asus eee pad transformer tf101

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer comes packing the same Tegra 250 chip as the other big hitters in the Android 3.0 world.

Backed up by 1GB RAM, and 16GB and 32GB storage flavours, it's as well-specified as any other tablet we've seen. That storage capacity can be supplemented by taking advantage of the microSD slot in the tablet and the SD card slot in the dock.

It also comes with a 10.1-inch capacitive IPS display at a decent HD resolution of 1280x800, a 5MP rear-firing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

Other hardware features come in the shape of a three-axis accelerometer, gryroscope, wireless N connectivity and a tablet-only battery life of 9.5 hours. There's not yet a 3G version but we believe there's one on the way.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

The Transformer has a proprietary docking connector on the bottom side, which is used to charge the battery, connect to a computer and dock with the keyboard peripheral.

It's a fully-featured keyboard, tailored perfectly to the Android 3.0 operating system. So as well as the QWERTY key layout, you've got hot keys for locking and unlocking the device, adjusting screen brightness, turning Wi-Fi on and off and opening the Android settings menu.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

You've also got a laptop-style trackpad that enables you to use a cursor to browse the Android OS if you so wish.

The keyboard dock is where two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card port reside, so if you buy the cheaper version without the dock, you won't get those features. But the dock is more than just a keyboard and USB port – it has hidden powers, courtesy of its own battery.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

The dock's battery packs in an additional six and a half hours of playtime, meaning that when docked the Eee Pad Transformer can be used for up to 16 hours without the need for a recharge.

What's more, the dock actually passes its charge on to the tablet itself. So when the tablet's not at 100% power the dock will charge it up, providing it has enough juice to do so.

asus eee pad transformer tf101

If both batteries are fully charged, the device will take power from the keyboard first, meaning the tablet always has as much power as possible for when you want to detach it.

With the Android 3.1 update, the Transformer will be able to act as a host for external devices such as digital cameras, further reinforcing this tablet's status as a netbook killer.