Camp Westfalia

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Product Review: ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 10.1-Inch Tablet

A compact, lightweight, unlocked 10.1 inch tablet great for van-camping and other travel

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-B1 32GB 10.1-Inch Tablet


  • 10.1-inch WSVGA IPS capacitive pressure-sensing multi touch display for brilliant HD entertainment and intuitive navigation. 178° viewing angle (1280 x 800)
  • Powered by NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile processor for best web experience with up to two times faster browsing, hardware accelerated Flash, and console-quality gaming
  • Front (1.2 MP) and rear (5 MP) cameras for face-to-face video chats and on-the-go video and picture capturing
  • Mini HDMI port to supersize your entertainment to compatible HDTVs and external displays
  • Optional Docking station with QWERTY keyboard adds additional 6.5 hours of battery life, to instantly turn the Transformer into PC mode with up to 16 hours of battery life.

Staying organized and connected while on extended road trips can be difficult. So, we continually put a number of compact mobile digital devices to the test while travelling. How does the ASUS Transformer measure up?

First Impressions

The ASUS Transformer is an attractive little tablet. This is a 10-inch tablet, with Tegra power, great viewing angles and it has good sound. The device feels very solid in hand, not too light, not too heavy, with enough memory for lots of apps and it functions very well. The optional keyboard docking station adds even greater usability and versatility. Battery life is excellent too!

On The Road or In Camp

I purchased the ASUS Transformer based on the excellent reviews it was getting and it does not disappoint. In addition to the tablet, I decided to get the keyboard docking station, which is really an amazing accessory. The tablet itself is super responsive, has a decent amount of memory and is light enough to use for long periods.

For travel, it is more durable than some of my other devices and with the optional keyboard it is like having a mini laptop. It streams media such as Netflix, HULU, HBOGo, etc. without any lag and runs nicely. The 10.1 inch screen is great, but I actually like a bit smaller screen, so my 9.7 is the go-to tablet for travel. Nonetheless, I really do think this tablet is an excellent value, and highly recommend it.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Mobile Docking station keyboard is made for the Transformer TF101 and is a great accessory. The docking station not only extends the tablet’s battery life up to 16 hours, but also features added functionalities which include a near full-sized QWERTY keyboard, a multi-touch touchpad, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and a 4-in-1 SD card reader.

You can also use any wireless mouse with the docking station, which is great if you are not a big fan of just the touchpad or touch screen. I prefer a smaller mouse so I am using the Ckeyin Bluetooth Optical Mini Mouse for Computers and Android Tablets, Smartphones.

There is also a wide selection of cases for it too, like the PadFolio Smart Cover Stand Alone Case. Its soft interior protects from bumps and scratches, offers easy access to all ports, the secured velcro locks in your tablet in to place, the cover has flip capability to transform the case into a horizontal viewing stand, and it has a magnetic closure. Available in a variety of colors.

In The Long Run

The ASUS Transformer is a pretty slick tablet for travel. The docking station adds even more features and capabilities. Even with the docking station, when folded together it is compact and stows in all those small Westy spaces. It also provides me the flexibility to work on the road if I need to. It has plenty of internal data storage and two options for expandable storage, a micro SD slot in the table and a full SD slot in the docking station, for other media, like videos. The display is bright, colorful crisp screen is great for watching movies. For the price, I would definitely recommend this tablet.

Hits: long battery life (without the keyboard dock’s extra power source), lightweight, Well made, sturdy construction quality and capabilities for the price

Misses: bottom speakers can get blocked during handheld use, would be nice if it included a longer charging cord.

Get the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-B1 32GB 10.1-Inch Tablet here

Product Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE Tablet, 12.2-Inch 32GB

A versatile tablet well suited to travel: compact, durable, lightweight, with an elegant flip-hinge design.


  • 12.2-inch 2560×1600 WQXGA Display
  • Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS, 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor
  • 32 GB Flash Memory, 3 GB RAM
  • MicroSD slot which allows up to 64GB of additional storage
  • Includes Hancom Office, Multi Window (up to 4), Magazine UX, Remote PC, Sidesync

Get the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE 12.2″ Tablet here

If you need to mix pleasure with work while you travel, this is the tablet for you. The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2″ is designed with business people in mind, and it comes with a lot of productivity software; Samsung Meeting, Samsung Know, and Samsung E-Meeting software installed. Because this is the Note Pro version of the tablet, it comes with a decent S-Pen stylus and software. That said, it is great for pleasure viewing and gaming during down time.

First Impressions

This a large tablet, eliminating the need for a bulky and heavy laptop while van-camping and travelling. The performance is outstanding with all kinds of use. The 12.2 inch screen is just gorgeous, with a very high 2560 x 1600 resolution, it’s beautiful. Watching streaming video like Netflix, HULU or HBOGO on the Note Pro is a truly pleasurable experience.

The display is easily viewed from almost any angle, so more than one person can watch and still enjoy the view. It has dual stereo speakers, which have good sound quality. It also comes with Android OS Kit Kat 4.4. This is a great tablet, powerful and well-built, with a ton of power, and with the Samsung Touch Wiz, you have a lot of options with this device.

Offering brilliant color on the crystal-clear 12.2″ HD display with over 4 million pixels packed inside, it’s also astonishingly lightweight at just 1.7 pounds, yet delivers an unrivaled reading, editing and viewing experience and incredible responsiveness—all powered by the 1.9 Ghz Samsung Exynos Octa processor. Intuitive S Pen and enhanced multitasking, which allows you to use up to four different applications side-by-side.

On The Road or In Camp

When I purchase any tablet, I want to make sure I can just put my SIM card in it for connectivity. Since this is a GSM LTE tablet, I can easily take my SIM card from my phone and get connected to the web. This is a huge money saver in the long run, as there’s no need to pay for tethering or an extra data plan. Use the one you have.

This is a big tablet, but if you are looking for something as powerful as a PC, that allows for multitasking, video and gaming capability, this is a great option.

The battery life for a tablet this size is excellent, so no need to keep it charging all the time during use. It also comes with a non-removable 9,500mAh battery. I get about 12 hours of steady usage out of it, about 8 hours with video viewing. It can take a long time to charge because of the battery size. I suggest purchasing a matching USB 3.0 car charger, for road trips and charging while driving to new destinations.

You can also use a Bluetooth mouse with the tablet, which is great if you want to get some work done and are not a big fan of touchpads. You can use it pretty much like any mouse on a conventional PC.  I’m using a Bluetooth optical mini wireless mouse for Android tablets.

You can also pair a keyboard with the device. The Logitech Pro protective case with keyboard for Samsung Galaxy Note Pro works well, is very compact and protects the tablet when stored or charging.

In the Long Run

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro is a fantastic tablet for van travel and camping, and provides me the flexibility to work on the road and to enjoy media in my down time. It can take photos, but is a bit large to use for photos regularly. It allows for multitasking, email and social media.

The large bright colorful crisp screen is great for watching movies, and it has dual speakers for superior sound. I would highly recommend this tablet.

If you’re unsure which device to bring along on your trip, this tablet strikes a good balance between a heavy, bulky laptop and a too-small phone, and does everything you need it to do and then some!

Hits: huge 12.2 screen, Micro SD slot for extra storage, long battery life, front and rear cameras, easy multi-tasking

Misses: charging is fairly slow, a bit pricey

Get the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 4G LTE 12.2″ Tablet here

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