Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101
Android tab with pop-out keyboard? WTF?!?
Review I first laid hands on the Asus Eee Pad Slider back in March and now, after eight long months, it has finally made it onto the shelves of Blighty’s gadget wallahs. Has it been worth the wait though?
Tucked away: Asus' Eee Pad Slider SL101
Let’s start with the reason the Slider is so called. Slip a finger into the crack between the two halves in the top edge and they part to reveal a full keyboard as the screen elevates itself up to a 45 degree angle. Unlike a regular laptop there’s no choice of screen angle - it’s 45 degrees or nothing.
The hinge mechanism may not look particularly robust but it in use it betrays no hint of wobble, flex or strain. The mechanism has enough spring in it to not require a physical locking mechanism – open or shut everything stays in position helped by a couple of small guide hooks.
Given the slip: the slide out keyboard springs into action
The depth of the base and the fact that less than half of the screen overhangs it means there is little chance of the unit toppling back or moving when you touch the screen. In short, it's a rather clever bit of design.
Yet is it a worthwhile bit of design? Without a doubt. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wanted to prop a tablet up rather than hold it yet lacked the requisite stand or a couple of large books to do the job.
The neat hinge arrangement prevents toppling when the touchscreen is used
The Asus Transformer’s excellent 10.1in 1280 x 800 IPS screen has been carried over to the Slider so you get the same robust viewing angles. This is arguably more important on the Slider, since it will spend much of its time in a fixed position on a desk rather than in-hand.
Take a quick shufti around the edges and you will find a full-sized USB 2.0 port, mini HDMI and 3.5mm audio sockets, a micro SD card slot and a docking connector that does duty for both charging and syncing.
Next page: Keyboard skills
Come Back Psion Series 7/Netbook!
no track pad, check - touch screen, check - colour, check, screen half across keyboard, check
I guess 2001 was just too early!
Android is interesting, but can this thing run full-on GNU/Linux?
The legendary folks over at xda-developers have got ubuntu running on the transformer (the slider is very closely related).
The big problem is that nVidia have only released drivers for an out of date version of X and as a bonus they are buggy as an overcrowded ant hill....
It would certainly make it more interesting
The basics probably work, but I've not heard of anyone trying. The main problem is that nVidia haven't seen fit to provide a linux driver for the GPU, so you're left with an unaccelerated framebuffer. If they'd used OMAP 4 it would be another story!
from the author....
@bigphil9009 - it's the built-in reader app. It's called Asus MyLibrary. If it's a re-brand of another ereader app it's not one I'm familiar with. It is very good though.
@ Craig12. H.264/MP4 files will play at 1080p but, MKV, AVI and WMV files will only play at 720p. That's from a combo of MoboPlayer, V Player and the stock video player.
@ jedit. I think you underestimate the potential. I took the Slider down the London for a day of meetings last week and the option to either use it as a regular tablet or set it up on a desk to bash away at my mails came in very handy. It's the first tablet - iOS or Android - I'd actually consider buying because it could earn it's keep at work and replace my netbook.