Review Price £429.99
Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 - Keyboard and Screen
The Asus Eee Pad Slider has a great screen. Comparing fairly well to the standards set by Apple's original iPad back in 2010, it uses an IPS display that offers fantastic viewing angles and excellent overall performance. IPS stands for in-plane switching and is all-but immune to the issues seen in most laptop and netbook screens - contrast shift, colour shift and loss of brightness when viewed at an angle.
We can't imagine too many people would want to gather a small crowd around a 10.1in screen to watch a film, but if that's your bag the Slider can handle it. Like virtually all 10.1in Android tablets, the Slider uses a 1280x800 pixel resolution, resulting in a 149dpi pixel density, which is almost 20dpi higher than the iPad 2 (rarely have we longed for a rumour to be true as much as we longed for the iPad 2's Retina Display screen.)
The screen is topped with a layer of Gorilla Glass, the toughened, scratch resistant glass used in many top smartphones and tablets. Brightness is good, but you'll need it if you plan to use the Slider outside because the display is highly reflective. All the best Android tablets have glossy screens, so it's something you simply have to accept.
The point of the Eee Pad Slider isn't that it's similar to other tablets, though. It's the big difference that counts - the keyboard. Thanks to the way the slider mechanism works, the keyboard only has about half of the tablet's depth to work with. As such, the keys are not full-sized, and are significantly smaller than those of the Eee Pad Transformer. If you're looking for something to replace an ultraportable laptop or netbook, we'd advise seriously considering the Transformer instead. Not only does it have a more spaceous keyboard, the clamshell design protects the screen when closed too.
Once you get used to its size, and it does take a while, it offers a good typing experience. While the action of the chiclet keys is predictably a little shallow and the ridge surrounding it gets in the way a bit when tapping the space bar, the quality is comparable to a fully-fledged laptop. This keyboard is no afterthought. We did find that we would occasionally grasp for the trackpad that's not there, but if you're undertaking some serious productivity work, you can always plug in a mouse.
The touchscreen will suffice for everything else. It's capacitive, and both very accurate and responsive. Able to sense 10 distinct points of contact at the same time, it's up there with the best.
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