ASUS R1F Tablet PC Review (Pics + Specs)

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Frank, Jul 1, 2008.

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  1. MilestonePC.com

    MilestonePC.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Introduction:
    The R1F is the first ASUS tablet notebook, and it is indeed very unique. I would consider this to be a business type tablet notebook, because of the features, battery life and portability.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Reason to buy this laptop:
    I have the great opportunity to review the ASUS R1F tablet PC. This notebook features a great matte screen at 1280x800 resolution.

    It has many features like a fingerprint reader for those who want extra security. Bluetooth 2.0 for an array of wireless devices, like the Bluetooth mouse that ASUS provides with the laptop. There are other laptops that have similar feature and sight variation, however this tablet notebook, has great portability, flexibility via the modular bay and performance with the Intel Core 2 Duo Processor.

    Price:
    The price is roughly $1799 USD and roughly $2049 CAD, and the amount of quality, performance, features, flexibility via the modular bay it is definitely worth it, if you are looking into a quality tablet PC.

    [​IMG]

    Specifications: ASUS R1F
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processors T5500 (1.66 GHz; 667 MHz w/ 2mb Cache)
    Operation System: Genuine Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
    Chipset Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset
    Memory: 1024 DDRII 667MHz, (up to 2 GB)
    Display: 13.3" WXGA (1280x800) Color Shine LCD
    ASUS Splendid Video Intelligence Technology
    Video Graphics & Memory Integrated Intel 945GM - shared up to 128mb
    Hard Drive: 80GB SATA 5400RPM
    Optical Drive: 8x Super Multi DVD Burner
    Card Reader MMC/SD/Mini-SD/XD/Memory Stick/MS Pro/MS-Duo/MS-Pro-Duo
    Fax/Modem/LAN/WLAN Integrated V.92 MDC Fax/ Modem, with Azalia-Link Compliant
    10/10/1000 Ethernet
    Integrated 802.11a/b/g
    Built-in Bluetooth V2.0+EDR (optional)
    LED Status Indicator Power-on/Suspend
    Battery Charging/full/low
    Storage device access
    Capital / Scroll / Number Lock
    E-mail in box
    Wireless indicator
    Touchpad Lock
    Bluetooth 2.0
    Interface 1 x Express Card
    1 x VGA port
    1 x Headphone-out jack (SPDIF)
    1 x Microphone-in jack
    1 x RJ11 Modem jack for phone line
    1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
    3 x USB 2.0 ports, 1x IEEE 1394 port
    1 x TV-Out
    1 x Fingerprint

    Initial Impressions:
    This laptop is packaged extremely well, comes with an ASUS bag, and when you open the box that contains the laptop, there is a nice sleeve that the laptop is in.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once the laptop is out of the sleeve, you can really appreciate the workmanship of the laptops. The design is very sleek, relatively light and the screen turns smoothly, you can really appreciate the design.

    The colour is a nice gun metal grey, very similar to the W3J. The ASUS R1F also features a neat compartment in which you slide your pen into when you travel with it. Overall this notebook is great for those who are looking for a great quality tablet PC.

    Screen:
    One of the things I am very impressed about it the screen and lid design. The lid is very strong, and pressing on it does not exhibit any ripple on the screen, thus flex is non existent for the screen.

    [​IMG]

    The viewing angles are great. The horizontal viewing angles are roughly 110 degrees to 125 degrees. Meanwhile the vertical angles are just satisfactory allowing for some movement up and down.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The screen is bright, I feel very comfortable using it at max brightness for typing word documents. There are 16 brightness levels, the lowest setting is very dark but not off. I would also feel comfortable at 7/16 for word documents and light tasks.

    Upon the screensaver occurring there is no visible light leakage, the contrast is very good, the black is black and the white is white.

    Overall the screen is very nice, the lid construction is very tough and rigid, no flex, nice brightness, great buttons and LEDS located on the bezel of the screen for easy access.

    Keyboard:
    The keyboard feels great to type on. There is very little flex in general with keyboard. If the keys are pressed excessively hard there is very little flex. The travel of the keys is a little short for my likings however this is definitely made up by the softness and quietness of the keyboard. I would feel very comfortable using the keyboard in a library or classroom.

    The ergonomics of the keyboard feel nice however the CTRL and FN keys will take some time getting used to since the FN key is left to the CTRL key. The other keys are nicely placed and it shouldn't take too long to get used to.

    [​IMG]

    Touchpad:
    The touchpad is physically small, however it was very nice to use, and I didn't find my finger hitting the edges at all. The touchpad is also very smooth; my finger glides across it nicely. The touchpad just gets slightly warm after hours of usage, nothing to be concerned about and it is very comfortable.

    The scroll up and down work perfectly. There is also a horizontal scroll which is a built in feature of the touchpad. However, both of these scroll functions hidden within the touchpad, to the right and bottom respectively.

    On the other hand, the buttons exhibits a lot of flex when you press it, there's also a loud click sound when using it. Nonetheless, many users will just tap their finger on the touchpad instead of using the buttons.

    Tablet Usage:
    Using the ASUS R1F in the tablet mode is one spectacular thing to see and do. Firstly, the screen turns all the way round and then fold it down, press down on the little black button located on the bezel and that will lock the screen into the latch button.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The screen looks good when in the tablet form, and there are 3 buttons in which you can press, CTRL+ALT+DEL which will bring up the Task Manager, ESC button for escape, and the rotate page button to make the screen change from landscape to portrait and vice a versa.

    There is a Hold switch in which stops those 3 buttons from working. I am left handed and when using the Pen on the screen, I find myself pressing those buttons. After I use the Hold switch it doesn't matter if I accidentally hit those buttons.

    The pen itself comes nicely package and comes with extra pointers if they get worn out. The pen feels very nice easy to use, it is calibrated very nicely. Simulating mouse clicks with your pen takes some time getting used to when you tap your pen on the screen.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The traction of the pen to the screen is very good; it feels very much like using a pencil on paper. The overall feel of using the laptop in the tablet mode is very nice and it feels very sturdy.

    Sound System:
    Like most laptop the bass is pretty much non-existent, however the treble is clear and crisp. The level of sound is decent, I didn't find the laptop to be too soft, and it output enough volume to satisfy me while watching a movie at the max setting. There are 16 settings for volume and can be changed by pressing FN+F11 for down, FN+12 for up and FN+F10 for mute.

    The speakers are located under the screen, in which the sound is clearly distributed to the user.

    Watching movies, using a pair of good quality headphones, the sound was excellent, the sound quality and bass is good.

    Flex:
    As previously mentioned above, the screen and lid design is very rigid, there is no flexing at all, no ripples in the screen, and this is where the ASUS quality shows.

    There is one hinge in the middle of the screen, where the entire screen rotates on. This hinge individually is very strong and sturdy, however if you press down or move the screen excessively, the screen exhibits some vertical and horizontal wobbling.
    Nonetheless, the hinge is very strong, and the wobbling is just a minor concern in which one should not be worried about.

    [​IMG]

    As stated earlier the keyboard exhibits very minimal flex under normal usage, while under heavy usage the keyboard also exhibits minimal flex.

    The left wrist pad has some noticeable flex, but when typing on the keyboard you would quickly get used to it, and it wouldn't be much of a problem. There is no creaking when the wrist pad is flexed.

    The right wrist pad is very sturdy, very little flex if pressed excessively hard, hence there should be no worries while using it.
     
  2. MilestonePC.com

    MilestonePC.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Build Quality:
    Overall the build quality of the laptop is excellent, while I was taking pictures, I was lifting and holding the laptop in many different positions and there was no point that I felt uncomfortable holding the laptop.

    [​IMG]

    The overall size of the laptop is very nice, the 13.3 inch screen is almost equivalent to the 14.1 screen, and you really can not see the difference. It is very easy to carry around and use in any situation or place.

    The weight of the laptop is ok, you can definitely feel some weight it in your hands, however it is not heavy, and many would find this laptop to be light, even including with the AC adapter. The approximate weight is 4.5 pounds to 4.8 pounds with all components.

    Heat and Noise:
    AS for heat this laptop is very good at cooling itself, the left palm rest gets slightly warm, the touchpad seem to be the warmest spot, but its is not uncomfortable one bit. The right palm rest is cool, the left and right of the keyboard are also cool. The middle of the keyboard is slightly warm.

    As for noise, the air vent is located on the left hand side, it is very silent, and you can barely hear it while under load in a silent room, just only the slightest “whirr” sound if your ear is close to it. The air is just warm when it comes through the vents, which is good.

    Optical Drive:
    The optical drive is fantastic, ASUS offers a modular bay, and the laptop comes with an 8x slot loading super multi and a hard drive tray for those who want a second hard drive. The noise that the ROM makes while spinning is a little loud however it is definitely tolerable, since many optical drive make noise in general.

    Just as a note, ASUS is planning on featuring the modular bay battery in the months to come, so that will further increase battery life.
    All in all it’s great to have a slot loading drive in a table, and many will appreciate that.

    Processor and Performance:
    The CPU is just fantastic, even the 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo shows the awesome potential this laptop has. Multi-tasking is very easy and using it in the tablet form is also very easy.

    The boot up time is very fast at 1 minute and 3 seconds, there are a lot of features in which this notebook has and it does take some time for them to load. However once the start up is cleaned up to your likings you can expect a much faster boot up time. I used Boot Log XP to measure the boot up time.

    Inputs and Outputs:

    Front of the Laptop
    > The front of the laptop has the latch to open the laptop. This also doubles as the lock and release function when being used in the tablet form

    Left of the Laptop
    [​IMG]
    > AC Adapter
    > Power Switch
    > Vent
    > Express Card
    > Pen Slot (located under the left palm rest)

    Right of the Laptop
    [​IMG]
    > 8in1 Card Reader
    > Slot Loading 8x Super Multi DVD Burner

    Back of the Laptop
    [​IMG]
    > Kensington Lock
    > S-Video Out
    > 3x USB 2.0
    > Ethernet
    > Modem/Phone Line
    > VGA Out
    > Mic In
    > Headphone In/SPDIF

    Lid LEDS
    [​IMG]

    Dimensions and Weight:
    The ASUS R1F is a 13.3 inch tablet notebook, in which the dimensions are 12.6" (length) x 9.48" (width) x 1.37" (height). These dimensions are good if you are considering on traveling a lot and need a very portable laptop.

    The weight of the laptop with the battery and optical drive is roughly 4.5-4.8 pounds, making this laptop light and easy to carry around in your hands or in a sleeve or backpack.

    Wireless:
    The wireless connection worked flawlessly. The Integrated 802.11a/b/g in the ASUS R1F
    Once the laptop was booted, I only had to make 3 clicks and type a password to get online and surf the internet.
    The connection strength showed 5 full bars and speeds were great.

    Battery Life:
    The battery life on the laptop is great; you can expect 3.5 hours to 4 hours doing light tasks, wireless on, Bluetooth off, and depending on your screen brightness as you can see below.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Power4Gear Setting: Max Battery Life

    Screen Brightness and time in hours with minutes
    16/16= 3.22h
    15/16= 3.33h
    14/16= 3.39h
    13/16= 3.44h
    12/16= 3.48h
    11/16= 3.55h
    10/16= 3.55h
    09/16= 3.57h
    08/16= 3.59h
    07/16= 4.04h
    06/16= 4.08h
    05/16= 4.12h
    04/16= 4.20h
    03/16= 4.22h
    02/16= 4.27h
    01/16= 4.30h

    As previously mentioned there is a modular bay, in which in the coming months ASUS will be releasing the modular bay battery, which you can expect close to an extra 2.5 hours of battery life. This laptop offers many features and battery life is certainly not hindered by this.

    Software and Miscellaneous:
    Windows XP Tablet Edition comes preinstalled on the laptop, with a few other programs, like Nero, the program for the Pen when using the tablet features and the program which allows the function for the fingerprint reader for advance security.

    [​IMG]

    The extras that come in the well packaged ASUS R1F are, the ASUS Bag right when you open the box, the laptop is nicely put into a well textured sleeve in which it has a magnet for opening the lid. ASUS provide the user with a tray for the 2nd hard drive, since it has a modular bay. As previously mentioned the modular battery, is expected to be released in the months to come.

    A great thing is that the AC adapter is nice and small and only gets really warm, the size is 4 inches in length, 1.5 inches in width and 1 inch in height. It is also very light, and easy to carry.

    [​IMG]

    The pen that is used for the table in neatly packed in a box. There are extra pointers for the pen just in case it wears out. The pen has a special slot in which it goes into the notebook right under the left palm rest.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly the ASUS R1F comes with a little Bluetooth mouse, with 2 AA batteries, another little great feature to appreciate, since the laptop has Bluetooth 2.0, which will also connect to other Bluetooth devices you may have.

    [​IMG]

    Benchmarks:

    SuperPi:
    Once again Intel showing its true power, the 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo (Merom) does very well in this section, showing the CPU's performance.
    [​IMG]

    3DMark05:
    The graphic card is just the integrated Intel 945GM and can be shared up to 128mb

    [​IMG]

    3DMark06:

    [​IMG]

    HDTune:
    The SATA 80GB @5400rpm performed decently for a notebook hard drive.
    [​IMG]

    Pros:
    Screen <- Excellent viewing angles, good brightness
    Tablet Form <- This just simply fun to use, and the pen program is awesome
    Dual Core <- Excellent performance, no slow downs, Core 2 Duo
    SATA HD <- Uses a 5400rpm SATA hard drive.
    Port Layout <- I liked the layout of the ports, vent located on the left
    Quality <- decent build quality, very little flexing
    Heat <- this is one cool laptop
    Noise <- What noise? It barely makes a sound doing anything.
    Speakers <- The speakers have good treble, but no bass
    Wireless <- Worked well without a hitch, 3 clicks to start working.
    Fingerprint Reader <- A nice feature. Many will like, including business users.
    Bluetooth <- which is enhanced Bluetooth 2.0, for wireless devices.
    Looks <- nice gun metal grey look, reminds me of the W3J
    Latch <- This latch doubles as a lock when using the screen in tablet form
    Extras <- comes with a lot of extras, like the ASUS bag, sleeve, Bluetooth mouse
    Battery Life <- Expect 3.5 to 4 hours of battery life
    Weight <- Light enough for most users, and business users
    Dimensions <- Portable size, good to carry

    Average:
    Keyboard <- Unfortunately the right hand side of the keyboard feels cramped
    Touchpad <- This is physically small

    Cons:
    Touchpad Buttons <- These buttons are loud and have a significant amount of flex
    Price <- I wish it was less costly
    Hinge <- the hinge itself is strong, but its allows for the alleged wobbling of the screen
    Pen Silo <- Causes scratches to the pen when removing it, however it is removable, please read posts
    IEEE 1394 <- A lack of this port
    DVI <- A lack of a DVI port hinders this for those who want it

    Rating:
    I would rate this notebook 8/10 for the above comments and it is geared towards the business and school sector.

    Conclusions:
    [​IMG]

    Overall this laptop is definitely good and unique, a little pricey for some, but has numerous amounts of features.
    The performance is great, and I would consider this to be a portable business or school tablet notebook.

    Those who move around a lot and want power, features, portability, flexibility and security this is the right tablet for you.
    I would definitely recommend this laptop to anyone looking for the pros listed above and the price is worth it.

    Thanks,

    This review is completed by Akhil Parujanwala at www.MilestonePC.com in the new Markham showroom, come and visit to see the vast amount of laptops on display, pictures below.
     
  3. MilestonePC.com

    MilestonePC.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Here are the pictures of the new MilestonePC Markham location showroom.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. PROPortable

    PROPortable Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Although I'd rather see this sort of "review" from an end user (just as those will say of course we're going to make it look great), the tablet is the nicest convertible I've used and we've struggled over the years to find the right one since Asus wasn't making one.. so I know what's out there. I think for anyone who may think there's a bit of bias in Milestone's overview - as I would call it - it's spot on and end usrs who have picked it up should be saying the same thing soon........ It's just unfortunate that most of them won't have the time to to.

    Nice job putting that together and it's good to see you got the Markham location finished up.... Almost looks like you bought out a jewelry/shoe store. I mean no offense at all, but between the floor cases and the wall, that's exactly what it looks like to me.....
     
  5. youngmicroserf

    youngmicroserf Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the review!

    I'm sorry, but the picture of the machine in portrait tablet mode looks scary.
    What's happening in the lower left half? Is that a screen defect or a shadow?
    It also looks a little darker in that corner in landscape mode.

    It would be great to have a high-res picture of the screen to evaluate that grainyness issue.

    YMS
     
  6. MilestonePC.com

    MilestonePC.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You are almost right my friend, one jewelry store got robbed, the bad guy used a hammer to hit the owner's head, the business stopped, I bought all his show cases. The wall unit and island were built by me, my hobby is carpentry. Do you want your basement finished?
     
  7. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Funnily enough I was thinking along the same lines....:D

    ...but I can imagine the security side may possibly be the principle reason.

    Edited: Apologies MilestonePC.com you posted as I was putting together my reply.
     
  8. PROPortable

    PROPortable Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Is it? Not like it's a stereotype, but I didn't know many Asians were really into the trades?? I come from a long line of carpenters, furniture and home builders and construction guys... infact, you could trace probably 90% of my family back to some part of construction...... and of course I have my architecture degrees. I must say I won't call it a hobby - because it's seemed like second nature since I was kid, but there's no such thing as "the weekend" or "working hours".... I'm always going from computers, to working on cars, to landscaping, to building furniture..... I'm the one that complains there isn't enough time in the day!
     
  9. MilestonePC.com

    MilestonePC.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I tried to take an end user position when reviewing the tablet, so there are many pros, some averages and cons in this notebook, as many have read near the end of the review.

    As for the pictures while in the tablet form, my arm was over the tablet thus casting a shadow onto the screen while i took the pictures.

    If you look at the Screen portion of the review, you will see that I stated the backlight has no light leakage, meaning there are no dark or light spots on the screen.

    The screen is very crisp and clean, the colours are also good, I had a A8Js briefly beside the R1F and the images looked sharper on the R1F.

    If anyone has anymore questions, please ask. :D
     
  10. sxm

    sxm Pen Pal - Newbie

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    you didnt mention the pen in the silo... scratches?

    address the static from headphone jack issue others have mentioned?

    if you walk w/ it, does the screen shake when upright?

    no offense, but WE as consumers, need to know the problems too, not just a review that boosts sales.
     
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