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Transformer Prime...the Android, not the Robot


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#1 D Buster Prime

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:06 PM

http://reviews.cnet....7-35089447.html

Basically, it's an Android tablet with a 4-core processor (and a 5th core for low power operations to conserve battery life), with a keyboard dock that transforms the tablet into an Android netbook and extends the battery life even further.

I just pre-ordered one from GameStop (other pre-order sites are mostly sold out) after reading the initial reviews today, and I'm pretty excited. It also doesn't hurt that my first Android tablet will be called a Transformer.

Anybody else been reading up on this and/or looking into getting one?

#2 wonko the sane?

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:34 PM

I have been looking at tablets lately, but my eye has been on a Vizio which can also act as a universal remote.

#3 Rhapsody

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:37 PM

I have to wonder with all the copyrights and trademark laws, how they got away with calling a Product the almost exact name of another Brand's line of product?
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#4 Tm_Silverclaw

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:34 PM

http://www.amazon.co...4...6924&sr=8-1

Already done, with a better OS none the less.

#5 D Buster Prime

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:04 AM

QUOTE(Tm_Silverclaw @ Dec 1 2011, 10:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
http://www.amazon.co...4...6924&sr=8-1

Already done, with a better OS none the less.


I already have a Windows Tablet PC. Microsoft might get it with Windows 8, but for now, their tablets suck, as the UI isn't designed with finger-touch in mind, but with a stylus. Its the same reason the first Windows phones and Pocket PCs lost out to the iPhone and iPod touch.

...and the Iconia Tablet can't even fold closed. It's a parts-former.

#6 Adam G

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:21 AM

I like the form factor, but don't like the gimped OS. The biggest issue with the iPad and other tablets to be is they aren't keyboardless netbooks, but rather bigger iPods, or smart phones without phones. This goes a step further and is pretty much a netbook without a real OS, which really is a step backwards in the computing world as far as I'm concerned. I love my netbook because it has a real OS on it, and I can do real things and install real programs on it, not just surf the net, read e-mail and use "apps".

#7 kristal

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:23 AM

i think we can call 2011 'tablet bonanza year' icon-waspy.gif still cant find a Blackberry tablet (it costs 199$!) for my bro, its all SOL here and they wont be getting new stock until january (and it will go back to 300$)

and i find it depressing when a Tablet has the same power (quad core) as my computer :|
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#8 DeltaSeeker

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 10:55 AM

I've got the original Asus Transformer table, and it's pretty much my go-to device for anything that doesn't require a full desktop. I'd love to upgrade to the Prime, but I'm not sure I could get anough for my TF101 to make a sizeable dent in the purchase price.

#9 Copper Bezel

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:26 PM

QUOTE(Adam)
I like the form factor, but don't like the gimped OS. The biggest issue with the iPad and other tablets to be is they aren't keyboardless netbooks, but rather bigger iPods, or smart phones without phones. This goes a step further and is pretty much a netbook without a real OS, which really is a step backwards in the computing world as far as I'm concerned. I love my netbook because it has a real OS on it, and I can do real things and install real programs on it, not just surf the net, read e-mail and use "apps".

There's a fair number of things mobile OSs are better at, too; there are apps and use cases that only desktop OSs have and apps and use cases that only mobile ones have readily available, and plenty of workarounds in either case. Android would seem fairly constrictive if it's your only machine, but it's not beyond reason for some uses, particularly since this is Honeycomb, which is made for tablets in the first place, not phones.

It's all going to come down to what applications you actually intend to run. On anything but Windows, there's no gaming to speak of, and mobile OSs generally wouldn't give you many options for, say, graphic or web design work that you could do with Windows / OSX / desktop Linux. On the other hand, anything to do with document handling and word processing, web browsing, multimedia, etc. could reasonably be handled with Android. The lack of a regular window manager would get on my nerves - I don't like the idea of not being able to have two documents up from separate apps at the same time - but I really don't know whether that's a typical concern. With a "mobile device," you often have 3G data, a decent camera, etc. that are harder to come by on a regular netbook.

The Iconia would definitely not be interchangeable with the Transformer. It's a better netbook and pointless as a tablet. There are others - Dell has a popup-book-type netbook like that, and Asus has a couple models with screens that swing around over the keyboard, like older tablet notebooks. But they're as heavy or heavier than a regular netbook, and the tablet mode wouldn't be a reasonable solution for casual reading. With the Transformer, you have a device that's already ridiculously light and portable, then splits in half for reading and web browsing. Also better for passing something around in a group, for that matter, because the interaction style with a tablet is different from a conventional PC, more like a clipboard and less like an automobile.

The only gotcha with the Transformer is that you can't get a 3G data plan with it. That does limit it to being a very light netbook with a keyboard that comes off and missing a few ports. That's still not a bad proposition for a lot of uses, though. It just probably wouldn't serve as your main PC.

Windows 7 is a bad fit for a touch device, too resource intensive and just not built for touch interaction, and I'm not sold on Windows 8 yet; the ARM version only supports the new Metro apps from the Microsoft app store, so it's hard to argue that it's somehow more a "real PC" than an iPad or Android tablet (the latter of which you can at least sideload homebrew apps onto.)

Also, the name is cute. = )

Edited by Copper Bezel, 02 December 2011 - 01:28 PM.


#10 Waspinator

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

I've got the first Transformer and like it a lot. It's not going to replace my desktop computer any time soon, but it rocks as a mobile device for email, watching videos, and playing games. Especially once you stick some emulators on it.

One of the biggest advantages of Android compared to conventional OSs for a netbook is that it turns on instantly. Other OSs have sleep modes of course, but those tend to take longer to come out of and that's annoying for a device to take with you everywhere.

Edited by Waspinator, 02 December 2011 - 01:31 PM.


#11 Copper Bezel

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 01:49 PM

QUOTE(Waspinator)
One of the biggest advantages of Android compared to conventional OSs for a netbook is that it turns on instantly. Other OSs have sleep modes of course, but those tend to take longer to come out of and that's annoying for a device to take with you everywhere.


Agreed, although this varies quite a bit, as you say. Apple's 11" MacBook Air is a netbook form-factor and OSX on its SSD wakes from suspend in about the time it takes you to open the lid, and some (not all) desktop Linuxes are fairly instantaneous at resuming, too.

Edited by Copper Bezel, 02 December 2011 - 01:51 PM.


#12 Kalidor

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:22 PM

Yeah, the whole point I'd want an EEE would be because I can put Linux or Windows on it, and use the Office suites.

#13 Waspinator

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 02:26 PM

I use Quickoffice Pro HD on my Transformer and it works great for dealing with Microsoft Office stuff.

#14 Kalidor

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:38 PM

I'll take a look. On my phone I have a reader but I want to be able to edit and compose as well.

#15 Waspinator

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:39 PM

Yeah, and Quickoffice is a full editor. It was free on the Amazon App Store awhile back, think it's gone back to being a paid-for thing now though.

#16 D Buster Prime

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:50 AM

QUOTE(Kalidor @ Dec 2 2011, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, the whole point I'd want an EEE would be because I can put Linux or Windows on it, and use the Office suites.


Asus Transformer Tablets come with a Polaris Office Suite pre-installed. I haven't found a lot of info. about it, but I think it's compatible with Microsoft Office files.

#17 Waspinator

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:57 AM

I'm not a huge of Polaris, but it does work and does come for free on the original Transformer. I like Quickoffice more for various interface reasons and for better integration with Google Docs and Dropbox.

Oh, and here's a free trial:
https://market.andro...mFtMy50cmlhbCJd

Edited by Waspinator, 03 December 2011 - 12:59 AM.


#18 Copper Bezel

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:31 AM

Yeah, I'd say plan to play, but be prepared to settle. Honeycomb is going to feel Linuxy enough and do most of the things you need - even comes with a Nautilusy file manager in the Transformer Prime implementation. By the end of next year, you'd have your choice between Windows, desktop Linux, and Android, but for the moment, Windows 7 doesn't run on ARM and 8 / dev preview's ARM version has no apps or backwards compatibility, and the only really touch-optimized interface for desktop Linux is Gnome Shell, which has compatibility trouble enough running on some desktop video cards, to say nothing of all the other hardware stuff that probably won't be supported right at release.

Edit: And hey, with Android, you still have bash (via Busybox.) That's cool, right?

Edited by Copper Bezel, 03 December 2011 - 06:44 AM.


#19 Kalidor

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:35 AM

Not unity?

#20 Copper Bezel

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:36 PM

I wouldn't really recommend it for a tablet, no. I haven't tried it myself, but I haven't heard good things. I know that's the goal and it's meant to bridge form factors well in future versions (and I don't doubt it will,) but the current version depends on a lot of mouse hover states, and not all the click targets have been expanded. The best example is the title bar controls for a maximized window, which are hidden under the window title (visible on hover) and narrower width-wise than the ones in Windows 7.

Edited by Copper Bezel, 03 December 2011 - 01:38 PM.




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