Although the Transformer Pad TF300 isn't flawless, Asus met our expectations in delivering a worthy successor to last year's Eee Pad Transformer. Compared to the pricier Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad looks and feels slightly cheaper, its screen isn't as bright and its Tegra 3 processor is clocked slightly lower, but it remains an attractive option if you're seeking a more affordable solution.
Folks with a more flexible budget should find it easy to justify the Transformer Prime's price premium (~$100), yet cash-strapped shoppers won't sacrifice much by purchasing the Transformer Pad. After all, it still packs a powerful quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 16GB to 32GB of storage, an amazing IPS display, and the TF300T keyboard docking station. Software is driven by Android ICS and Asus is known to update its devices rather often compared to the competition.
As with the original Eee Pad Transformer, the Transformer Pad's dock remains a key selling point for us as we spend a lot of time typing. The ability to turn the tablet into a competent netbook makes the Transformer Pad and its brethren a better choice for productivity-centric usage than many alternatives. The boost in battery life is also a huge plus and it really helps justify the dock's $130 asking price.
However, the dock isn't perfect. Considering it costs a bit more than the original Eee Pad Transformer's TF101 dock, we were disappointed to find just a single USB 2.0 port. In addition, the lack of rubberized feet means that the Transformer Pad can -- and often does -- slide across the desk when you're trying to use it.
Overall, we're thrilled Asus decided to offer a more affordable version of the Transformer Prime and the Transformer Pad is easily one of the best value tablets/netbooks money can buy today.
Pros: Powerful quad-core Tegra 3 chip, great IPS display, good value, optional keyboard docking station makes it a good choice for productivity-centric usage.
Cons: Only one USB 2.0 port on dock, Android still has a limited tablet app selection.
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