While not exactly a docking station, this is clearly more than just a keyboard. It comes with:
- USB 2.0 port
- full size SD port to complement the tablet's own microSD
- charger port on the left side but no actual charger
- extra integrated battery pack to power the tablet
The keyboard attaches itself to the Transformer tablet and, once attached, the 2 are fully integrated. The keyboard's battery adds to tablet's to allow for about 16 hours of playtime. The Transformer 'sees' the keyboard SD and USB ports and, once something is attached, the OS adds the proper buttons to the tablet's screen. With a 32GB SD card on keyboard's slot you get quite a bit of storage. Even better, the 2 battery packs will easily power a USB-attached HDD for hundreds of GB of storage.
The touchpad produces a mouse pointer on the screen. Tapping emulates mouse clicks. If you are typing you can turn off the touchpad's input.
Of course, all these extra goodies are available for as long as the keyboard stays attached.
Anyone used to tablet-size keyboards should feel comfortable with this one. Probably more comfortable because this is a well made keyboard and, of course, because it comes with the touchpad. The keyboard comes with dedicated buttons to open up the browser, for settings, brightness and volume control and for locking/unlocking the screen.
This is not a 'cheap' keyboard in any way. It's quite expensive but it comes with enough features (battery, ports, touchpad) to make it well worth it IF you are planning to use the tablet with the keyboard. And, even if you don't, its extra battery pack and its ability to connect with USB devices still makes it well worth the expense.
I am very pleased with our Transformer and the keyboard/dock makes it an even better device.
on January 15, 2012
If you are traveling with your Transformer Prime this is a must-have accessory. The keyboard is a perfect match for your tablet, it feels just like the back of the TF Prime, and it is as well made as the tablet itself. The keys are very comfortable to type with given the size of the keyboard, and they are spill & crumb resistant. The keyboard dock add 6 hours of battery life, can act like a stand for holding up your tablet, adds a full USB port and full SD Card slot and of course makes it significantly easier to type on. It also adds hardware keys for most tablet settings such as screen brightness, wifi toggle, volume, video playback and other controls. The keyboard will also protect the screen when traveling with the tablet in your bag or whatnot.
The only negatives I have to say about the keyboard dock are minor.
The most annoying (for me) is that the trackpad is set to "tap to click" so I keep accidentally selecting items while navigating with the track pad. Currently there is no way to turn off this setting, however there is a keyboard button to disable the trackpad itself if you want to use a normal USB mouse, which works perfectly with no drivers.
The second minor irritation is that the keyboard is lighter than the tablet itself so if you are are using the keyboard on your lap or another uneven surface the tablet will tend to fall backwards unless you keep your hands on the keyboard.
All in all this dock is an amazing addition to the Transformer Prime tablet and if you have the tablet I would definitely recommend this accessory over any other.
on January 12, 2012
Before buying this I was not sure I would find it that useful. But I bought it anyway because it looked cool. I have been very pleasantly surprised. It's a very nice little keyboard and totally transforms the machine (as advertised!). It has a good trackpad and a slightly stiff chiclet feel, and lots of useful dedicated function keys. The layout is very similar to a standard PC keyboard - it's not another unfamiliar layout like all of the onscreen Android keyboards are. I have been impressed by the attention to detail (which may be to Google's credit or to Asus's - not sure) - e.g. CTRL + backspace does a forward delete; the search key is placed to the left of the space bar and functions like the Windows key in that you can press it and type to launch an app or search.
My only criticisms are relatively minor: there is no "wake" key on the keyboard so you still have to use the one above the screen, the lock key is close to the backspace key so you can accidentally lock your screen while typing, and the left shift key is small and takes a bit of getting used to.
Overall I'd recommend this strongly to anyone with a Prime, especially as it contains a second battery that significantly extends your (already excellent) battery life.
on July 26, 2012
First, let me start by saying that I'm not using this dock with the Transformer Prime TF201. I'm using it with the Transformer Infinity TF700. I had read several reviews on the Infinity before buying it and they all said that A) The Infinity works with the Prime dock and B) The Prime dock has a larger battery than the Infinity dock.
Everything on this dock works perfectly with the Infinity. Keyboard, sd slot, usb port, charging, trackpad...everything. It's a little bit tighter of a fit than it is with the Prime but really, all it means is that there's less play between the dock and tablet and you have to manually slide the lock all the way over...no big deal.
The keyboard itself is better than most netbook and all folio-style tablet keyboards I've ever used. The only one that beats it, in my opinion is the keyboard on the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t net-vertible (10.1" Windows 7 tablet pc.) Probably mostly because I've used it so much as to become quite comfortable with it. I've only had this dock for a few days but I'm happily using it to write this review, along with the review I just did on my Infinity.
Bottom Line: Considering the fact that this dock has a larger battery AND is about $50 less expensive than the Infinity dock, I'd say it's the definition of "win-win."
P.S. I've seen several complaints about hitting the trackpad when trying to type. In the top row of keys, fourth from the left is a button to disable/enable the trackpad. Use it and save yourself some frustration. This thing's got a touchscreen...no need for a trackpad. If you really like the trackpad, just get used to turning it on when you need/want it.
on March 14, 2012
I have had my ASUS Transformer Prime TF201-B1-GR Eee Pad 10.1-Inch 32GB Tablet (Amethyst Gray) and Mobile Dock for 3 weeks now. To start off I must say that I am completely impressed with the entire product and would give it the highest rating possible. I suggest any consumer do their own research and find the best product for their situation. My research pointed to this setup and it has not disappointed.
When unboxing the mobile dock you will notice how firm and weighty it is. This is not a cheap plastic bluetooth keyboard. It has the same finish and feel as the Transformer Prime. However, while feeling sturdy and weighty, it is not heavy. Obviously it adds increased weight to the over all unit, but the functionality far outweighs the increase in actual weight.
The chiclet keys are large and easy to hit, with good tactile feedback. Obviously, this keyboard is much smaller than a standard desktop or laptop keyboard, but with a bit of practice the well designed keys are easy to hit. The mouse pad blends well into the design, and feels strong, not flimsy.
One of my biggest concerns when I first purchased the Mobile Dock was how well the dock would connect to the tablet. The connection is quite strong and well designed so that a misalignment is hard. I have disconnected the tablet many times (sometimes, you just don't need the dock) and the connection has not become loose at all. It fits firmly and snugly, and I believe it will continue to do so for the life of the product. Also, when connected to the tablet, it folds up nicely, laptop style, into a streamline thin unit.
This is far more than an "addon" tablet keyboard. First, this comes with a row of tablet specific keys used for different tablet functionality. With a bit of practice these keys are a huge value for speeding up your interaction with the tablet. Also the keys that were chosen were well thought out. I think the only downside I have seen so far is that "lock and sleep" button on the far right hand side of the keyboard, right above the backspace key. This was problematic in the beginning but I have since gotten used to it.
The Mobile Dock also comes with a full sized USB port, a full sized SD card slot and a location for charging. The location for charging is essential because with the tablet docked, you cannot use the standard charging or connection port. The real win here is the full sized USB port and SD card slot. With the SD card slot you can quickly and inexpensively increase your storage indefinitely. So far the tablet has picked up and made available every SD card I have put into it. You can increase the storage with the full sized USB as well. But I have found that USB slot far more useful for moving files between my numerous computers and my tablet.
One of the most well advertised features of the Mobile Dock is also the one feature I think about the least: the extended battery life. Why don't I think about this very useful feature? Simple, with the extended battery I have never run out of power, even while constantly watching movies and playing NetFlix all day long. With HD movies, you can literally go almost 18 hours without any sort of charge at all. Another neat feature of this Mobile Dock is, when you plug in the tablet, the Mobile Dock recharges the tablet battery. This means if you need to undock again and you were running low on power, you will be recharged in a matter of minutes by docking.
Over all if you are planning to buy a tablet, take a look at the Asus Transformer Prime with its Mobile Dock. I think the construction, added functionality and superb battery life added by the Mobile Dock is well worth the price tag. It quite literally turns a fun and fast tablet into a productivity beast.
If you already own an Asus Transformer Prime but have not taken the plunge into buying the Mobile Dock, you are missing out on increased functionality and productivity. You won't regret your purchase at all. I know it has been well worth it for me.
on February 1, 2012
This is probably the main reason I got the prime and what sets it apart from any other tablet on the market right now. No other tablet including the iPad has a keyboard dock that offers so much all in one device. This keyboard dock increases battery life by additional 6 hours and since it's not Bluetooth like just about every other keyboard it doesn't drain the tablets battery it enhances it. An addition to being a keyboard, battery this dock also provides extra inputs to the prime for added functionality and versatility. The dock has a full size USB port and sd card slot. USB port allows you to connect just about any USB device including hard drives, USB flash drives, gaming controllers, etc.
I found the keyboard very easy to type on once my fingers got used to where all the keys were. One complaint is some of the function keys like the menu key, home and search weren't placed in a very easy to find location. These function keys in my opinion should all be placed together in the top line of keys were some of the other function keys are located. Also it's very hard to type without waking up the touch pad and it affecting your typing. The touch pad does have a on and off switch but does get tedious switching on and off when you want to type. Maybe they could incorporate some kind of auto off for the touch pad so when your typing it doesn't get accidentally pressed. Another option is to make the dock bigger and space out the keyboard further away from the touchpad. That brings me to my other gripe the keyboard is way too light and this causes the prime when docked with keyboard to be top heavy. If your not careful the whole thing will tip over if pushed too far back. The keyboard dock also lacks a app switcher button. It does have just about every single key you can think of or would need.
Last but not least the keyboard dock doesn't come with its own charger. Not even a simple USB charger cable. I know that your suppose to use the charger included with the prime and that you can charge both the prime and keyboard together but still for $150 I want an extra charger is that too much to ask? The keyboard could also use it's own power switch and a better battery indicator. I find the tiny led lights not very easy to gauge battery status. A small battery indicator on the keyboard in a led screen form would be better. This way I wouldn't have dock the prime to see the exact battery level.
I have to say I am totally jealous of prime users getting a dock like this. iPad users will probably never get a non Bluetooth keyboard like this.
on April 2, 2012
Purchased this product from another online retailer. All the third party sellers here want to over charge for this. I also bought the grey version, but I've heard that the Champaign colored one is only tinted, like looking at Champaign in a clear glass, not golden like some pictures indicate.
The keyboard dock is very light, significantly lighter than the tablet. It almost feels like it should weigh more. Asus Just updated the firmware to support Ethernet adapters via USB (30 March 2012), so you can use it with a wired network if you buy an Ethernet over USB adapter. The 'chicklet' keyboard is like what you'll find on most netbooks, but the keys have a solid click to them and they feel lightly padded at the end of the stroke, plus it's pretty quite. Not counting the hinge, the dock is just barely thinner than the tablet at it's thickest part, but much thinner at the front edge.
- It's almost too light to support the tablet on a hard surface, forget about it being stable in the fully open position on bed or comforter.
- A multi-card reader would be good for other people, I'm a die-hard SD card fan myself. Besides, there's USB support!
-The lock button gets hit on accident sometimes, it be better if it were separated from the keyboard keys.
- The USB connector has limited support: mouse, keyboard, external storage (i.e. HDD, flash) and Ethernet adapters to name a few. No printer support that I know of (Android, aka Linux, uses drivers differently than Windows, so you can't use Windows drivers for it)
- It has a spare battery that it uses to extend the tablet's battery when the state of charge for each is at certain ratios. It makes the tablet's battery last longer.
- There's a USB connector that you can use for external storage, like a 1 TB HDD or a thumb drive.
- There's a SD card slot so you can add an additional 128GB of storage or just 64GB. (deal of the day for 02April'12: Class 10 64GB San Disc SD card ~$58, I bought two of 'em!).
- When all four rubber feet are in contact with a clean, hard surface, it doesn't slide very easily!
- It ha just about every short-cut key you'd want, WiFi & Bluetooth on/off, brightness up/down/auto, volume, system settings, browser and screen capture! Would be nice if there was a recent apps or contextual key.
Things to keep in mind:
- The dock does not come with it's own charger, you'll have to use the one that came with the tablet or buy a second one for about $50. Also, the dock will not charge the tablet via the USB connection, it's only USB 2.0, the dock and tablet both require a USB 3.0 connection to support charging.
- The keyboard doesn't keep your tablet's battery topped up like it's plugged in. Instead it provides a charge to the tablet whenever it gets below a certain level of charge. It keeps a higher state of charge if it's plugged in to AC power, but works the same way.
- While running the tablet in performance mode using ooVoo and some other apps with the screen in Super IPS + mode my dock battery drained to 20% very quickly (2.5 to 3 hours on the very first charge, keep in mind that lithium batteries get better before they get worse). Good news is that my tablet was sitting at about 70% charged after that!
- There's two little rubber plugs that are inserted into the bottom of the tablet. If you lay it down face up above your keyboard you'll see that these line up with some locking clips inside the hinge on the keyboard dock. Those rubber plugs need to be removed before attempting to insert the tablet. You can take them out with jeweler's screw driver or if you wanna McGyver it, use the latch on your watch band, if you wear a sports watch. They pull straight out the bottom of the tablet and are almost 1/2 inch deep. When you insert the tablet to the dock you'll hear a distinctive click and the little chrome latch will be resting at the far right of the slide.
- If you have a SD card inserted in the dock, make sure you safely remove it before you un-dock the tablet, same goes for any USB storage devices.
on July 27, 2012
There was quite a bit of confusion regarding forwards compatibility of this item (perhaps intentional on the part of Asus to drive sales of a more expensive dock?), but I can confirm this works just fine with the Asus Tranformer Infinity TF700. No wiggling/loose fit here. The color of the metal even matches, though the Infinity has a neat-o swirl pattern that the dock does not. I agree with others: disable the touchpad unless you absolutely have to use it. On a tablet like this, it's really next to useless.
on January 27, 2012
Purchased from another vendor (...EGG) as Amazon really dropped the ball in obtaining the new Prime line from Asus. Sealed box, brand new. Two major defects on the keypad. One is a raised crease and the other 1" over is a line crease in the mousepad. The plastic cover it comes in was fine along with the box. No doubt this was a factory defect that skipped any quality control Asus has in place.
Compared to my older Transformer Prime keypad this is a sleeker, skinnier up front/same thickness in the rear like a wedge, nicer looking keypad. Lighter with nice tactile key feedback. It is also narrower by 3/8"
Battery life is extremely good at over 16hrs, along with the spare full size SD card slot (note: not micro like the tablet). So essentially 64gb tablet +32gb micro +32gb dock =128gb of memory with a possible 196gb with the recently introduced 64gb micro cards, or even further if you use a 128gb SD card in the dock.
Though it has one available USB, the original Transformer keypad had two available ports. Additionally, while the original keypad had covers which popped out and remained attached, this keyboard has a rubber plug which you remove to lose.
Beyond the obvious factory defect this is a very nice keyboard, hopefully Asus is committed to quality and not quantity. I ended up returning back to the vendor (...EGG) and of course I lost paid shipping charges to and from for taking a 'risk' in purchasing from them which explains why I generally buy everything from Amazon.
Additionally, a standard PS3 controller is plug and play in this dock allowing for easy gameplay of hits such as Shadowgun,etc. No ROM, hacks, etc, Just plug it on and your set. Additionally the PS3 controller will work with the Prime over BLuetooth now anyhow.
EDIT: I returned the original unit to the 'EGG' and of course they did not have a replacement so they gave me a refund minus my shipping fees which I am out of. Bought another keyboard from a local store (BB) and you know what? A 1.5" minor defect on the mousepad. So 0 for 2 Asus. I'm going to keep this for a couple of weeks until they get in some more. Great keyboard, but if your expectations are high, you might be disappointed. After some time I was able to purchase a perfect example elsewhere.
EDIT: Purchased another from Amazon for my upcoming TF700 Infinity tablet. Yep, warped touchpad. Wow. Returned.
on May 25, 2012
I am frustrated with Asus beyond words. The mobile dock does interface properly with my pad and does not charge. After 2 long and frustrating phone calls with Asus tech support (everyone should be aware it is in India), I had no other choice but to ship the product to their service center in Texas at my expense. With insurance that was $21. From what I read online, I may get a refurbished Pad back. From top to bottom, Asus support is terrible. I have been sent emails asking for my experience and whether my issue was resolved, with no response. Needless to say, i will never buy another Asus product again.