Life With a Tablet – a Month with the Asus Transformer

August 2, 2011
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I was once like most people out there, pondering over whether or not I should purchase a tablet. Do I need it? What can I use it for? Will I get bored with it? All these questions floated through my mind before I purchased the highly praised Asus Eee Pad transformer 32gb Android tablet. I settled on the Transformer because of the great specs, excellent reviews and great price point. The Transformer is my 2nd tablet, as I owned an original iPad for about a week and then promptly sold it due to it not having flash. I felt handicapped with the iPad, and for what reason? A possible theory I’ve heard is that Apple doesn’t want flash because they want people to purchase videos/media from the iTunes store. Who knows the real reason, there are multiple theories, but I’ve yet to hear one that makes any sense.

I swore off tablets after my negative experience with the iPad. I figured it was just a matter of time before someone would come out with a tablet that actually wasn’t handicapped. Sure enough, a year later I got caught up in the Android tablet buzz that began spreading on the internet. The unveiling of Honeycomb peaked my interest, and I began researching the best Android tablets to see where I could get the best bang for my buck. The Asus Transformer spoke to me,¬†and so my month long journey with the transformer began.

Week 1

My first impressions of the Transformer were fairly positive, and it’s a nice sleek, professional looking device, and I immediately liked the metallic look of the back face. The feel on the other hand I wasn’t so impressed with, it felt a bit undurable, and kind of cheap.

First things first after opening the device i had to dress it up, a screen protector is a must for a tablet so picked up that, I then needed to get a case, I went online to review my options and didnt find many options, the best option was the stock Asus case.

The case is OK, it has some pros and cons, the pros being that it functions well, I’m able to turn the case into a stand, it is sleek and subtle and protects the Transformer well. The cons being that the material is cheap and it marks up easy.

Once the tablet was protected it was time to get down to business, apps, apps and more apps. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Android Market in terms of how many tablet-Honeycomb optimized apps were available. To my pleasant surprise nearly all the popular apps were tablet optimized, and I quickly filled up my screen downloading all the most popular apps. The Android Market felt like it was under construction though, the lack of¬†organization¬†and weak review system made me feel a bit blind when getting my apps. I really wish they would have an Amazon style review system where I could see the most helpful positive and negative reviews. I’m sure this will come in due time, as Google is, after all, THE MAN.

After my download frenzy was complete I decided to explore some of the new honeycomb features, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I could customize.

Week 1 ended with me loving my purchase, I was still in tablet heaven, but I knew just like a child with a toy there might come a time when I get bored of my new toy. So my review for Android Authority had to be put on hold until I knew if this whole new device would end up being a fad or would become a full time tool added to my technology tool-belt.

Week 2 and 3

The new car syndrome wore off a bit after week 1, I no longer carefully placed my transformer down, not as much babying, the odd toss on the couch was beginning to become habitual. The love for my device did not wear off though, infact it grew as I began to explore all the possibilities that having a tablet could add to my life. Mornings began with me lounging around breakfast browsing through emails and catching up on all the news with my RSS feeds using the Pulse app which is a thing of beauty on a tablet. Already I felt ahead of the game, and you really do save a lot of time reading on a tablet, as it just works. After morning the tablet gets put away and I jump on my laptop to begin work running Android Authority.

I want to let you know that for most people a tablet will not replace your desktop-laptop. If you just browse Facebook, and check news and email, then a tablet can be enough; but, if you are a power user using the internet for more then just pleasure you need more then a tablet.

Being a webmaster I always have to be connected, normally I always brought my lappy with me, but I found myself leaving the laptop at home and bringing the tablet on the road.

Off the bat, you get COOL points for just sporting a tablet, you look like you’re in the know,as onlookers always look on in curiosity as they try to make sense of this new type of device. Kind of like maybe how people first felt when first they saw cell phones in the 80s, you get the feeling people know this is a device of the future and that they’re trying to make sense of it.

The Transformer is¬†WiFi¬†only, so its not always connected to the internet unless I make it so. I make it connected by creating a mobile access point from my 3g Samsung galaxy s, giving me access when and where I want it. If you don’t have a 3g phone, not a problem, as the¬†WiFi¬†is excellent on the Transformer and it picks up signals beautifully. Just walking through a busy business district I hear my tablet notify me that new email has arrived, it picks up open signals and automically syncs my Gmail.

My love for my Asus Transformer reached new heights when I discovered the holy grail of bookstores, Amazon Kindle. I loved the tablet before, but Kindle made me adore the transformer. I was able to purchase books at cheaper prices, have them all stored on my tablet and have the luxury of choosing what I wanted to read when I wanted to. Not only did I become a walking book store I also possessed an invisible¬†highlighter,notepad and dictionary with me at all times. With the Amazon Kindle app I’m able to highlight,take notes and look up words with the built I dictionary.

Week 2 and 3 ended with me feeling very happy with my purchase and looking forward to a long productive future with the time saving transformer tablet.

Week 4.

By now I have become comfortable with my tablet, the first few days you just felt a bit awkward as you didn’t know how to do everything. My daily use of the tablet continues, squashing my fear that my tablet was just a toy that would end up sitting on my desk collecting dust. Its now in my tool-belt and used daily to help me live a more productive life.

By now my tablet is used as my news reader, book store, calendar, notepad, backgammon & chess board and…

Workstation, this article was written on my transformer sitting at¬†McDonald’s, using free WiFi and sipping on half decent black coffee.

If I have any advice to give to all you who are sitting on the tablet purchase fence is to ask yourself how it will fit into your life? As I stated earlier in this article, tablets aren’t for everyone, if you are a business owner I would say a tablet is a must, if you are a casual internet user then seriously ask yourself is a tablet really necessary? Maybe a smartphone will do the job.

For the adventurous type why not take a tablet for a test drive, pick one up and see how it fits into your life. After all, if things don’t work out, sell it on craigslist or ebay and eat the $50-$100 it’ll cost you to test it out.

Be sure to checkout some our tablet comparisons, Asus Transformer vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Asus Transformer vs. Motorola Xoom, Asus Transformer vs. Acer Iconia a500 or get yourself briefed on the best Android tablets of 2011.

Have experience with a tablet? Be sure to share your thoughts with the world below in the comments.

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