Review Price £429.99
The Asus Eee Pad Slider is an excellent web browsing tool for several reasons. Android Honeycomb's browser is good, the tablet supports full Adobe Flash, the capacitive touchscreen is very responsive and the keyboard comes in handy when typing emails and web addresses. The lack of 3G connectivity hampers its versatility, but as we've already said several times, this is a tablet that flourishes in homes and hotel rooms rather than on trains and buses.
It's this notion that convinces us, even more so than usual, that the 5-megapixel camera on the back is mostly redundant. Using a 1kg, 25 cm wide device to take photos simply doesn't make a great deal of sense. However, it's not an entirely throwaway effort, offering autofocus - if not a flash or iPhone 4S-worrying image quality.
The user-facing 1.3-megapixel camera is much more useful, letting you use Android video chat apps and Photobooth-style fun apps. When the Slider's on your knees, with the keyboard fully extended, it naturally points square at your face too.
In employing dual cameras, a full-size USB slot and expandable memory, the Asus Eee Pad Slider offers all the features of the biggest Android tablets - and more than many of them too. You pay for the added functionality of its keyboard and connectivity, as this tablet is much thicker and heavier than almost any Honeycomb tablet we've tested. However, this added girth hasn't wiped-out desirability completely. And, most important of all, it's a joy to use and less buggy than many Android tabs.
When you can buy the more versatile Asus Eee Pad Transformer with keyboard dock for the same amount of money, and the quad-core Transformer Prime nearing launch, the Slider has clearly arrived a bit too late for its own good. However, it doesn't wipe away that this is a viable and attractive tablet that differentiates itself from the competition in a way we heartily appreciate.
The Asus Eee Pad Slider's keyboard sets it apart from the handful of Android Honeycomb tablets that can only clearly be separated by a few minor aesthetic differences and connectivity tweaks. It's one of the most interesting Android tablets of the year and is not a design gimmick.
The added size and weight of the keyboard will severely limit the audience for this device, unlike the more versatile Eee Pad Transformer. But if this kind of home-bound tablet is what you're after, the great screen, smooth performance and good execution of the unusual design makes it worth a round of applause. However, we can't help but wish it had arrived a few months earlier, now the Transformer 2 is nearing release.
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