An Excellent Business Ultraportable
As a tablet, the Transformer Prime stands out for its capability to juggle a large number of tasks and still feel fast. When paired with the mobile dock, the tablet transforms into a highly functional, ultraportable device. As outlined earlier, you can easily use a USB dongle to add a wireless mouse to speed up tasks such as browsing the Web. In addition, a photographer can also tap into the built-in SD card reader to move photos over to a USB flash drive or to the tablet’s micro-SD memory card.
Though not a full-sized keyboard, the Chiclet-style keys on the mobile dock allows unencumbered typing. As such, it is entirely possible to do productive work on the Transformer Prime, especially given its astounding battery life of 18 hours when used with the mobile dock. And though we would prefer a matt screen for work, the glossy display looks great and will probably appeal to most people.
On the downside, the slew of ultraportable laptops on the market, as well as the many new Ultrabooks due to be released in the coming months means that the Asus Transformer Prime may see its weight and battery life advantage eroded.
Moreover, the Transformer Prime with the mobile dock stacks up at a comparatively hefty 2.47 pounds, which is heavier than Apple’s 11-inch MacBook Air. When viewed in that context, the Android 4.0-based Transformer Prime is a couple of steps behind the sheer flexibility that a full-fledged desktop computer affords.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime with the mobile dock is among the fastest and most full-featured tablet on the market today. Much of it has to do with the mobile dock that Asus designed specifically for the tablet. As it is, small and mid-sized businesses looking to deploy Android tablets to their workforce --and who requires a keyboard for quick data entry --- will definitely want to shell out the $150 for the mobile dock.
Even without the dock, the $500 Transformer Prime is an impressive device that epitomizes the best hardware capabilities available today. And that hardware comes packed into a device that is both slimmer and lighter than the new iPad, includes a fast quad-core processor, a brilliant 10.1-inch display and a solid 12 hours battery life (When used without the mobile dock).
Coupled with the small but significant improvements in Ice Cream Sandwich, it is the must-have tablet for small businesses that prefer Android mobile devices.
Paul Mah covers technology for SMBs for Small Business Computing and for IT Business Edge. He also shares his passion for and knowledge of everything from networking to operating systems as an instructor at Republic Polytechnic in Singapore, and is a contributor to a number of tech sites, including Ars Technica and TechRepublic.
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