The Asus Eee Pad Transformer uses a 10.1in IPS display, with a 1280×800 pixel panel. IPS, or in-plane switching, is the screen technology used in the Apple iPad, and produces superb colours and viewing angles. This means that several people can comfortably crowd around the tablet without seeing a dull, poor-contrast image, as you’d get with the lesser TFT LCD panels of many cheaper tablets.
Also like the iPad though, the surface of the Eee Pad Transformer’s screen is highly reflective glass, so take it out on a sunny day and you’ll see as much of your face as whatever’s on-screen. However, we tested the tablet outside on a very sunny afternoon and found the tablet to be usable as long as the brightness is set to maximum.
Contrast isn’t perfect, with a slightly grey cast to the screen’s blacks, but the overall quality of the display is excellent – especially at the very reasonable price point. It embarrasses many traditional laptops available for the same money that get by with poor viewing angles and basic TN (Twisted nematic) panels. There’s an automatic brightness setting, but you can also set it manually.
No doubt to keep battery life pendants happy, we found the auto setting set brightness slightly lower than we’d like. It’s a case of personal preference though, and the highest setting is powerful if not quite as retina-scorching as something like the Samsung Series 9 900X3A
. But then that tablet hybrid costs way over a grand.
Arguably more important than the quality of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer’s display though is its touchscreen. The tablet uses a capacitive panel, now the standard for all but the lowest-end tablets and smartphones. It supports multi-touch and, partly thanks to the powerful dual-core Tegra2 processor, is extremely responsive. The lightest of touches are registered instantly and we found no accuracy issues.
While we prefer the keyboard for any hardcore typing duties, the virtual keyboard is more than capable of drumming-out the odd email or social networking update. The 10.1in screen is big enough to give each key plenty of space – there’s none of that cramped feel you may have experienced with smaller-screened smartphones.