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Asus Eee Pad Transformer vs iPad 2 - Connectivity and Flexibility

Connectivity

Poor connectivity and file system accessibility is one of the major drawbacks of the iPad series. Things are slowly getting better, although benefiting from this progress demands extra expenditure. Apple has released an HDMI cable for iPads, and with an iPad 2 it'll mirror your iPad's display on whatever (HDMI-enabled) display you connect it to, making it extremely easy to access content and pipe it over to your HDTV.
Connections

With a camera connection kit you can also access media files stored on a memory card, but this involves a dangly accessory hanging out of your tablet. With the Eee Pad Transformer, all of this is built-in as standard. There's a microSD slot on the side, and a miniHDMI slot. Plug the keyboard dock in and you'll also have a full-size SD card slot to play with. Asus doesn't include an HDMI cable in the box, but gadgets like this rarely do.

Another feature of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer we find invaluable is the full-size USB on the keyboard dock, which lets you plug in USB sticks and the like. This, and the open file system of Android, makes moving files about an absolute doddle on the tablet. Asus also offers sync software if you're one of the curious few who likes being tied to proprietary software. We prefer doing things directly.

With an iPad of course you have to rely on iTunes - to transfer video and music. For those already using iTunes to organise a music library, this should be no hardship, but if you're yet to enter the Apple ecosystem it does involve a certain level of submission of the Apple machine. Your drag and drop days are over, sonny Jim.Church

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer isn't quite flawless in the connectivity stakes though - and is beaten by some other Android tablets. There's only a microUSB slot, no full-size USB, on the tablet itself and it uses a proprietary socket for charging - the same socket that slots into the keyboard dock to help secure the joint.

Flexibility

Out of the box, the Transformer positively thrashes the iPad 2 on the flexibility stakes, but the widespread support for Apple's devices has opened-up potential in a rather wonderful way. Take the Akai SynthStation for example, which turns your iPad into a fully-functional synthesiser, or the reams of AirPlay-compatible docks and speakers being released at the moment - you won't be able to stream from an Android tablet to these.

Again, opting for an iPad narrows the paths you can go down in the future, but they're paths lined with flowers and friendly, Walt Disney-style singing animals. Sort of.

Read our full Asus Eee Pad Transformer and iPad 2 reviews.

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