We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Keyboards Reviews
15,448 Reviews

Asus Transformer Prime TF201 Mobile Docking Station review

£111 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Asus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The Transformer Prime's keyboard dock improves on that of the original Transformer by packing the same ports and extra battery life into an even slimmer and lighter package.

Like its predecessor, the Transformer TF101, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 tablet is named for its ability to plug into a keyboard dock accessory and become a laptop-like device. Since the Transformer Prime TF201 Mobile Docking Station is similar to the original Transformer TF101 dock in many ways, my impressions of the two docks are similar. See also Group test: What's the best tablet PC

Just as with the original Transformer dock, the TF201 fits into this dock's rotating hinge, connecting through a 40-pin dock connector. You slide a release latch to secure the slate. Here, however, I encountered the same problem as I did with the original dock: Despite the various pieces holding the tablet in place, it still had room to wobble, most notably when I folded it down over the keyboard. Visit Group test: what's the best tablet PC accessory?

This keyboard dock adds 1.2 pounds and just 0.4 inch to the Transformer Prime. Unlike the original Transformer--which bulks up to the size of an average netbook with its dock--the Transformer Prime remains under an inch thick at only 0.75 inch with its dock attached. And you can still take it off when you don't need it, leaving you with a very slim and sleek tablet. When it's time to return to your business reports, you simply plug the keyboard back in. The whole thing folds together neatly, too, a design advantage for when you’re transporting the keyboard/tablet combo or pulling it out of your bag for your journey through airport security, for instance.

Another major advantage of the laptop-like hinge: Since it holds the tablet up, you don't need to invest in separate stands or folding cases. And the hinge rotates down as you lift the tablet "open," which raises the keyboard to a nice angle for typing, and produces a surprisingly well-balanced result. Usually a setup like this, with all the "guts" in the screen, becomes top-heavy and easy to tip over, but the Transformer Prime stayed firmly in place, even as I pushed it back a good ways.

Regrettably, as on the original Transformer dock, typing on the Transformer Prime dock is a mixed bag. Just like the keys on the TF101 dock, as well as on Asus netbooks, the island-style keys here are small and cramped. They're functional, but they aren't as comfortable to type on next to those of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Keyboard Folio Case; I had to do a lot more shifting of my hands to accommodate the spacing. You could get accustomed to the feel over time, but it isn't comfortable from the start. (I have to note, though, that a colleague with similarly small hands had fewer issues adapting, so your experience may vary.) I also found an alarming amount of flex in the keyboard deck, something I didn't expect judging from the solid metal build of the rest of the device.

On the positive side, the feedback is good, neither too mushy nor too springy. Once you get used to the spacing, typing on this dock could be described as workable. When you consider the good-enough typing along with all the other benefits of this keyboard dock, you can see that it's a valuable add-on for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201.

Asus Transformer Prime TF201 Mobile Docking Station 

Asus Transformer Prime TF201 Mobile Docking Station Expert Verdict »
Full QWERTY keyboard
Unique Android function keys
Built-in SD Card reader for easy file sharing
Extends the standard battery life to up to 16 hours
640g
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Transformer Prime's keyboard dock improves on that of the original Transformer by packing the same ports and extra battery life into an even slimmer and lighter package. Unfortunately, the keys remain cramped.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Asus Transformer Pad 300 review

    Asus Transformer Pad 300

    Asus Transformer Pad 300 is the latest Android tablet with keyboard dock from the maker of the Transformer Prime. Read our Asus Transformer Pad 300 review to find out more.

  • Asus Transformer Pad TF300 review

    Asus Transformer Pad TF300

    The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is a good tablet with a large screen and is sensibly priced. The bundled-in dock that offers extra battery life and a keyboard is a nice feature too.

  • Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 review

    Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700

    The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 raises the bar for Android tablet performance and design. Read our Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 review to find out more.

  • Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime review

    Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

    Asus has taken yet another stab at the tablet market, this time with the follow up to its popular Transformer. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is essentially the same tablet with a decent all round upgrade.

  • Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 review

    Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101

    Innovative design makes the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 tablet stand out.


IDG UK Sites

OnePlus Two release date rumours: Something's happening on 22 July

IDG UK Sites

13in MacBook Air review, Apple's MacBook Air 2014 reviewed

IDG UK Sites

5 reasons to buy an electric car and 5 reasons not to

IDG UK Sites

Just graduated? Learn all you need to know to kickstart your career in our Creative Graduate Guide