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Bought the Transformer Cuz I Thought it Wuz an iPad

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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2011 2:57:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2011 2:58:18 PM PST
OK, sorry for the misleading topic title, but how else to catch a few eyes? ;)

Seriously: I need to rant for a second -- my real point is that Amazon needs to set up TWO review areas for the Transformer: one for people who already own an Android device, and another for Android noobies. IF I READ ANOTHER REVIEW that says "I decided to ditch my Asus cuz it wasn't an iPad" I may lose my mind.

Obviously, each of us has different device needs and different expectations. I just wish everyone who buys an Android device -- the Transformer in particular -- would take a deep breath, set aside their preconceived notions (that it will look, feel, and function like an iPad), and spend a few days getting to know the Transformer.

It is not an iPad. The Android Market is not the Apple App Store. It is not hard to use. Be patient. Be ready to spend some time learning how your device works. It won't bite you. If you love it, it will give you love back.

Just chill, OK? :) And really, there are enough "I returned my Transformer cuz I thought it was an iPad but damn it wuzn't" reviews. If you don't have something truly new and informative to say, then just skip it. For my sanity, please skip it!


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 3:18:15 PM PST
Here! Here!

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 3:23:19 PM PST
Robert, you made my holiday week! I've been waiting days for a response, and worrying that my tone was much too sarcastic. I even contemplated retracting the whole (largely tongue-in-cheek) thing.

The bottom line is I'm extremely happy with the Transformer -- and only ever-so-slightly envious of future Prime owners -- and I get frustrated when new owners judge it unfairly. I guess I'm becoming a fan-boy. :( But looking over recent Transformer reviews here, it seems that there are far more happy owners than otherwise! Something to celebrate I'm sure.

Hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving!


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 5:44:31 AM PST
my3kids says:
Matt, I couldn't agree more! I'm doing research on tablets...why did you choose this one? I like the sd/usb/hdmi ports so I think my options are toshiba, asus, acer...but I'm not sure which one! Any help would be so appreciated!

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 7:50:38 AM PST
I think the three features that were very high on my wish list were: (1) physical keyboard, (2) screen quality, and (3) battery life. Starting in mid-summer, I began by looking at the usual suspects:

- Motorola Xoom: overall nice device, but I was turned off by the fairly heavy feel and noticeably higher price than competitors

- Acer Iconia: fairly nice screen, but compared to the Transformer, it also seemed heavier; several tempting price cuts, but no keyboard was a deal-breaker

- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1: definitely the sexiest of the bunch, and surely a screen to rival the Transfomer's, with a nice keyboard accessory (no stand, though); but to be honest I found it hard to pay a notebook price for a tablet...just too expensive for me

- Toshiba Thrive: still have one in my Amazon cart :) I was impressed by the sdcard and HDMI slots, and really liked the rubber backplate, but again, no keyboard option was discouraging (I'd need to use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard). The two things that tipped the scales away for me were (1) inferior screen quality compared to the Transformer, and (2) the unusual power-brick on the charger (more weight to carry).

- Asus Transformer - given the need for an integrated keyboard, I decided it was either the Transformer or Slider (great comparison here: I was leaning toward the Transformer (I liked that I could detach the keyboard when not needed) and lucked out as Newegg briefly sold the two as a bundle -- I jumped on it.

In the two months or so that I've had the Transformer, I've discovered that I ordered my priorities well. Either I detach it for shorter uses (like an eReader), or fold it up with the keyboard and drop it in a "sleeve" for a day trip. Given that I typically have my DSLR and tablet+keyboard at the same time, I often use the sdcard slot in the keyboard for viewing new photos -- I am ASTONISHED at how fast the photos load, and how fast you can swipe from one to the next. Of course, the outstanding image quality is another major plus. The other thing I'm so pleased to see is that with the backup battery in the keyboard, battery life is head and shoulders above the competition. While I was drawn to the Thrive because it has the sdcard, HDMI, and USB slots in the tablet itself, I've found that having those instead in the Transformer keyboard is really not a disadvantage, at least for me.

Cost-wise, the 16GB Transfomer is $380 and the keyboard is $100 today (11/25) on Amazon. My suspicion -- especially with the Prime coming in the next few weeks -- is that we'll see the Transformer+keyboard around $450, and perhaps as low as $400. If you see the pair at that price, I wouldn't hesitate to pick them up. :)

Hope that helps! Good luck on finding the right device!


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 8:44:51 AM PST
my3kids says:
Matt, that helps tremendously! Although I don't use a DSLR (wish I knew how to use one!), I mostly use my laptop for editing my pics and then making an online digital album. And of course for web surfing and streaming movies/shows. I also want a keyboard as I don't like typing anything more than a text message on a virtual one.
Now what's this prime you're talking about? More research for me..sounds like!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:03:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 9:15:08 AM PST
The Prime is Asus' new Transformer. I think they have two models...32GB for $499 and 64GB for $599. Given that the first-gen Transformer didn't start with a high price and dip over time, I suspect those retail prices on the Prime will stick for a while.

The Prime is definitely a better device -- in particular the quad-core processor, and several other minor improvements. I've felt a little gloomy that I ended up with the first-born of the family, and then realized that it far more than meets my needs. I'm sure when the Transformer 3 is announced next year I'll feel completely inadequate, but for now there isn't any real buyer's remorse!

And for what it's worth I don't know how to use a DSLR either, I just put it in auto and point-and-shoot! ;)

One caveat: the keyboard on the Transformer is a little "spongy": see if you can try one in a BestBuy...the key action is not crisp, and there is sometimes a brief delay between pressing and the letter appearing. For me it's a minor issue, and the moment my fingers touch the keys, they're "calibrated" for that particular keyboard. Since I usual type just email messages (or posts like these) on the tablet it's not a real factor.

There was some speculation that the Prime would work with the first-gen keyboard, but I think that's turned out to be wrong. If so, it's another reason I think we'll see the Transformer+keyboard continue to drop in price this year.


Posted on Nov 25, 2011 9:28:36 AM PST
Bookworm says:
Matt, I got the 32gb transformer and dock separate last night for a total of $450 (350 tab, 100 dock). So you are probably right about the prices. I've been watching for the price to drop since the announcement for prime but they haven't much. I can't wait to get my new toy!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:31:28 AM PST
$350 for the 32GB? Nice find!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:35:09 AM PST
my3kids says:
where?? :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:39:26 AM PST
my3kids says:
Matt, again thanks for the asus sounds like a good choice for me. I have never had anything asus so I know nothing about their product. I saw some specs for prime but it's as if I'm reading Chinese! I guess I'll wait a little bit to read the reviews when it comes out.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:39:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 9:48:17 AM PST
Ah, just spotted it. It's $350 (32GB, not the 16GB) at

EDIT: YIKES, 9:47AM PST and overstock says "only 3 left"! ;)

That with the $100 keyboard at Amazon is $450. ;)


Posted on Nov 25, 2011 9:45:35 AM PST
Elina, just posted the link for the 32GB at Sorry if I'm a bad influence!

I'm looking at my kitchen counter and I see...1...2 Asus notebooks, and 1 Asus tablet. :) And an Asus netbook over by the bookshelf! I'd have to say I'm a very happy Asus customer.

If you go back to when the Transformer was released (April?) and read the Amazon reviews, you'll see that there was a mad rush to buy them at $400, and apparently Asus sped things up to meet demand. The result: about a month of pretty unhappy reviews (quality issues). I haven't seen anything since early summer to suggest that the current Transformers have any build problems.

OK, one minor exception: the specific (proprietary) USB cable that comes with the Transformer looks kind of "flimsy" and I suspect I'll buy a second one. The good news is that they are easy to find on the Asus website for $17.

Happy shopping!


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:51:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 9:53:24 AM PST
Bookworm says:
I got it from They sold out in about a half hour! I lucked out because I had been watching the deals for this particular tablet and was there at the right time. Sign up for the notification and be sure to check your email often.

Edit: I see that Matt beat me to it. Yes, has been adding more on and off for a couple weeks now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 9:57:17 AM PST
Yep...they're gone... :( But if there were some last night, and then a few again this morning...???... Notification looks like a good idea!


Posted on Nov 25, 2011 10:07:27 AM PST
Bookworm says:
It is except I got one about 3.40am. I think it also helps to keep constantly checking the website too. I know J&R also had some deals but these were for open box/refurbished machines. I don't know enough about gadgets to risk buying one of those but those who know their way around a machine...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 10:23:58 AM PST
3:40 am :) Wow, that's dedication.

I agree about open box/refurbs. My comfort level is usually "am I willing to throw it away if it's buggy?" Like $10-$20! I think the only exception was I just spent $25 on a refurb router.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 1:10:57 PM PST
Bookworm says:
Haha! I wasn't awake at the time. I actually saw the email the next day by which time they were all gone. This time around, I was awake around midnight and so was able to score one before they ran less than 30 mins!

As for refurb, I figure if I'm going to spend 300-odd on something, I might as well get a new one. No way, do I want to deal with the hassle of trying to return something. This is why I stay away from ebay too when buying certain things.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 1:22:57 PM PST
StraKat says:
I just bought the Transformer 16gb and the docking station/keyboard. Still charging. Will an external optical drive work with the Transformer? Amazon has the Asus SDRW-08D2S-U for $29.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 1:31:18 PM PST
You're tempting me to create an tab in Firefox, and set it to refresh every 15 minutes!

You know what I hate? Woot-offs!!! I hate going to bed around midnight when a woot-off ( starts, not knowing what will go on sale for the next 6-7 hours. Fortunately I haven't missed anything crucial yet!


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 1:32:53 PM PST
Optical drive?...I don't think so. I can give it a try in a few hours, but I'd assume the Transformer doesn't have the proper drivers to access the drive.

What are your first impressions?


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 1:54:55 PM PST
StraKat says:
No hands on experience yet. I want to give it a full charge before I start playing. I do like the feel of it and I think it's a good looking unit but only time will tell.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2011 6:09:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 6:10:17 PM PST
Bookworm says:
Haha!! I totally hear ya on woot-off!! I always miss them because I almost never check until the end of the day and that's when the woot monkey is on sale. *sigh*

The refresh thing might be worth it if you're trying to get one...or if you randomly wake up in the middle of the night...:p

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 6:50:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2011 6:51:52 PM PST
@StraKat...optical drive was a no-go. Interestingly, when you plug it into the Transformer's USB port, it makes an effort to recognize the drive, and it shows up in the file manager (in the Removable folder) as USBDisk2. But I tried several CDs and DVDs and none of them were successfully read.

On the other hand, I've had 100% success with solid state media, whether USB flash drives or USB sdcard readers -- I'm fairly sure I've read successful reports of accessing external hard drives too. I am also a huge fan of ES File Explorer ( which has a built-in LAN function that easily finds shared folders over your local area network (it streams music and videos beautifully). I haven't played yet with the Transformer's "built-in" file-sharing features (i.e., MyCloud), however.


Posted on Nov 25, 2011 7:16:14 PM PST
Bookworm says:
Looks like amazon had the 32gb transformer for a lightning deal for $330. Waitlist is full too...i
In other news, just found out that mine has shipped!
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Participants:  14
Total posts:  1162
Initial post:  Nov 10, 2011
Latest post:  May 23, 2012

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