Asus Eee Pad Slider (SL101) Review

  • price

    ₹50,000.00

  • tech2 rating

    4/5

  • user rating

    3.5/5

The most obvious reason one might buy a netbook instead of a tablet today is that there’s just no substitute for a real keyboard. Accessory makers have been selling Bluetooth keyboards and dock-like contraptions for a while now, but these aren’t the most comfortable or convenient to use. Sensing an opportunity in a market full of similar-looking iPad clones, Asus has developed the first Android tablet with a truly integrated keyboard.

Large and usable 10-inch screen

Large and usable 10-inch screen

 

 

Like with the Eee Pad Transformer before it, Asus seems to have applied some thought to producing tablets which genuinely stand out. Unlike most of its competition, the Slider is by no means a sleek device. It’s over twice as thick as an iPad 2 and weighs quite a bit more too, so it isn’t going to win over those who love the idea of travelling only with a single, ultralight gadget. What we have here is a device that’s a step or two down from the average netbook—smaller and lighter, but also a lot less flexible. 

Full fledged keyboard

Full fledged keyboard

 

 

Hardware

At 0.9kg, the Eee Pad Slider weighs at least a few hundred grams more than most 10-inch tablets, and is at least twice as thick. It’s also a lot wider, which allows for a decent-sized keyboard, but results in a thick black bezel around the screen. The front camera is positioned along the wide edge, so it’s on top when the Slider is open, but the rear camera is placed on what is effectively the device’s bottom, making it difficult to use and vulnerable to scratches. The sliding mechanism, as well as the arm that holds the two parts together when open, are both reassuringly solid. It doesn’t take much effort to open or close the Slider, but the screen angle is not adjustable at all, which could cause some inconvenience if your overhead lights reflect off the glossy screen too much.

 

The keyboard is of course the Slider’s raison d’être, and it is in fact a lot better than many netbook keyboards. The five full rows of chiclet keys are well spaced, and are a pleasure to type on. Everything is in the right place, most common shortcuts work as expected, and you even have keys mapped to Android’s Home, Back and Search buttons. Capitalizing on its physical width, the Slider includes reasonably loud stereo speakers, a USB host port, mini HDMI video out and an easily accessible microSD card slot. The USB port can be used to connect a hard drive, pen drive, mouse, or even an external keyboard if you choose to. The only thing missing is an easily accessible rotation lock switch.

It's quite a looker too

It's quite a looker too

 

 

The Slider’s screen is bright and crisp, and the 16:10 aspect ratio ensures enough space both for watching movies and for getting work done. Unfortunately there’s no built-in pointing device, which became a minor irritant each time we instinctively reached for a mouse or trackpad while using the Slider with its keyboard out. The CPU is a fairly standard 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra2, which is more than enough for most applications, including gaming. The rear camera takes far too long to autofocus, and images are disappointingly grainy. Then again we can’t imagine holding up a tablet and shooting photos with it very often.

 

The battery lasted for just over a day of moderate web surfing, video playback and PDF browsing which is impressive, but the bottom half did get hot enough to become uncomfortable on the lap during use.

 

Folding screen design that makes the tablet compact

Folding screen design that makes the tablet compact

 

 

Software

Our review unit came running Android 3.1, though the official specs list 3.2 as standard. Asus hasn’t carried out much customization, apart from a new default on-screen keyboard that takes up much more screen space, but is easier to use. Noteworthy apps include Amazon Kindle for ebooks; Polaris Office, which can read and edit MS Office formats; augmented reality tool Layar; and MyNet, which lets you browse shared media files over Wi-Fi. The usual suite of Google apps, including Maps, Latitude, Gmail and YouTube are of course available, as is an Nvidia app called TegraZone, which lists a number of games that are available for you to buy. All apps ran smoothly, and we had no problems multitasking even with 5–10 apps open in the background. The Android ecosystem still has a long way to go when it comes to immediate user friendliness, so we hope to see over-the-air upgrades to future versions of the operating system as and when they are released.

ASUS' unique design on the Eee Pad SL101 tablet

ASUS' unique design on the Eee Pad SL101 tablet

 

 

Verdict

Having a mouse, keyboard and proper file management functionality set the Slider apart from other tablets. At least in terms of mobile productivity, this puts it head and shoulders above any combination of iPad apps and accessories, at a fairly competitive price. With a price tag of Rs. 39,000 (for the 16GB edition) however, you end up with a device that’s still way more expensive than virtually any netbooks out there and could be considered just as heavy and bulky.

 

The Slider won’t give you the benefits of running Windows and all your usual programs on standard PC hardware, but it might offer a better balance of battery life and flexibility between work and play. Asus’ other tablet offering, the Eee Pad Transformer, is also a strong alternative because it lets you ditch the keyboard when it isn’t needed and carry just the tablet around, to save space and reduce weight. Still, at this price, you could get a pretty capable thin-and-light laptop—Intel-powered ultrabooks have already started hitting the market at around Rs. 50,000. The Eee Pad Slider is a unique device that bridges two worlds, but it’s hard to see it as the best choice for anyone, no matter whether they’re looking for a tool for work or a gadget for fun.


Specifications

You can easily record and share every moment of your life, anytime and anywhere: The built-in QWERTY keyboard offers a much more comfortable typing experience. The Eee Pad Slider provides intuitive tablet usage while simulating a laptop-like user experience that people are more familiar with. Easily change your Eee Pad Slider from a tablet to a notebook with just one slide. With 16/32GB eMMc, MicroSD Card Reader, USB port, and ASUS WebStorage (unlimited one year service), you can store and share your data anytime and anywhere. Yes, we built a mini-cinema to put right into your hands. Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, the Eee Pad Slider browses the web and plays HD video with blazing speeds. The snappier response time and better multi-tasking performance make the Slider a true mobile entertainment powerhouse. Built-in SRS Sound technology provides a dynamic audio experience, with maximum bass response. An IPS panel made from durable and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass is viewable at angles up to 178 Degree, and produces crisper and more accurate color range - by up to 50% - when compared to other tablets in the market. The 1.2MP front camera and 5MP rear camera can shoot and record HD videos, which can then be played in HD right on the Slider. You can also output your videos to HDTVs via the mini-HDMI port for enhanced multimedia experience. Google\'s Android 3.2 Honeycomb(4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgradable) is a revolutionary operating system specially designed and optimized for tablets, and gives users the full web experience on-the-go. Supporting Adobe Flash and the ever-growing Android Market, entertainment is just a finger swipe away. Preloaded Polaris Office 3.0. It is a professional mobile office solution which enables users to edit various types of office documents including documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) and presentation (.ppt) files, making the Eee Pad Slider very attractive for professional use. In addition, the ultra-convenient ASUS WebStorage with one year of unlimited storage space provides worry-free cloud computing. In addition to the music and videos provided in MyCloud, the Eee Pad Slider also offers accessibility to purchase newspaper from Press reader, magazines from Zinio, and books from Amazon Kindle. With the Eee Pad Slider, you no longer need to carry heavy books and papers with you.

Screen

Screen Size 10.1
Screen Resolution (pixels) 1280 x 800
Screen Type LED Backlight WXGA

Memory

Internal Storage 1GB
Capacity (Card) 16GB
Upgradeable Upto Yes

Camera

Megapixel 5MP
Front facing camera 1.2MP
Integrated Flash Adobe Flash

Sound

Speaker Yes, High Quality Speaker, Supreme SRS Sound
Audio connector Yes

Connectivity

Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth (Version) 2.1 + EDR
Wi-Fi Yes
WiFi (802.11b/g/n) 802.11 b/g/n
USB 1 x USB 2.0

Software

OS Android
Version 3.1

Hardware

Processor NVIDIA Tegra 2
Speed 1GHz

GPS

GPS Yes

Battery

Type Li-Ion
Standby Time 8 hrs

Dimensions

Dimensions (H x W x D) 273 x 180.3 x 17.3 mm
Weight (g) 960

Miscellaneous Features

Bundled Apps ASUS Launcher|#|MyLibrary|#|MyNet|#|MyCloud|#|File manager|#|Kindle books|#|Zinio Magazine|#|PressReader|#|Polaris Office|#|ASUS sync
Other Features G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-Compass, scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass

After Sales Service

Warranty 1

Published Date: Oct 05, 2011 09:28 am | Updated Date: Oct 05, 2011 09:28 am