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The Asus Transformer that I received didn’t come with the keyboard dock so I’ll be talking about the tablet only. Physically, this tablet is a thing of beauty. Maybe it’s because metallic brown has always looked good in my eyes.

The Transformer is much lighter compared to the Asus Slate EP121 we reviewed previously and at 1.49 lbs, I’ve had no problem using this one-handed.

The IPS panel has a wide 178 degree viewing angle and the screen is really impressive in that even under direct sunlight, I was still able to read text off of it.
Another thing that impressed me is that despite the fact that the Transformer didn’t come with a sleeve or any covering to protect it from daily abuse, the glass and the back casing remained scratch-free. And I put the Transformer through a lot of “putting in” and “taking out” of my messenger bag.
On the left side of the Transformer are the Power and Volume buttons. I’ve read that there are some that come with slots for SIM cards but mine didn’t.

On the underside, there’s the 40 pin connector port where you connect it to the keyboard dock, to your PC for data sync, or to the adapter for charging. This is where I had problems with the Transformer. I don’t know if it’s just a mechanical defect on this particular unit but the adapter didn’t charge the way one would expect it to. I always had to do that thing where you adjust the adapter’s position while plugged into the power socket before it would start charging.

On the right, you will find a 3.5mm audio jack, a mini-HDMI slot, and a microSD card slot in case you need the additional storage.

There are two cameras: a front-facing 1.2MP camera and a 5MP camera in the back, which under bright lights or on a bright sunny day, can produce really good pictures. As for the front-facing camera, there’s not much to expect here.

On a full single charge, the Transformer gave me less than the advertised 10 hours battery life. But hey, I was playing free Android games from the market most of the time, watching videos on YouTube, and I was browsing a lot.

The web browser that came with the Transformer is a lot less to be desired. There were times when I would open multiple tabs—around 5 or 6 at the most—and then the browser would just shut down. I was forced to find other web browsers in the Android Market such as Dolphin and Skyfire but even those two had me going back to the browser, which I think is named simply “Browser.”
One really cool app that I think works best in the Transformer is the PressReader where you can download the day’s latest issue of your favorite newspaper. The touchscreen was very responsive and fast.

Sound quality from the Transformer is medium at best. I wish audio from the speaker was louder but hey, that’s the reason for the 3.5mm audio jack. Plug in your headset and you’re ready to go.

Minus the browser shutting down and the problem with the charger (which I’m hoping is an isolated case), the Asus Transformer is a really well-built tablet. I could see myself using it a lot for reading, playing two-player games, and web browsing. Of course the experience might be a lot more complete with the keyboard, which is said to increase the batter life when the tablet is docked. The keyboard also has two USB 2.0 slots and an SD card reader.

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