Tablet PCs have come a long way from those poorly designed devices that were meant for taking notes and supporting some games and some simple applications. Nowadays, most 10-inch high-end tablets feature technical specifications similar to those featured by netbooks and the applications supported are more than you may have dreamed a while back.
A feature that has always been ignored on tablets, but that is becoming more and more important for slate producers is the possibility of typing. While most tablets don’t feature keyboards, there are two slates especially designed for those of you who like or need to write a lot and do it fast.
We are talking of course about the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, a tablet that is already up for sale for quite a while and that offers an optional keyboard dock, and the Asus Eee Pad Slider, a tablet that is to be launched very soon and that will come with a built-in slide-out keyboard. The question that rises right now is which one of the keyboards is better and what tablet is overall the best typing machine.
The full-size Qwerty keyboard featured on the Slider is good, considering that it is kind of a pioneering device, but overall has some important issues. While this is as wide as a keyboard from a 10-inch netbook, the keys feel a bit cramped and will cause some headaches for those of you who have big fingers.
Also, there is some flex when pressing the keys of the Slider and the lack of the trackpad makes the keyboard a bit uncomfortable. On the other hand, the keyboard is not at all noisy and the keys are properly sized, but overall this accessory is far from being perfect.
The optional Asus Eee Pad Transformer keyboard dock is in also a world-first. While it makes your tablet pretty heavy, the spacing, the comfort and the noise of the keyboard are almost perfect. It is larger than the keyboard featured by the Slider and also comes with a multi-touch touchpad, which makes it at least at the same level of a keyboard featured on a good 10 or 12-inch netbook. In addition, there is practically no flex and the layout is also pretty inspired.
On the downside, the Transformer’s keyboard is not an integrated accessory, as it is the case of the Slider, which means that you have to dock it to your tablet. While the docking procedure is neither complicated, nor very time-consuming, this can still prove uncomfortable for some tablet users.
There is no doubt about it, if you are looking for the perfect tablet for typing, you should buy the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with the optional keyboard dock. This is more accurate, more spacious and more comfortable than the Slider.
However, we can think of one or two reasons for which the Slider can be called the better typing device. First of all, it is lighter and more elegant than the docked Transformer and secondly, it will probably be cheaper, as the Transformer currently goes for around 600 dollars( with the keyboard), while the Slider is set to cost about 550 bucks.