Monday, January 23, 2012

Asus Transformer TF101 - initial review

I just bought the Eee Pad Transformer TF101 last week, and here is the first look at this Android Device.

The following is the specifications.


10.1” LED Backlit screen with IPS (1280 x 800) 10 point multi-touch input


16GB /32GB(1)eMMC + Unlimited ASUS Webstroage(2)

802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

1.2MP (front), 5MP Auto focus (rear)

2-in-1 Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in)
1x mini HDMI 1.3a port
1 x Micro SD Card Reader
1 x Internal Microphone
1 x Stereo Speaker

G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, GPS
3G Module

Flash support


Special App

ASUS launcher, MyLibrary, MyNet, MyCloud, File manager, Kindle, Zinio Magazine, PressReader, Polaris Office, ASUS sync

9.5 hours; 24.4Wh Li-polymer Battery(4) 16 hours with Eee Station

My first thoughts of this Asus Transformer is the weight, this tablet is HEAVY. Compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, this is indeed a heavy tablet.

I was indeed going to use Ice Cream Sandwich, but there seems to be issues.
Issues Facing Asus Transformer Prime Android 4.0 Update

Apart from the weight and ability to use Android 4.0, the Asus Transformer is the first device to use Nvidia's new Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is, arguably, the tablet to beat when it comes to raw computing power.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is not as powerful, but the Asus Transformer is not much faster. There is an occasional lag. The angle of viewing is very good and screen is bright and crisp.

I've used this tablet non-stop for 13+ hours using 3G and playing games, and the battery is still running. I'm quite impressed with the battery life and the way the tablet does not get hot after use.

Looking at the ports, the tablet has a micro-HDMI and a Micro-SD. And the dock with the keyboard has 2 USB ports and a SD card slot. Somehow, after using the tablet for sometime, I rather enjoy the keyboard and build quality.

I've brought the tablet for a weekend trip, and the battery lasted the whole weekend, sharing wifi with everyone.

Overall, I like this tablet and the way the keyboard extends the battery life. The design and build quality is good and the tablet just feels solid.

I would recommend it if you need a tablet as this still is the first quad-core tablet.

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

British Airways - Boston - Singapore - My impression

I caught a flight from Boston - Singapore on British Airways via London Heathrow airport. This is not the first time I am on this flight, and I'd like to share my experience on the trip.

Firstly, I would like to point out that this journey is slightly more expensive than flying from Boston to Singapore through the West Coast, however when you take airlines like China Eastern Airlines, Malaysian Airlines or even United that goes near China, you will find that much of the flight is filled with many Chinese Nationals which will make you feel uncomfortable. I've experienced on every flight that passes through Shanghai that people go to toilets with the doors open.

The flight from Boston to London is rather pleasant. The people are rather orderly and not overly excited to get on the plane. The seat size and luggage space is decent, after all its a B747.

I have not much complains except that the food is pretty bad. But since it was a short flight, it was fine, and I got dinner at Heathrow.

As Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest in the world, it is efficient in many ways, however, I do not like it very much as they still use buses to transport people between terminals, which I do not feel it is safe as it does not seem hard to stray away from bus area to get to the planes.

The terminals are separated and not accessible much but by the buses and lots of walking. The staff at the counters at British Airways are not terribly friendly as well. My flight got delayed for 12 hours, and there was not even any notice by the British Airways staff to inform the passengers of the delay. The airport sigh says flight delayed to 9am, and if you don't look closely, you will not notice as the flight was for 9pm.

After going to the transfer counter, the staff gave me a note to go to the Qantas staff and they have a bus to bring me to a Hotel to accommodate me for the night. Again, the location of the counter is far away, and rather hard to navigate. When I finally arrived, there was again, going from arrival to departure to arrival and much back and fourth.

The hotel that they put me in is Park Inn Hotel inn Heathrow. It is about 10 minutes from the airport, and a pretty nice hotel. It seems like 50% of the time I transfer in London, I end up at this hotel as the planes failed to fly off on time.

However, in the morning, after another 1 hour delay, my flight to Singapore was ready, and it is a Qantas Codeshare flight and its a A380. QF010

The flight was orderly unlike domestic US flight where everyone brings their huge luggage on board. On this flight, everyone was normal. The old ladies spoke in their strong British accent and were courteous and enjoy their tea. On the flight, the touchscreen was pretty enjoyable, it was a skycam which shows you the top view of the A380, which during take off, makes you feel that it is "too heavy" to fly, but miraculously manages to take off.

Other than that, there was nothing special about the A380. The flight was bigger, but it simply packed more people in the 2 levels on the plane. I've previously flew business on the A380 and it is much more spacious than economy, but not much more special compared to the 747-400.

Overall, I would say that going from Boston to Singapore through London, would be a very pleasant experience if not for the 13 hour flight delay which makes me arrive in Singapore at 6:30am, one of the worst time as the Taxi's charge you extra for peak hour charges, and you get stuck in the terrible morning rush hour.

-- Robin Low

Heathrow Airport

Leaving Boston

Dinner on British Airways

Arriving at Heathrow

Heathrow Airport