The Transformer is one of the first wifi only honeycomb tablets. I received mine on Friday and here are my thoughts, coming from the ipad and ipad 2.
The build quality is terrific. The textured back is convenient for gripping the tablet. The bezel is thing and not too wide, meaning its perfect for holding the edges while watchng a movie or browsing the net. The Transformer isnt as thin or light as the ipad 2 but its about the same as the original ipad, which was just thin and light enough. Lets just say the weight and thickness is definitely not an issue, and i was more impressed than i thought it would be.
The screen quality is very good. It is bright enough and high res enough as well. Its pretty great. The Transformer uses the same IPS technology as the ipad, and I cant tell a difference.
This is my first experience with Honeycomb as well. No major complaints. It takes a little getting used to, but thats because its not exactly the same as android on the phone, like the ipad is exactly the same as the iphone. Not saying its good or bad, just different. The notifications system is excellent. Its nice that when i get a Words With Friends notification, that it doesnt interrupt everything Im doing and force me to click out to resume. Just a pop up in the bottom right. Love it. Overall i like honeycomb very much. It could use an update or two to improve the speed marketplace layout, and maybe small bugs here and there.
Its nice to have the option of using flash. You can run it on demand so the flash content doesnt load unless you want it too. This means you get all the speed of html5 like the ipad, and you get the versatility of flash when needed. Its nice to have options. Speaking of flash, the browsing experience is top notch. I love the tabbed browsing, it makes browsing so quick. I also like the Chrome sync, which syncs my bookmarks over the air.
Multitasking on the Transformer is very fluid. Once I got used to the multitasking button, i couldnt go back to the ipad way. When you press the multitasking button, you get a thumb view of your most recent apps, instead of just an app icon. The only thing i wish you could do would be to scroll down to see more than five recent apps.
The live widgets on honeycomb are really cool. I especially like the gmail, calendar and bookmarks widgets, where you can scroll through the content without even opening an app. Its a much easier way of getting information than actually opening the app.
The built-in apps like gmail, maps, and gallery are excellent. I instantly found myself actually using gmail like i do on the desktop, instead of having to manage on the ipads email app. You can do all the things you can do on regular gmail, like star, labels and more. Gallery syncs with picasa automatically, so i dont have to put any photos on the internal storage.
Polaris Office apps that come with the Transformer are surprisingly good. I wrote this whole review in the document editor. The MyNet app is a dlna client. I streamed my video from my mac to the Transformer without a problem.
There arent too many honeycomb apps available but more come everyday. The app that are optimized for honeycomb are mostly terrific and i have no doubt that more will come and they will be good as well. Even the non-optimized apps run decent. Its not like the ipad 2x mode at all. You cant even tell that some apps arent optimized in some instances on honeycomb.
I really like the Transformer. The 16gb version is only $399, and its not cheap on build quality. The reason I ditched my ipad 2 for the Transformer was mainly price, but I came away very impressed. Battery life is not an is not an issue. Been using the tablet for a good 5 hours and watched parts of a movie, browsing the web, and stand at 64%.. While the ipad still holds a slight edge for the average consumer, it is no longer a clear cut choice. If you want a cheaper tablet, yet one that doesnt disappoint, the Transformer is the one. Its good enough and there is so much potential in honeycomb, that i am excited to be a part of android on tablets, and this Asus is a winner.
Video to come.