Five Reasons the Transformer Prime Can Replace Your Laptop | PCWorld Business Center

Five Reasons the Transformer Prime Can Replace Your Laptop | PCWorld Business Center.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

There are many reasons to love the Android-based Asus Transformer Prime TF201, an updated version of the Transformer TF101. Available on December 19th starting at $499, our own Melissa J. Perenson noted it as “…one of the best tablet values today.” Is the Prime ready for business though, can it replace your work laptop? Here are five reasons why your next work laptop could be a Transformer tablet.

1. Portability

Whether it’s taking notes or accessing important documents while in the field, checking into email, or working from home, there is a need for portable computing. Being only 10.35 by 7.12 by 0.33 inches, and weighing just 1.29 pounds, the Transformer is even more portable than the smallest of laptops, yet its 10 inch, 1280-by-800-pixel display is large enough to do real work.

2. Flexibility

Tablets aren’t the first choice when it comes to extensive text input. Using an onscreen keyboard for a quick text message is fine, but even entering a long url, much less writing pages of text, can be a pain. For those that prefer a physical keyboard, the Transformer Prime Keyboard Dock is available for an extra $150. Just connect the Transformer with the keyboard and it becomes the hardware equivalent of a laptop. The dock includes not only a keyboard, but also a touchpad, as well as a USB port and a card reader. At 1.18 pounds, the combination of the tablet and dock is only 2.47 pounds, barely heavier than Apple’s tiny Macbook Air 11” which weighs 2.38 pounds.

3. Longevity

Sometimes you need to work all day long without access to a power outlet. Laptop makers promise long battery life, but in common usage, most won’t provide more than five hours, considerably shorter than the average work day. Tablets with mobile operating systems are designed with battery life as a core consideration. Asus says the Transformer battery will last 9.5 hours playing 720p video. You can extend this to 18 hours when connected to the Prime Keyboard Dock, allowing true all-day usage.

4. Software

If you work on the road, you probably already use cloud based apps like Google Docs and Office 365. No need to change, those apps work fine on the Transformer. If you don’t have network access, Asus includes Polaris Office, and other apps like Quickoffice HD Pro are available in the market, which allows viewing and editing of word, spreadsheet, and presentation files that are stored on the tablet itself. For the software you need to use that only runs on PC or Mac, the Transfomer includes MyDesktop software, but the market also includes many other apps which allow remote control of a PC or Mac as well.

5. Performance

It doesn’t matter what the specs are on paper if the actual performance of a device is slow as molasses. The Transformer has Nvidia’s 1.3-GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, the first quad-core tablet. Much of the software that runs on Android hasn’t yet been optimized to take advantage of this level of power, but our reviewer found it to already performs well in both our objective and subjective tests.

Tablets are still young, and the Transformer isn’t perfect, but for what you get, many workers could toss their laptops in exchange for a tablet and not look back. The Transformer promises to get even better as an upgrade to Andoid 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, is promised. Performance will also improve as more apps are optimized to take advantage of the quad-core processor. Have you considered a tablet as a laptop replacement? Would the Transformer meet your business needs?