As we reported about a week ago, ASUS has finally released their Transformer Pad 300. Like we pointed out, ASUS has dropped the “Prime” tag line in favor of something more mainstream. Don’t be fooled by the name change however, though the Taiwanese company made some minor adjustments, they did not fully take it all the way back to the drawing board. ASUS’ relatively small changes makes this slate a bit more budget friendly than the original, but is it enough to warrant your purchase?
If you’re not familiar with ASUS’ previous Android tablet, here’s a quick rundown: Just like the Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad 300 is powered by NVIDIA’s quad core Tegra 3 processor. They also sport the same 1 GB RAM, a handful of ASUS’ own apps, two cameras (front and rear) and the standard 10.1 inch screen. Speaking of screens, here’s one area where you’ll notice ASUS has made some cost saving decisions. The Prime came with a Super IPS+, 600-nit brightness display while Transformer Pad prances along with your average IPS screen and 350-nits. According to Engadget, “parked outdoors you might find the viewing angles are narrower “. Priced at a $100 cheaper than the Prime, however, you probably won’t mind as much. Though currently one of the cheapest among the crop of 10.1 inch tablets, the Transformer Pad 300 will set you back a pretty penny. The 32 GB version will run you $400 while the 16GB costs $379 — a $20 difference. If you’re looking to purchase this device I suggest you go with the former as most graphically extensive games have already started to require larger downloads.
Though the screen did take some setback, ASUS compensates with a number of flavor options than the original. The cobalt colored version is available today and the Royal Blue will be available in stores by April 30th. The red and white version will launch this summer for folks looking for something cheerful than your usual black and gray slabs.
Unlike the Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad 300 will ship with Ice Cream sandwich pre-installed. Good news for those looking forward to Google’s latest and finest. As this falls in with ASUS’ Transformer line of tablets, the optional keyboard dock also makes a return. For another $150 you can attach the dock for an added 5 hours of juice and a physical keyboard. Unfortunately, like the screen, the dock has been modified a bit in effort to save both the consumer and company some cash. The dock carries a smaller battery than the older sibling (16.5Wh vs. 22 Wh) though the combined 10+ battery should go past your average workday.
So what does the rest of the internet say?
According to Android and Me states:
It’s incredibly similar to its sibling, the Transformer Prime, with only a minor downgrade here and there. Fortunately, the price of the Transformer Pad 300 is set to reflect those changes. At $379 for the 16GB model and $400 for the 32GB model, the ASUS Transformer Pad 300 offers a premium tablet experience for less money than extremely similar tablets on the market. It looks like ASUS has another winner on their hands.
AndroidCentral shares the same thought:
There’s a whole lot to like here. As a stand alone tablet the TF300 holds its own against any other choice, and the option of being able to use the dock brings things to a whole ‘nother level. For multimedia and gaming, the Tegra 3 works like a champ. It has the features we think are going to be important in the coming months with WiFi direct and a multi-core processor, and ASUS has been great at keeping their products up to date. If you’re thinking about getting a tablet, give this one a long, hard look.
Engadget on the other hand calls the tablet a “mid-range” tablet, though favorable, finds some fault with the tablet and Android:
Even as more mid-range, 10-inch Android tablets start hitting the market, the second-gen Transformer still feels like the best deal…our most serious complaint has little to do with ASUS, and more with Android: even with a state-of-the-art chip running the latest version of the OS, the tablet occasionally hiccups when launching apps and resizing web pages.
If you’re still not set on this current crop of Android tablets, don’t forget ASUS still has another flagship device hidden inside up their sleeves: Transformer Pad Infinity