Asus Eee PC Slider SL101 Review
Asus’ other tablet, the Eee PC Slider SL101, will officially launch on Friday, September 30. We had a couple of weeks with it along with the Transformer. See our full review of the Asus Eee PC Slider SL101 after the break.
With the over dozens of Android tablets available in the market, the Asus Slider is the first one have a built-in, slide-out qwerty keyboard.
As such, it’s a bit chunkier at 17.3mm â€” very thick for a tablet but still thinner than most netbooks out there. That being said, it’s also obvious this tablet is much heavier than any other Honeycomb device we’ve seen or reviewed. The keyboard slides out from the back side, anchored by a large, metal hinge and a strip of data cable.
The Slider has a bit of an odd shape, straight on the top & bottom and curvy on the sides, and has all the needed ports — HDMI, microSD for storage expansion and USB.
The full qwerty keyboard slides out from the back and forms a stand for the display at around 30-45 degrees. There’s not much room on the keyboard, with the small chiclet-type keys, which is a little cramped but is comparatively as much as what you’d get on a 10-inch netbook.
Typing feels a little odd because of the absence of the palm rest but it’s definitely usable for the most part.
Aside from the physical keyboard, you can also use the virtual qwerty keyboard.
In sitting position, the angle of the display is perfect for watching movies. Display is bright and crisp with rich and vivid colors. The screen resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) is just right and viewing angles are very wide — all thanks to the IPS display. However, you’d notice the glare and reflection will hinder you to use the tablet in the outdoors (much like any other tablet out there).
Video playback at 1080p is smooth and flawless, YouTube HD streams well without noticeable choppiness and sound quality is decent, but not very loud.
With the Asus Slider, you get a combination of a full-sized USB 2.0 port and a mini-HDMI port most other tablets don’t have. That means you can attach and external storage, a mouse or even a 3G dongle (with the right drivers, of course).
Since the tablet is powered by an NVidia Tegra 2 chip, playing HD games is great on the Slider. You can download hi-def games from TegraZone to get the most out of the tablet’s performance. The over-all weight of tablet makes it a little cumbersome and tiresome to hold and enjoy gaming for prolonged periods of time.
Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 specs:
10.1â€³ LED IPS display @ 1280Ã—800 pixels
NVidia Tegra 2 1.0GHz processor
16GB & 32GB internal storage
WiFi 80211 b/g/n
5MP rear camera
1.2MP front-facing camera
25Wh Li-Po battery, up to 8 hours
Android 3.1 Honeycomb
The Slider runs on Android Honeycomb and brings with it all the goodness of the thousands of apps available in the Android Market. With the Tegra 2 chip, you also gain access to Nvidia TegraZone which offers a number of HD games to download and play on the tablet.
The 5-megapixel rear camera on the tablet takes decent still and good 720p HD videos though they’re not as great as the one on the BlackBerry Playbook. I’d say it’s on par with the one on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Transformer.
Battery life on the Asus Slider is good, but not as impressive as the one on the Asus Transformer. I’m able to get around 7 to 8 hours on video playback after a full charge.
The Slider also came with this really nice leather and suede carrying case.
Over-all performance on the Asus Slider is actually very good — very responsive, handles multi-tasking really well, has tons of apps from Android Market and great HD games on TegraZone, wider selection of connection ports and a usable keyboard.
I’m not very sold to the idea of a built-in keyboard though, unlike the Asus Transformer that’s removable, and it doesn’t offer much value to the tablet as a whole. I was hoping that the additional hardware space would allow for more area for the battery, thereby matching the awesome longevity of the Asus Transformer.
Asus Philippines is supposed to launch the Slider SL101 this afternoon but eventually postponed it due to the typhoon. As such, I am not able to get the exact release date and suggested retail price in time for publication of this review. I am told though by one Asus rep before that the Slider will be priced under Php30k or below the SRP of the Transformer with the Dock (which means somewhere in the Php25k to Php28k).
Updated: The suggested retail price has been pegged at Php26,995.