Redefining hand-held computing3 min read . Updated: 06 Dec 2011, 09:35 PM IST
Redefining hand-held computing
Redefining hand-held computing
Acer Iconia Smart S300
The screen size of 4.8 inches is about 0.5 inches longer than the largest screen seen on smartphones. Acer defined the product as “A smartphone with tablet-like capabilities". So we’ll address the S300 as a smartphone.
It runs on the Android Gingerbread (v2.3) operating system. Acer has added its own customization to the Gingerbread OS called the Acer UI 4.2. The 1024x480 pixel screen has a backlit LED with Gorilla glass on top. The colours appear vivid and the viewing angles are great. The reflective glass surface can be annoying at times, but daylight visibility is quite good. The 21:9 cinema aspect ratio makes it ideal for watching movies. Contrast is not that great. Acer bundles a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable with which you can connect the smartphone to your HDTV (high-definition television).
The Iconia Smart has a surprisingly low battery juice of just 1,500mAh for a 4.8-inch screen device. It does last for a day with calling, surfing the Net, listening to music and watching video content.
The Acer Iconia Smart S300 is a good device overall. But it does come with kinks, such as difficulty in one-hand operation, apps not using the complete screen real estate, among other things. Acer needs to work on developing dedicated apps which will utilize the full 4.8-inch screen real estate. The S300 has a single-core processor and its pricing is in the range of dual-core smartphones. But then that depends on your use-case scenario, as not many apps use the dual-core completely. If you’re a heavy media consumption junkie, Acer Iconia Smart S300 is a decent bet.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101G
Ever thought of blending an iPad with a keyboard? Asus did more than just that with the Eee Pad Transformer TF101G. With a 10.1-inch IPS touch-screen display, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer has a docking station that’s identical to any 10-inch Asus Eee PC netbook’s. This turns the Eee Pad into a 10-inch Android netbook when needed.
The TF101G’s screen is definitely one of the brightest we’ve seen on a 10-inch tablet, with great black levels and vivid colours. The dock sports chiclet-sized keys and has a wide touchpad.
Asus has also tweaked the vanilla Android interface to help maximize the end-user experience —for example, the on-screen keyboard has five rows instead of four featured on plain vanilla Honeycomb; the extra row adds numbers which can be conveniently typed, saving you unnecessary finger clicks. The default wallpaper is a battery indicator, changing depending on battery. Also, the Back, Home, Recent Apps buttons on the bottom left of the home screen are visually different, and easier to recognize when compared to the newer Honeycomb OS builds.
So whatever tiny tweaks Asus has made to the Eee Pad Transformer’s interface only enhances the end-user experience.
The tablet’s 5 MP camera has a basic interface when it comes to clicking photos. Pictures clicked in bright sunlit or very well-lit interiors are good with just a shade of noise. Captured video isn’t the best in terms of quality, but it’s average.
The Transformer tablet’s multimedia experience doesn’t disappoint. In fact it’s one of the best among the tablets we’ve tested. The Asus Transformer’s on-board speakers are loud and clear even at high volumes and handle both music and speech equally well. Whether it’s watching YouTube videos or HD 720p flicks, the Eee Pad Transformer handled video playback very well. And its audio-video performance helped deliver a stellar entertainment experience.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101G is one of the best tablets in terms of overall battery life. At full-screen brightness and surfing the Web over Wi-Fi gave about 8 hours of battery backup (with two 15-hour breaks); the keyboard dock comes with its own battery, which adds another 3-4 hours of extra battery usage from a single charge.
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