A Transformer (of the tablet/netbook sort and not the “robots in disguise” kind) has been on hubby’s wishlist for along while. A while back we were in a toss up over to buy this baby’s predecessor, or a straight up tablet. We ended up going with the tablet. So when Intel said they’d like to send me an ASUS Transformer T100 to check out hubby perked right up. “You know that’s the one we almost bought last year, right?”
When it arrived I took a peek at the back of the box and noticed that the Transformer comes with a 1 year warranty that covers accidental drops, spills, power surges and fire damage. Um, I live with young children. While I sincerely hope I never have to fall back on this warranty, it’s such a wonderful thing to have!
I took the Transformer out of the box, looked through the paperwork that came with it and plugged it in to charge up. And once it was charged it promptly disappeared. Hubby made off with it almost immediately. I got to hear a little bit of grumbling and cursing as it took a few minutes to get the system set up.
Note: Don’t expect instant fun right out of the box. The Transformer needs to be charged, and then you need to run through a few set up procedures. Simple stuff, but annoying if you were hoping for instant gratification now.
Once I managed to pry it out of hubby’s hands one of the first things I noticed and loved was the individual profiles. This thing handles sharing nicely. When I log in it’s like I am on my very own tablet. Everything is separate. The apps I download and install only show up on my profile. My save files are there just for me. Now on the downside when hubby wanted to introduce me to a few of his new favourite games from the Windows store, they weren’t accessible from my account and I had to download them on my own. As I’m writing this I just realized the games in question where all free ones, and I’m not sure how this would work with apps that you pay for. Having to pay twice to have the app on our shared tablet would be quite silly. I need to look into this a bit more.
At 10inches the tablet/screen portion of the machine is a nice size. It feels like there’s enough room to scroll around. Functionality wise, you can perform actions by swiping in from the edges of the screen. For example, a swipe from the top drops you back to the start menu. These built in actions are both intuitive and useful timesavers which I picked up on pretty quickly.
|And while I’m speaking about free games you can play: Wordament. ‘nough said.|
The part where you hit a button to release the tablet portion, or snap it into the keyboard to turn it back into a netbook is super quick and easy. I find myself using it as a tablet more often. Hunting the keyboard down wherever I left it, when I want to do a serious chunk of typing — like for example this post. I like that I can toss the tablet portion in my purse, and I’m not loosing out on any functionality by leaving the keyboard behind.
Con: I keep taking the tablet portion off and leaving the keyboard behind and then forgetting where the heck I left the keyboard. This thing needs one of those “find handset” buttons like I have on my cordless phone.
My all time favourite feature is that it can do split screen. And it does split screen in such a lovely and intuitive way, it’s truly brilliant. As an example let’s say you are looking at an email and you click on a link. The screen splits, the email remains in the left hand side and in the right hand side up pops your internet browser opening to the link you just clicked on.
When I’m at my desktop I have dual monitors set up. when I am working on something I like to have multiple windows open and when I move to the netbook instead I always feel handicapped by the single small screen. The split screen functionality of the Transformer feels very much like having two monitors sitting in front of me. I LOVE it.
While I mostly use it online, I like that the Transformer works without internet access. Even when I am offline and off somewhere without wifi, I can still use it to write. It won’t be replacing my desktop PC anytime soon. But it does a slick job of giving me computer access on the go; whether that be in my front room, at the local coffee shop, or at the park with my kids.
For more info about Intel 2 in 1s, like the ASUS Transformer, check out their website.
Disclosure: I am required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel Canada. I am an Intel Canada Insider, and I was provided with an ASUS Transformer for review purposes.