We were impressed by the Eee Pad Transformer when we reviewed it earlier this year, and with the arrival of the Slider on our test bench, curious about how well Asus was able to modify its netbook-esque design to integrate a physical keyboard within a traditional tablet.
Performance-wise, the Slider is just as good as the Transformer – and that’s entirely expected given that everything under the hood – from the processor, memory, screen type – is the same as Asus’ debut iPad competitor.
During our time with the Slider, browsing the web was easy and fast, and switching between many of the applications inside the Android OS was slick and responsive.
Unlike the Transformer, there was no noticeable keyboard lag when using the physical keyboard in the web browser.
Also, the Slider reverts to a software keyboard when in the closed position. It’s hard to know why you’d choose the virtual keyboard over the physical one, but it’s good to know you’re options are not limited.
Complaints arise when it comes to design however.
Initial impressions are that it lacks the robustness of the Transformer. It’s lighter in weight and the sound produced when tapped with the knuckles is also quite hollow, indicating the chassis is not as dense.
Opening the tablet to reveal the keyboard pushes all the weight of the touchscreen to the back of the unit, and makes the Slider very top heavy. The uneven weight balance means you’ll be most comfortable locating the Slider on a desk or lap, rather than using it in your hands.
The hinge between the keyboard and touchscreen components allows only a single angle of view, so you cannot adjust the display back or forwards to compensate for different lighting conditions or seating heights.
You’ll also need both hands to open the Slider and access its keyboard. This might be quibbling, but the Bluetooth keyboard cases we’ve used another Android and iOS tables need only one hand.
Integrating a keyboard into a tablet while still hitting a competitive price point obviously involves some compromises, and it’s in the materials that Asus has cut costs on the Slider.
As an exercise in providing an all-in-one keyboard/tablet solution the Slider is, however, a success.
Value for money
Reader Rating0 Votes
Nicely tactile keyboard; Clever slider mechanism; Responsive; Physical keyboard automatically reverts to virtual keyboard when closed;
Screen angle cannot be adjusted; Feels very plasticy;