have never had a youtube video fail to play so I don’t know where that’s coming from in the review, not to mention a secondary tab window was triggered and loading in the background so the strain on the CPU was increased vs the iPad, rendering comparisons at this point unfair.

    I have also watched 8 hours of video straight on the Eeepad so I’m unsure about what’s being compared for the battery life, though I do notice in some situations the iPad battery lasts longer, in many equally the gap is not what this review makes it out to be.

    • Dianna February 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      So do you prefer the eepad or the Ipad2? I am going to be purchasing a tablet soon and is torned between the two and especially since there are rumors of an ipad3 launching soon.

  16. Omar Hussain May 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    One thing you forgot to compare is watching movies. Most newer tv shows and movies are in 16:9 format. I’ve seen this on the Ipad2 and was very disappointed that a large portion of the screen is not useful when watching movies because the aspect ratio is 4:3. this is a terrible ratio for watching widescreen movies. The 16:10 aspect ratio of the Transformer is so much better for movies, you will only get small bars on the top and bottom instead of huge bars like you do on the Ipad2.
    I think movie watching is a big part of the usage of these devices….
    as for pinch/zooming being faster on the Ipad2..its only marginally faster….

  17. Gustav May 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    The Transformer has got approx 9 hours of battery life, not six… It’s also up to 16 hours with the docking station.

    • Mike May 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Gustav, is that based on your tests or based on specs? At the time of the review, that’s what I got on the Transformer. In the meantime there has been an OS update and we’re waiting for the Android 3.1 release as well. Will get back once it does with a follow up of this post.

  18. Calvin May 26, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Pleased with your article… not so much with your video. You’re pretty unbiased in the article, and your list, but in the video, you definitely sound pro-ipad without much reason. Of course, I understand, you only had the device for a little bit.

    I’m actually hoping to read more reviews in general from people who’ve had the devices for maybe a month or two. I hear that the screens slow down in response times after more usage, and I wanted to know if it’s true/noticeable on either tablet reviewed here..?

    • Mike May 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

      Calvin, I know, I’m not satisfied with my clip either. However I no longer have the Transformer so I can’t reshoot it yet (it’s on preorder now, that version I reviewed was a test unit). You can find clips from guys actually owning the tablet on Youtube though.

      Anyway, on my iPad 2 I have no problems with the screen and I’m using it everyday. Actually I haven’t heard about this particular issue but I’ll scoop around and get back if I find anything. Could you point out whear exactly did you read this?

  19. antonmax May 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I just bought the transformer yesterday without knowing much except from some comments by people that it was better for business. Just happened to come to the shop and saw a long queue and I just joined the line. I got my eee pad transformer….lucky me cos only 150 available! Went back happy, but then couldn’t download flash player, Adobe Reader and skype! And I need these 3 things to conduct my business! Went back to the shop and they managed to download the flash player, but not the Adobe Reader and Skype! Have to wait until they can and I am handicapped with this device.

    But, when I saw the queue for the iPad2 this morning……whew….it was thrice as long as for the queue for the transformer….. I know iPad2 is better, but not to queue that way for me….No sireeeeeeeee…..no thank you! It was crazy! I wonder if Apple knows there is a big demand and short supply for iPad2, from their experience with iPad1, why didn’t they use their big brain to get more production capacity?

  20. Chris May 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Definitely a slightly biased review by an Apple Fanboy. The poster ‘Alistair’ hit the nail on the head and highlighted the light and surface review you gave the Asus.

    I’ve had one for a week and experienced no problems with websites, no lag with browsing, and no video display issues. While saying that, the stock video player app is not capable of displaying all types of videos out of the box. but hey – this is an Android Pad, therefore you are free to change anything about the device you want to. I downloaded a new player and everything works perfectly. So too the virtual keyboard – I didn’t like the standard one so I installed a new one.

    For me, customisation and open source is the very reason I got an Android Pad, and an android phone. A locked system (apple) has NO future or place in the modern world where consumers are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Apple will find their market shrinking further and further unless they admit defeat and go open source – which aint going to happen.

    These new breed of Android tablets, The Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 phones, HTC Phones, herald the begnning of the end for Apple. R-I-Pieces.

  21. Mike June 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    The Transformar is much better than the iPad 2 thanks for the comparison

  22. Andrew June 17, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I second Mike there is no competition between the two. Apple makes great products if you either want access to millions of (mostly pointless) apps or if you want to feel like you’re 3 years old again and can’t handle owning technology. It is my opinion that with all of apple’s limitations i just feel stupider after using apple devices. I can’t wait to pick myself an Asus tablet :)

    • Mike June 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      I really really wish I could third you guys. I have an ipad 2, a xoom and a transformer and i mainly use the ipad 2, for multimedia, browsing, playing some games, twittering and stuff like this. Sometimes i write small posts on it as well.

      For work though none of them is nough for what I need so i stick to my computer: keyboard, big screen, photoshop, windows.

      But that’s just me. I’ll update this pot soon now that I have Android 3.1 on my Transformer.

      • stavros October 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm

        Two points

        I also use my tablet for browsing, half my surfing and media. A full notebook is with my in the car/bag almost as often as my pad is. So you’re not alone on that.

        I have had almost every apply device iphone 2g/3g, TV, mac mini, ipad1, and 4 ipods. Recently I went from BB/IPAD to galaxyS2/asus pad.

        The second thing I would like to mention, is that freedom from itunes (used only for my ipad) is quite a relief. Frustrating as the windows version sucks, I buy NO media from apple and and the syncing of non-standard documents (comics in comiczeal for example) is absolute garbage.

        The only thing i’ve enjoyed using as as the original iphone is my new galaxy S2. , because of the “game changer” effect in my life. I hated the stock SMS app, browser, media player, and there were many options to choose from. Keyword “choice”.

        Android works for me, especially downloading stuff to my phone’s download directory on it’s browser and copying them later , or playing 4 gig mkv’s in 30fps on my phone once, and not having to convert them.

        The only bias thing about reviews like the one above are that ISO is a far superior. I have to say the 50% percent of what it did that i needed it was alright. For the rest, there’s android.

  23. Karthik July 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Mike, Did you get a chance to play around with Android 3.1 since its out now ?

  24. Nubia July 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Mike, when the 3.2 update comes out for the Transformer (it did already in the U.S., but I’m assuming it’ll come for you in August since your’e in Romania) will you be able to review it and give us your thoughts on it?

    PS: I like youre accent. :P I think it makes your reviews even more interesting.

    • Mike August 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Yes, I will do that asap. Just checked out my Transformer and there’s no update available for the time being

  25. George July 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    One word : Biased

    If you enjoy spending 600$ per year to be up-to-date , enjoy your ipad
    If you want some tablet that will stay longer , since andoid os is upgradable go for asus

    Moving icons isnt laggy is the way it works in android , noone wants to move icons around by accident , also scrolling/zooming can be done by just taping the screen , I dont see why moving fingers in an unatural way is called “smoother zooming”

    I wont even mention the costumisation you can do to honeycomb.

    to sum up
    if you want a shiny-cell go for ipad
    if you want something that actually worth it go for transformer

    remember expensive doesnt always mean better.

  26. Allan August 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Very biased comparison.. It is easy to tell you are an iPad fan you for got about the ten finger touch on on the transformer. and what is not on the apple,, like usb ports and a micro sd port.. I know you can not compare them because they do not exist on iPad.. but they are of great importance in a honest comparison.. you also forgot about the key board dock that trans forms the pad..
    these are very important features in a comparison.
    Allan

  27. Ilpo August 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    You have Flash on in the internet comparison, turn it off in asus experience will be same. But in asus you get the Flash extra and tabs is much better.

    You are just ipad fan.

  28. Jeff Shortland August 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Honestly would give this one a good look over. I have been thinking of moving from my laptop to an iPad for some time now (and no, it’s not a MB, MBP, MBA or the like.. it’s HP). You just get to the point where unless you are doing REALLY heavy work, intensive and laborious to the machines process and video card – 3d rendering, for example – that it just seems a little pointless to lug around a screen that big to handle emails and web browsing, especially when changing it for a much lighter, and capacitive touch screen device.

    That being said, I don’t think anyone can really back up the “clear winner” claims here, even on the basis of the “oh, this one offers this, and you have to pay for that, and.. and” remarks. Like any device in this age, especially since the advent of multitouch, User experience will dictate purchases. I was excited about the Black Berry offering, but since have been less impressed – the Asus Eee PC was actually my first owned laptop – an amazing little netbook that I enjoyed just how much I could do with it.

    But here is the point:

    It’s about how you can interact with the device, and what you can do with it that YOU want and need to.

    you can churn out comments about apps vs settings, flash vs HTML5, adapters vs docks all you want, but really, its about what you want to do with it, and if you like the UI. It can turn coal into diamonds, but if the UI doesn’t do it for you, it will be a tedious task to use. For me, I really want to see what this thing can do, and no, I don’t just mean watching youtube and playing with widgets. Yah, resource hogs that float on my home screen are great, but if I want them, I’ll get them. I am glad to see that there are alot of customizable features with the Eee, but every layer of customization you add, you will inevitably draw from the responsiveness and power of it – which is great that they are something you can disable. As for people who are early adapters, saying they wont notice in speed is a bit of a misnomer – my father is the most technilogicaly incapable person I’ve ever known, and you take one fraction of a second longer to load a page, and he’ll notice – because it’s all he knows. You can’t argue with people like that about the multitasking performance, or the coding of a web page, they just want to know why it’s taking so long for google to open up for them.

    In summary, I look at these two devices as flip sides of the same coin addressing the point of having a tablet; they’re both great options with long functional uptime, they’re responsive, they’re stocked with capable and solid hardware, they have great UIs, and alot of features. I look at the iPad with the thought of “simple, but with room to add features as I need them” and the Eee as “featureful, with the ability to downsize as I need.”

    I’ve had a hard time YET finding something I couldn’t do on a variety of OS and UI platforms for these and their company’s other devices, from platform to platform. If you want it, and you’re capable of using the device, there are a lot of things you can teach it to do :) It’ll be interesting to see what the Eee can be taught…

  29. juan September 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    i must get a tablet pc for the high school this year and i ask you if i can replace it with the eee transformer(with the dock). the idea is to made note of the lessons as it was a notebook. thanks you

    • Mike September 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      Juan, the transformer + dock could replace an average notebook, but I for one don’t think tablets are as easy to use for school as netbooks or other mini laptops with Windows are

  30. juan September 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    thanks for answering me. does the transformer have any aplication like microsoft journal or similar to it? i think this is what i will have to use basically.

    • Mike September 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      it does have polaris office that gives you access to doc, excel and ppt files. So you can easily write things in separated docs, using the keyboard on the dock.

      On the other hand, don’t expect to be able to hand write notes and sketches on this tablet. Most tablets these days come with a capacitive display and no digitizer.

      The later is needed for being able to take those notes accurately, with some kind of pen. There are few tablets with a digitizer, like the 7 inch HTC flyer or the newly announced samsung series 7 tablet, that runs windows 7. But these are quite expensive these days.

  31. juan September 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    ok thank you very much

  32. DimArk September 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Finally, good review of User interface, not ports, and build quality…
    Right now I have an android phone, I will go for iPad… i prefere fast interface. Main use – browsing I-net, reading, may be, youtube alittle. I can live with iPad’s cons. It will be my first Apple product.
    I think one day Android will catch iOS… but iOS not stay in place too. Apple will have to include Flash support, may be SD card in iPad body. May be we will se it even in iPad3 version.
    May be I will end up having both iPad and Android…!!!

  33. Daryl September 11, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Thanks for the review. My wife was wanting an ipad mainly to get an ap that would allow her to scan and save all of her sheet music so that she doesn’t have to carry all those big fat notebooks around. I heard about the Asus and I’m more impressed with it, however, I’m afraid that the ap needed scan and save sheet music will not be available for it. Based on your review, there aren’t many aps available for the Asus. How can I find out if an ap is available for the Asus that will allow her to scan and save her sheet music?

  34. Jessie B September 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Now I’m so anxous to make a decision to buy tablets: Ipad 2 or Asus transformer. Would you mind give me some suggest to buy one of them? Thanks a lot!

  35. Juan September 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Mike, do you know a good review of the Acer Iconia, here or in another website. is it better than the Ipad or the Asus transformer? for using it in the high school of course… Thank you

  36. Peter Rohn September 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Don’t try to deny you’re not a fanboy.

    For a year now, Apple has been trying to convince people that you cannot be productive with the tablet platform and that the tablet is purely for fun and pleasure. This is why pretty much all reviews by apple fanboys such as yourself completely ignore the productivity that the keyboard dock brings to the table.

    I’m an engineer. Before I got the transformer+dock, I had to carry my laptop and several books around with me for references. Nowadays, the transformer+dock is the only thing I need. I have not touched my laptop for 4 months now. All my references have been stored as large pdf files on my transformer, which can be very easily accessed with repligo. I can also take hand written notes directly into the pdf files with repligo.

    Every ipad and ipad 2 owners I know have to carry a laptop with them to do any real work. Sure, they tell me all the time that it was a mistake for me to not get the ipad 2 because of how great the ipad 2 is. But when it comes to real work, they would put away their ipad 2′s and take out their laptops. I just click my transformer into the dock and work.

    If you’re going to do a fair review, then you need to include these aspects of having keyboard dock that turns the transformer into a tablet-laptop hybrid. But of course apple fanboys only want people to think the tablet platform is only for fun and games. That’s why virtually all reviews on the internet comparing the transformer to the ipad 2 completely ignore the huge advantage of being able to do work as well as having fun and pleasure off of a single device.

    Furthermore, I’ve recently opened up and soldered in a 500 GB hard drive into the keyboard dock as well as installed a switch that turns on and off the hard drive to save battery life. In other words, I can still retain 15 or so hours of battery life while being able to carry around huge amounts of data.

    And I’m not even an electrical or computer engineer. I’m a civil engineer.

    Spendinng $500+ for something that only surf and game is a waste of money IMHO. The transformer+dock allows you to be productive as well.

    Anyway, take this how you will. Continue to help apple convince everyone that the tablet is only a fun and game device only. Some of us actually are being productive with our tablets.

    • Mike September 13, 2011 at 11:35 am

      Peter, at the time of the comparison there was NO DOCKING STATION available. So I only compared the two tablets, the slates.

      As for productivity, I agree the Transformer can be better for actually putting together some work, to some extent. But still, tablets are primarily multimedia and fun tools, and that’s why people buy them. I do own a Transformer and an ipad and have tested pretty much all the slates out there, and as much as I’d love to be able to replace my Windows laptop with any of them for everyday work (writing, editing videos and photos), I just can’t yet.

      • Peter Rohn September 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm

        The dock is what defines the transformer. That’s why the transformer is a transformer. Reviewing just the tablet while ignoring the huge advantage of being able to turn the device at will to a laptop-like device is like reviewing a car comparing to a bike while ignoring the huge advantage of having an engine that can take you to great distances. Might as well compare your desktop monitor to the ipad 2 while ignoring everything else about the desktop.

        I’m telling you now. I have not touched my laptop for 4 months now. It’s just sitting there collecting dust. I do, however, use my desktop for heavy duty work like autocad, microstation, and video editing. Everything else I used to do with my laptop I now do with my transformer. Of course this would be impossible if the keyboard dock didn’t exist (hint hint).

        This is why I tell people all the time that the tablet platform wasn’t meant to replace anything because it’s a new niche on its own. It is YOU who needs to figure out how it will fit into your life.

        I just read your review again. It really does look like every other review. And just like every other review, you tried to ignore all the features that made the transformer a transformer. You compared the 2 devices on the ipad 2′s own terms. Of course everything would look inferior if ignore all their features that the ipad 2 didn’t have.

        Just so you know, I don’t hate apple products, unlike some people. I used to be a programmer by trade and I do hardware repairs on the side. When people ask me I almost always recommend apple. I am just getting tired of reading all the reviews that intentionally designed to ignore all the features that the ipad or ipad 2 can’t compete with.

        If you want to be more fair, your job now is to get a keyboard dock and start figuring out what you can do with the transformer with the dock. People tell you the transformer is a productive device, so you need to either ask them how or figure it out yourself. And don’t try to pass the keyboard dock as just another accessory like I’ve seen so many fanboys do. The keyboard dock and the tablet were designed from the ground up together. So, it’s not just another accessory. And also don’t try to compare the ipad’s bluetooth keyboard to this. Again, not comparable at all.

      • Mike September 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

        Well, you’re right that I should update this post. A couple of things changed since I first wrote it and shot the clip back in April. I am however waiting for iOS 5 to become mainstream and write a new post, comparing the Transformer with Android 3.2 and docking station with the iPad 2 with iOS 5.

        Still, my biggest issue with the Transformer or in fact any other tablet is the lack of proper photo or video editing software. Plus, even with a mouse connected, I don’t get the productivity i get on windows, even on basic tasks around blogging: writing texts, editing photos, downloading content from my cameras, posting things. I agree, Android tablets and especially Transformer are better at such tasks than the port-less and iOS powered iPad, but still, I rather have my 11.6 inch laptop for those. And keep my ipad for light browsing, twitter, watching some movies and playing games. And for those, the iPad is the better pick in my eyes (and not just in mine).

        You’re saying that this is just another comparison similar to the ones around. Perhaps. And that makes me consider writing some posts on getting extra productivity on a tablet. So thanks, your comments helped me find some new subject for future posts. And of course, I really appreciate the feedback, even though you called me a “fan boy” :P (hint: the ipad 2 is the only apple product I ever owned, despite using pretty much all of their stuff in these last years in vrious situations).

  37. Peter Rohn September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I must admit that I’ve never really held a high opinion of online reviewers of products. First of all, have you ever heard of the saying don’t judge a book by its cover? Most reviewers seem to have spent about 2 minutes with the device before they do a review. Having been playing with computer software and hardware all my life, I know for a fact that you can’t know something enough to do a good review on it after just a day of use.

    You still sound like you’re not convincced the transformer could be that productive. It is true that the transformer is not productive if you try to use it like a laptop or desktop. But if you just treat the transformer like a completely new device then I assure you it could be even more productive than a laptop.

    Here are a few things that I do with the transformer.

    In meetings, I’d hand write with a dagi stylus directly into the pdf documents. You can’t do this with a laptop.

    On site, I’d only use the tablet part to reference specs rather than carrying paperwork and ASTM books. Again, you can’t do this with a laptop.

    In the office or in the car, I would type out reports and communicate with colleagues via email or just text with google voice. Tethered to my phone, you’d be amazed how effective it is to use the transformer as a communication device.

    15+ hr battery life means I can use it all day without having to worry about finding an outlet.

    Last month I gave a little presentation on bond strength between concrete and steel. I was able to quickly create a powerpoint with the transformer. Just plug in the hdmi…

    Those are just some quick things that came to my head. Again, the tablet platform is something completely new. I often hear people complain that it’s not a laptop. This usually drives me nuts.

    The point is if you’re going to treat the tablet like a toy, then say so in your review. Some people actually would want to know of productive ways to use the tablet.

    As you can probably tell by now, I’m a tech enthusiast. But unlike most tech enthusiasts out there, I try to find useful things to do with the gadgets that come out.

    That said, you can try to be different than other reviewers and go beyond just reviewing about gaming and watching video with the tablet. You could try to come up with ways to make the tablet more useful than just surfing and gaming. To me, $500+ for something to surf and game only is a waste of money.

    • Mike September 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Peter, I am convinced that the Transformer can be productive. Like I said, I own one, I know what it can do. On the other hand, I also know for sure that it’s not the productivity device I need for my everyday tasks, that’s why I said it cannot replace the laptop for me and I stand behind this.

      PS: My portable everyday laptop is an Acer 1825PT . It’s a bit older but I paid around 600 euros for it when it was new. True, it’s not as portable as a Transformer but runs Windows, with Photoshop, Movie Maker, etc (things I need). And you can take notes on that one as well as it has a swivable display. Still, let’s not get into getting notes on a capacitive screen without a digitizer – it’s barely useful, to say the least.

      I agree with the first part of your post, on reviews available online, but speaking from my experience, let’s say Asus prepares a new tablet . And they send me a sample unit to review before it actually hits the stores. I don’t have weeks to play with it, I only have a bunch of days. And I try to get the best out of it in those few days. I agree that such a review cannot be as thorough as a review written after using a device for 1-2 months everyday, but in our business, if you’re not between the first ones to publish the posts, then you don’t matter. Especially if you’re not engadget or cnet or other big names. I’m not saying it’s not a flawed system, it is, but that’s the game and how we have to play it.

      And of course, I’m trying to improve with every review I write. It takes time and with helpful feedback like yours I’m sure I’ll provide better and better posts for my readers.

      PS: I like your enthusiasm and passion and, don’t take this the wrong way, but if you ever feel like putting your opinions about the Transformer or any tablets on a site, I’ll be glad to host them here on the site. You’ll have the liberty to write about whatever you might want, of course

  38. Elisa September 15, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I just bought an Asus and am bringing it back and getting an ipad. The Asus is sluggish and not intuitive and it doesn’t have Skype.

  39. Gabe September 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Until reading this article, I had no idea that iPad had a 4:3 ratio screen…that’s what original TV’s used…talk about sliding back to the digital dark-ages. We need to bury that screen ratio and that’s the decision maker for me to go with Asus.

  40. Bojan September 17, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I had the First iPad and i wanted to upgrade to the iPad 2, but after seeing this video i bought the transformer and grust me i liked it a lot, the hdmi output micro sd slot, flash, torrent apps. but there are some drawbacks like if you play hd video the sound does not play, on stand by you get one and a half day max, you need to restart the device once a day. and all of that was ok with me untill 10 days of usage the left side of the transformer started to squeak and the bezel opened a little and dust was goung under the screen, that bothered me a lot and i returned it to the store.
    and after looking closely at 2-3 more transformers i noticed that all of them had the same problem.
    So finnaly i paid the extra cost and bought the iPad 2 as i planned and trust me i do not miss all the extra stuff on the transformer, just because of the very low build quality.

  41. scdj February 9, 2012 at 2:11 am

    If you differ tablet pc’s in your reviews by their usage or target users, then better write it like this: ipad2 = no-brain-easy-usage/-users , transformer = only-brain-advanced-usage/-users

    • john February 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      you are very funny, i can’t stop laughing with your jokes JAJAJAJA (trully you are a joker), NO

  42. Javid April 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hi, Mike. Thank you for great reviews. Keep going! Every day I’m checking for updates. I want to buy a tablet but I can’t choose what to buy. Ipad or Asus eee pad transformer. Please answer. What is your advise? Thank you!

  43. Lisandro May 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Javid:
    Just Eee Pad Asus Transformer!!! Is it the best!!! That´s your choice!!!! That was my choice!! you will not regret! It’s a pipe!

  44. Antonmax June 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

    My wife uses iPad2 and I use a Asus Eee Pad Transformer….Sure, iPad has some good features and apps, but what it doesn’t have is the FlashPlayer. Oh, u hv to pay as apple doesn’t allow FlashPlayer…most of Asus streaming can be HDMI to my TV and iPad that is not so…Apple restricts a lot of things…Another thing is what Bojan said about the problems related to Asus pad…as to have to restart eveyday, there was a problem intitially after upgraded software, but that was solved now. I dropped my pad and the bottom right edge hit the floor from a height of 3 feet while I was playing some video. It continued playing and I just picked up the pad and noticed a little scratches and the cover opened a little…I just pressed the cover back and walah….all are ok…of course, the Eee pad can’t support some android apps ….but, I am all for this Asus….

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