Asus Transformer Pad (TF300) Review
The Transformer Pad is a decent pick for buyers on a budget that still want a lot of bang for their buck.
Meet the Asus Transformer Pad TF300, the Asus Transformer Prime's somewhat more affordable little brother. While the processor and the screen aren't as good as the higher-performing forerunner, the Transformer Pad is a decent pick for tablet buyers on a budget that still want a lot of bang for their buck.
Design & Usability
All the fun of a Transformer tablet, only $100 less.
Compared to the other members of the Asus Transformer family, the Transformer Pad TF300 fits in the crook of your hand slightly better, and with a few grams shaved off of the Transformer Prime's weight. The plastic on the back has a bit of give to it, but ultimately does not feel like it would snap under normal pressure.
Because the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 has a capacitive touchscreen and only a power button and volume rocker, most of the commands are issued through the screen. Gestures and controls are very natural and responsive, and follow the standard convention of tap to click, pinch to zoom, and swipe to move the screen's viewing area/pages. Should you elect to do so, there is a keyboard/battery attachment sold by Asus for the Transformer Pad TF300 to turn the tablet into a laptop-type device.
While the Transformer Pad doesn't exactly beat the high-end tablets on the market, it does offer some standard options that should be available on higher-priced models. Not only can you add battery life by buying the snap-in dock for the Asus Transformer Pad TF300, but you can also make use of its internal 802.11n wireless card, Bluetooth connection, and GPS with just the tablet itself.
Fair performance, especially for the price
The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is constructed around a 8.5625 x 5.325-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, and an LED backlighting system. While the screen itself is reflective, it's fair screen brightness should overpower a few reflections in lower light. That being said, it does struggle outdoors.
In terms of app support, you will find that the Play Store gives you access to a long list of apps that you can explore. While they aren't as numerous or popular as some of what you can find on Apple's App Store, the Play Store holds its own by offering some quality apps to allow users to edit documents on the go, stream media, and play games.
If you were to disable all additional processes, crank the backlight to maximum (on high performance mode), and disable Wi-Fi, you can watch just over 9 hours of video continuously, or read an eBook for 6 hours and 38 minutes. For a tablet its size, this is fantastic battery life. To boot, there are other modes available that promise better battery life should you choose them. This is a great tablet if you need to bring it on long trips.
A lot of tablet for a little less.
For someone looking to save a couple bucks and still get a fairly well-performing tablet, the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is probably the best choice you can make if you like Android devices. With all of the features of Android 4 and only a few cut corners like the casing, the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 is a solid tablet at an attractive price.
That's not to say that it is a strong contender for performance points like screen resolution or color gamut, but if you're just looking for a basic tablet that won't frustrate the heck out of you, the more affordable Transformer Pad is a good bet. If you elect to buy the keyboard accessory, you can treat it more like a laptop as well as enjoy better battery life.
Despite our praise, the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 still suffers from many of the common maladies that tablets are subject to, like low screen performance, high reflectivity, and low durability. Still, compared to its closest competitors, the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 holds its own.
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