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True to its word, Asus has begun shipping its Transformer Pad 300 stateside this week for $379.99 (16GB) and $399.99 (32GB), undercutting the third-generation iPad by more than a hundred bucks for the entry-level model (excluding the keyboard dock, which sells separately for $149). If you've kept up with updates about the TF300, there isn't much new to see spec-wise.
The system ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 10.1-inch 1280x800 IPS touchscreen, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi (3G/4G on some iterations), an 8MP rear camera (sans flash) and 1.2MP front camera, and a micro-HDMI port. The slate measures 0.38 inches (9.65mm) thick, weighs 1.3lbs (0.58kg) and supposedly runs for about 10 hours per charge.
The keyboard attachment carries a full size USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader and a 16Wh battery that pushes the overall battery life to 15 hours, according to Asus. Based on tests conducted by Engadget and AnandTech, the autonomy claims are accurate enough, though last year's Transformer Prime seems to fare better with its 25Wh battery (versus the TF300's 22Wh unit).
Reviewers seem to agree that the dock is similar enough to what shipped with the Eee Pad Transformer and Transformer Prime, which is to say it's serviceable but not without flaws. Some authors note that the keyboard is flimsy, others criticize the touchpad and most agree the system has an odd balance to it as the back is heavier than the dock, unlike standard notebooks.
Performance tests reveal the TF300 to be about on par with the Transformer Prime, which was to be expected considering their similar hardware. Despite some shortcomings associated with cost cutting (a plastic casing versus metal, namely), Asus' latest tablet has been well received and every review we've read has concluded it's the go-to Android slate for its price point.