Asus has long been experimenting with device form factors. Recall the same Asus Eee Pad Slider. His keyboard is with you all the time, but it is thick and, as experience has shown, the screen mounts to the “clave” become loose over time. Taking into account these shortcomings, the manufacturer endowed the Transformer series tablets with a removable keyboard, and even with a battery.
That is, when you do not need a keyboard, you can remove it. And when the charge level of the main device is over – just plug it in and the energy will be pumped to the tablet. According to the manufacturer, only the TF101G will come with a built-in 3G modem.
But Asus Prime is almost the only device in which the keyboard is not only a typing tool, but also a docking station. In addition to an additional battery, it has a full-sized USB connector and a second card reader. It is also worth considering that the keyboard itself is a reliable screen protection. And the tablet mount in the dock plays the role of the legs when opened.
There is a version on sale without a docking station (cheaper by $ 150), but it is less interesting. When you turn on the Asus Prime TF201, you are greeted by the Android desktop version 4.0.3. Under the hood is the quad-core Tegra 3 (Prime is the first tablet on this processor). He also has 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB (sometimes 64 GB) of disk space. All this is enough for editing documents, watching movies in high quality and launching a large number of applications in the background.
The TF101G model has a 2nd Tegra, 16 GB of memory (maximum 32 GB) and also 1 GB of RAM. Index G means the presence of a 3G module. The case of the TF201 model is smooth and made of metal. In the younger model TF101G, the surface, on the contrary, is plastic and embossed to prevent slipping out of hands. It remains only to decide which case is more convenient for you. Although rough, like the 101st, and thin, like the 201st, it seems the most optimal combination.
Even the “younger” has fixed USB port covers, and in the new – the usual plugs that are easily lost. Having rightly decided that a regular QWERTY keyboard is not enough to control an Android device, Asus perfectly optimized it. Where the [win] button was, the [Home] button is located. The top row, where function keys were usually located, was replaced with the player control buttons, screen brightness and volume control, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on / off, keypad lock and on / off. touchpad. But the arrows are rather small and “crowded” with the right shift and duplicate [Fn]. But there is a sufficient distance between the buttons and the dimensions of the touchpad itself, which does not support gestures and multi-touch.
The touch screen, keyboard and touchpad create some kind of redundancy, but you quickly get used to it depending on the situation, choose the most convenient solution. Both models have two cameras. For video calls – 1.2 megapixels. But external cameras are different: Prime has 8 Mpix., While TF101G has 5 Mpix., While the latter does not have a flash.
In terms of working time, two generations of tablets have a number of differences. TF201 (in balanced mode) holds a charge of 18 hours, versus 16 hours with TF101G. Both tablets have a charge indicator in the form of a light bulb near the charging connector. And in the Android tray, only TF201 has a separate indicator for each battery. TF201 also has a choice of three power plans. Doubtful advantage, since the difference in battery life differs slightly. But the screen mode called Super IPS + is a great benefit, especially in the sun.
Pre-installed software deserves special attention. Polaris Office allows you to not only open, but also edit MS Office documents. There is My Library – a reader for books, cloud storage service ASUS WebStorage and others.
Touch buttons “Back” and “Home” cause a double impression. On the one hand, this made it possible to make a thin frame and give the maximum area under the screen, on the other hand, when you hold the tablet in your hands (without a dock), false clicks often occur.
Thus, we can draw the following conclusion. Both generations of transformers are good in their own way. The “younger” TF101 has more communications and a peculiar case format. The “older” TF201 has better work with the OS and smaller dimensions with better performance. Which one to choose, you need to look based on preferences of use, well, and the size of the wallet.