Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Asus Slider Review. Clever, but Practical?
Dimensions: 10.75 x 7.1 x .72 inches. 2.21 lbs. Not light. Not thin.
- Screen: 10.1" IPS, 10 point multitouch, 1280 x 800, Gorilla Glass Screen.
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core mobile processor 1Ghz.
- Battery: 25W/h Li-Polymer. Estimated 8hrs between charges.
- Cameras: 1.2MP front. 5MP rear
- WLAN: 802.11 email@example.comGHz
- Bluetooth: V2.1+EDR
- Memory: 1GB,
- Storage: 16GB/32GB + MicroSD card reader (up to 32GB). 12.63GB available when new.
- Ports: mini-HDMI port, Full size USB 2.0.
- Single (mono) speaker.
- Light Sensor
- Volume +/- rocker
- Headphone/Mic jack.
- Keyboard: Android-specific keys include Home, Back, Search, and Menu. You also have Brightness up/down, and Wifi & Bluetooth toggles.
Build Quality: Impressive. When folded the top and bottom are a graceful compliment to each other. The front edge chamfers down then tapers to round over the back edge. The body is a composite of brushed metal, bronze (paint), and a little chrome. Cable connections are nicely articulated from the bottom edge. Buttons are inset yet project just enough to exhibit their function and permit their use. Reset is a button rather than a hole on this tablet. Speakers are a bit muffled when the tablet is closed, but perk up when you lift the screen to reveal two columns of slots as speaker grills. Strong magnets hold the screen down and up. The user manual warns against leaving your credit cards too close to the Slider. The lift mechanism is an offset parallelogram. The exposed face of this brace is a mirror polished rectangle with "ASUS" etched into it. The IPS screen is easy to see from any practical angle.
Media capabilities: AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, and WAV music codecs are all listed as supported in the User's Manual. I was also able to play WMA and WMA lossless files, along with FLAC files with no problem straight from the file browser and in the Music app. H.263/H.264 MPEG4 is the only video codec listed as supported. I was able to play MP4 videos with no trouble. AVIs played but with pixilation. MWV movies wouldn't open. There are apps available in the Market that will play just about any video though so don't let the limited initial video support disturb you.
Asus applications: ASUS Launcher, MyLibrary, MyNet, MyCloud, ASUS Sync, Asus @Vibe
Other Include Apps: File manager, Kindle books, Zinio Magazine, PressReader, Polaris Office
Google Apps: GMail, Google Maps, Google Places, Google Navigate, Google Latitude, Android Market, Google Music, Google Videos, Google Books, ...
In use it is a heavy tablet but as capable as any of the competitors out there. Unless you'll always have a horizontal surface to open the keyboard up on, the extra weight is a bit of a penalty to have to carry. Yet if you plan to use the Slider as a laptop/notebook replacement it may be the perfect solution. The included Polaris Office app (word/spreadsheet/presentation) and that keyboard will let you get some serious work done. When folded away you have tablet simplicity behind a beautiful touchscreen to entertain yourself with. This tablet also has bluetooth and a USB port on the side. It is easy to add a full-sized keyboard and mouse if you really want to get serious. HDMI-out lets you mirror the android UI onto any HDTV or computer monitor with an HDMI port. Don't buy it if you only want to check email and play a game of Angry Birds. Consider it if you were considering a netbook to shrink your travel load. This has a nicer screen and broader array of uses than any netbook, and you can still get your work done on it for half the carry-on weight. It'll fit perfectly on that seat-back table too.
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