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Asus Eee Pad Slider review

David Ludlow
14 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
449
inc VAT

A decent screen and clever hidden keyboard make this an attractive proposition, but there are better pure tablets

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Specifications

10.1 in 1,280x800 display, 960g, 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2, 1.00GB RAM, 16GB disk, Android 3.2

Rather than follow the bog-standard template for tablet hardware, Asus has made a clear effort to distinguish its products with different designs. First up was the rather good Asus Eee pad Transformer, which had an optional clip-on keyboard to turn the tablet into an Android-powered netbook.

Now, with its Eee Pad Slider, Asus has gone one step further, integrating a keyboard underneath the screen's sliding mechanism that gives the product its name. Pull the edge of the display up and it moves on hinges until it stands at around a 45-degree angle. There's no further adjustment available, but we found the screen angle about right for using the tablet and keyboard comfortably on our lap or a desk.

Asus Eee Pad Slider open

The slider is so-named for its clever sliding hidden keyboard

The Chiclet-style keyboard isn't full size, but the keys are all a decent size. Typing, for the most part, is pretty comfortable, too. We found that the keys had a light action, although the feedback's not particularly good, making it fairly easy to make typos until you get used to it. One thing that's harder to get over is the lip that sits in front of the spacebar. This is particularly annoying when the tablet's sat on your lap, as we found that we hit the lip more than we hit the spacebar. Still, once we'd gotten used to the keyboard layout we found that we could type faster on the Slider than using an onscreen keyboard, although slower than when we used the Transformer's keyboard.

We're pleased to say that the bugs we noticed with the Transformer, where we couldn't type into a Google Doc have gone, and the keyboard now seems to work with everything.

Asus Eee Pad Slider back

It all feels well-engineered, and looks stylish in both modes

One of the main reasons to have a keyboard is for work. As with the Eee Pad Transformer, Asus provides Polaris Office for free, which lets you edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint compatible Files. It can even integrate with Google Docs, pulling in files from the free cloud service. It's a bit annoying to use, as it doesn't support the standard Android copy-and-paste, and you can't use shift-cursor to select text. Instead, you have to double-tap the screen to put the software into edit mode, and use the copy, cut or paste commands from the drop-down menu. That said, having an office suite as standard is still handy.

Asus Eee Pad Slider left

You don't have to work off the Slider's internal memory (16GB or 32GB models are available), as there's a USB port that you can use to attach mass-storage devices, browsing their files using the built-in file browser. It makes it easier to grab a file from your computer and keep working on it on the move. In addition, there's a Micro SDHC card slot.

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