Hands on: Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101


After the successful release of their TF101 Transformer tablet, Asus is preparing to strengthen their tablet lineup with the Eee Pad Slider SL101. We managed to spend a little time with the sliding wonder, and while it’s not quite the great leap forward as their TF101, it still a tablet to watch out for.

Probably the biggest difference of the SL101 from the original is the sliding keyboard located underneath the tablet. It takes quite a bit of effort to reveal the keyboard, but once it slides into place, it’s pretty solid.

The keyboard is smaller than the TF101, and has five rows as opposed to the six of the TF101. The keys are also a bit smaller, so people with bigger digits might have a bit of trouble typing on it.

The slide-out keyboard also holds the integrated USB 2.0 port (you could only get a USB 2.0 port with the TF101 if you bought the keyboard).

One of the things that concerned me with the SL101 was its weight – it clocks in at 960 grams, so it’s almost a kilo in weight. There’s a reason why tablets try to be as light as possible – heavier tablets are a pain to use when reading e-books or comics for extended periods of time.

Hardware-wise, the SL101 is identical to the TF101 – 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of storage, 10.1-inch screen protected by Gorilla Glass. We did notice that the screen on the SL101 is a bit prone to glare. It’s powered by Google’s Honeycomb 3.1.

The unanswered question now is why would you choose the SL101 over the TF101? We think it all boils down to personal preference, and to be honest, having a keyboard mounted on a tablet all the time sounds attractive, especially if you’re the kind of person that’s not adept with touchscreens.

That’s it for now, we’ll get a review up as soon as we’re able to grab a unit. We’ve attached a few comparison shots of the TF101 and the SL101 below.

SL101 keyboard
TF101 keyboard
SL101 on bottom, TF101 on top

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