I was browsing Reddit when I came across this video. This person wanted to show how functional Android 4.0 on a phone could be as a full computer and he definitely shows that we are already close to the point where a phone or tablet could be all you need.
Imagine a future where your entire full featured computer could be with you all the time and could adapt to the situation you’re in; on the go it’s a phone or tablet but when you arrive at the office you plug in and everything is up on your monitors and all your peripherals are connected wirelessly, it’s like something out of science fiction!
Isn’t that cool? However my first thought was: “Isn’t that cute, he’s using a phone with a dual core processor?” As functional as that can be consider this: The ASUS Transformer Prime with Android 4.0 has a Quad Core Nvidia Tegra 3 Processor and the implementation of Android on it is optimized to take advantage of a larger screen.
Not only that but with ASUS’s slight UI customizations and bundled apps for use with the Keyboard dock you’ve got everything you need for a solid desktop replacement!
Here are a few ways you can already take advantage of Android on the Transformer Prime (and soon the original Transformer) as a replacement for your desktop or laptop computer!
Google just released Chrome Beta for Android 4.0+ devices, now how is this any better than your normal Android browser? How will it lend itself better to replacing your desktop?
Chrome is the first full featured desktop-class browser on a mobile platform! It has much more extensive support for newer and more complex web formats and standards such as HTML5, you’ll also see great scrolling and zoom performance. Did I mention that it is also REALLY FAST! It leads the pack in all benchmarks, Chrome is the real deal, it will even help you make the transition by syncing your bookmarks and frequently visited sites over to your tablet.
You can use it in conjunction with your other devices too because it syncs open tabs across other devices. Not only does it have all that power but it take much of the guesswork out of mobile browsing by using a simplified and familiar interface but modified for use with a touchscreen.
One of the apps that comes preinstalled on your Transformer or Transformer Prime, it is an amazingly powerful, though frequently overlooked, application.
Polaris allows you to view and edit Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations without skipping a beat. It will do almost anything your desktop programs will, I have yet to run in to something I’ve needed to do on there that I couldn’t. Further it can be a great studying tool, whether your professors post their slides from class or long study guides in preparation for exams you’ll be able to tackle it all.
I’ve even started to use the spreadsheet editing on there with Dropbox to keep my personal finances in check! It has support for your formulas and calculations just like Microsoft Excel.
Do you like to listen to music while you’re browsing the web or studying? Even though tablets tend to have less storage space than traditional computers you never have to worry about not having music to listen to.
You can upload all your music to Google Music and listen through the app, it will even be controllable by media buttons on a wireless keyboard! Storage is probably the biggest limitation for using an Android device over a standard computer which brings me to our next app.
When you get as ASUS EeePad Transformer or Transformer Prime it comes with 1 year of unlimited WebStorage. You’ll be able to store all your important files whether they’re pictures, music, videos, documents or anything in between.
Just another way ASUS is taking a shot at knocking down the limitations of what you can do with your tablet!
Now I think we’ve worked hard enough here, you can be very productive but let’s touch on entertainment.
MX Video Player
I absolutely love this app! It will take just about any video file you can throw at it and play it beautifully with full support for advanced features like subtitles if you have them. If you’re like me and you have a portable hard drive full of videos you can plug it right in and be on your way!
I have yet to find a format that isn’t supported; it even played some .rmvb files I dug up (How many of you out there have even seen those before??). With the MicroHDMI port on the Transformer Prime (MiniHDMI on the original Transformer) you can even move over to HDTV and continue watching on the big screen.
When I was at CES I actually used MX Video Player in my hotel room quite a bit to watch some movies with some friends.
Now I can understand some skepticism on using Android to replace a Windows or Mac machine as your primary computer but I can tell you from my own experience it can be very useful. While I was at CES I was doing a lot of work, I’m sure some of you my articles from out there.
I can tell you that in the whole week I was there I never once powered on my laptop. I used the Transformer Prime for EVERYTHING. I would literally plug it in to my hotel room TV as a monitor and use the keyboard dock for controls while I had a USB drive plugged in with all my work on it.
I would be switching back and forth between documents, web browsing, and photos and at the same time pumping some of my music through the speakers. It took everything I threw at it and then just asked for more!
The more I talk about this the more I’m considering powering down my laptop for good and moving over to a tablet for about 90% of my work. This all being said there are some things that still need to be worked on before it can replace a computer for everyone.
For those studying or working with media like myself, it won’t be able to replace your high end machine for graphic design and heavy video editing and rendering. Its amazing to see how far we’ve come already though! In a few years mobile hardware will become even more powerful and ASUS is already leading the pack in blurring the lines between functional of full computers and mobile Devices.
Wait a couple years for the EeePad Transformer 6 with Android 8.0 and you’ll find it hard to believe you were ever tethered to a desk working on a full computer.
All this being said though for the few things it can’t do as well as a full computer right now there are plenty of things it can do a lot better, but I think that’ll be something I leave for another article another day!
Aiman Farooq is a Media & Information Technology student at Michigan State University.
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