If you’re lucky enough to own an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime then you’re probably more than familiar with how it blazes through apps, web pages and even the most gruelling of 3D gaming with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor. Odds are that you’re also pretty au fait with its keyboard dock and trackpad, single USB slot on the side and full sized SD card slot to complement the micro SD card slot located on the tab itself. We’re guessing when we use the term Android shortcut keys you know exactly where they are on your keyboard dock and use them to great effect on a daily basis. This tips and tricks isn’t here to state the obvious, instead, it’s to tell you what a bit of time has taught us about the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and what benefits its latest Ice Cream Sandwich update have bestowed.
Now that the Asus Transformer Prime has Android 4.0, it can take advantage of a whole host of OS specific perks over Honeycomb and Gingerbread. Not least of all is the ability to drop apps on top of one another to make folders on your homescreen, a feature other Android tablets can only do with a custom launcher. By making a folder on your homescreen, you can minimise the need to reach over to the top right of your screen to open your apps drawer and reduce clutter in the process.
Carried over from Android 3.2 is the ability to resize widgets. Take the calendar below for example. Create a calendar widget, long press it and you’ll have four diamond shaped anchors you can drag and drop to make your widget tell you more or less about your diary. We can in turn have three of the same widgets on screen at three different dimensions should we choose to.
On top of the ICS perks that the Asus Eee Pad Transformer brings with it, there are also some Asus specific beauties on board in their customised setting menu. These let you control exactly how you capture screenshots (long press the recent apps button for example), dictate the screen shot file-format and toggle Asus’ notification bar. It’s definitely worth snooping in these settings to make your Eee Pad experience as bespoke as possible.
You can also install Google Chrome Beta on your Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Currently the only mainstream tablet to support the application in its Beta state thanks to its requirement for Android 4.0+, the browser ensures effortless synchronisation between desktop, tablet and mobile with bookmarks and login details shared across all devices linked to your Google account. There is also the option to browse the web under-wraps in incognito mode, not to mention gesture support for quick flicking through your open tabs.
The camera on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime boasts big megapixels and low apertures. Having said that, we still got the occasional shaky cam picture and a lot of shots over-exposed making the images look washed out.
To get the best from your Prime, first thing to do is take full advantage of the keyboard dock. Use it as a tripod and take your shots with the enter button. This minimises hand shake and if in night mode in dark settings, gives you the clearest shot with the least apparent noise.
Now onto dealing with that bright washed out sheen that can appear across some well lit outdoor photos. In Ice Cream Sandwich, you can actually adjust exposure levels, and so for most bright outdoor shots we’d suggest dropping the exposure value to -0.6. This will compensate for the wide open aperture and help images look more on point.
Finally it’s our video tip. This is perhaps our most important camera tip: turn on continuous focus. By default, this is off, which means when you’re recording your beautiful 1080p video, getting close to your subject, say, a pink rose, will produce little more than a colourful blurry blob. Continuous focus tells the camera to prepare for changing focal distances, thus refocusing should the need arise, turning the pasty pink blob into a pin sharp, pink bloom. This can be done in video mode by selecting settings, then changing focus mode to continuous auto focus.
The dock of the Asus Eee pad Transformer Prime serves to provide an additional eight hours of battery life to the ten hours already on board. What you might not know are the best ways to help this battery stretch even further.
First things first, Asus’ notifications dock comes pre-loaded with a range of power saving tools. Starting with screen brightness, there is IPS mode and IPS+ mode. The latter is for outdoor viewing and in turn uses considerably more battery. A safe tactic is to leave the tablet on auto-brightness, also located in the notification dock.
There are also a range of performance modes from power saver through to turbo. This means you can cater your power consumption to suit your needs and if you don’t want to have to think about it, just keep things ticking over in balanced mode.
Finally, this is probably more housekeeping than battery saving but your recent applications are displayed with the press of a button that sits in your bottom left of your screen. Not all these are running live in the background with some in a static state but a few will probably be there chipping away at your battery. Why open a task manager or install any third party applications when there’s a simpler solution – swipe. Yes, simply swipe an app out of the way to close it, thus keeping your background apps list tidy and your battery consumption low.
So that’s our list of slightly less obvious tips and tricks for the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. If you’ve got any to add, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on with yours, so drop them in the comments section below.