Asus first started teasing this tablet hybrid around the time of CES 2011, but the device only hit store shelves in September. I'd planned to get one but I never got around to it. Other, cheaper gadgets caught my attention, and I passed on this one.
But now that I've read a few reviews, I thought it would be interesting to compare the Slider to the Transformer. Much to my surprise, I think the Transformer comes out ahead.
Based on the reviews I would say that performance was generally the same between the 2 tablets. So I'll pass on the software and just look at the hardware difference. I love what Asus has done in customizing the OS on the Transformer, and I would expect that they've done a similar fantastic job on the Slider.
The eeePad Slider is a close relative of the eeePad Transformer, and shares a lot of the same hardware specs. It's running the latest version of Android v3.2 Honeycomb on a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, and it has Wifi, Bluetooth, g-sensor, compass, and a pair of cameras (5MP and 2.1MP).
The keyboard is smaller than on the Transformer, and the Slider also has the speakers moved so they are on the lower chassis behind the screen. According to Brad Linder, that resulted in a muffled sound when the Slider is closed.
Given the design, it's probably no surprise that this is a rather heavy tablet (2.5lbs). All the reviewers noted that, and one commented that it made the Slider heavy enough that it wasn't comfortable to use as a tablet. Unfortunately for Asus, that's not exactly something they could avoid. Both sections of the Slider needed to be structurally strong and still pack in the necessary batteries and other hardware.
BTW, the eeePad Transformer actually weighs more than the Slider (2.8lbs), but of course the Transformer can be undocked. That reduces its weight to 1 pound and a half.
The Slider got between 6 and 8 hours of battery life, depending on who reviewed it. That's less than the Transformer, which usually got around 8 or more hours of runtime from just the tablet. Add the keyboard and the Transformer could get as much as 15 hours of battery life.
Most of the reviewers were pleased with the number of ports and card slots on the Slider, but it actually has less than the Transformer. The Slider has just a USB port, HDMI, and a microSD card slot, while the Transformer also has a second USB port, and an additional SD card slot. Of course, the Transformer has its ports divided between the 2 parts, which means that those who don't have the keyboard are missing out.
The Transformer also wins out in the keyboard department. The Slider's keyboard lacks the trackpad found on the Transformer. A couple of the reviewers reported that it was less than satisfactory, with one reviewer reporting that the keys got stuck, and another commenting that the keys felt cheap and didn't travel deep enough when pressed.
I don't know about you, but I'd call the Slider one of Asus' less successful experiments. It's not only less satisfactory than most tablets, it's also outperformed by another Asus model - two actually, now that the Transformer Prime is now shipping. The Prime is even thinner and more powerful than the original Transformer, so it's definitely a better buy than the Slider.
images via Liliputing