Asus Transformer Pad TF300T in-depth review [video]

July 24, 2012
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asus transformer pad tf300t review

When it comes to manufacturing high quality tablet devices, Asus doesn’t cut corners. From build quality, to hardware and software, Asus tends to hit the nail on the head when creating tablets. Their recent onslaught of devices have all been well received by almost everyone who’s had a chance to use them. I had the pleasure of receiving the Transformer Pad TF300T, which is basically the TF201 Prime’s little brother.

But, make no mistake, the TF300T holds it’s own against any competitor, thanks to an impressive arsenal of specs, software, and accessories.

Hardware

The TF300T is no underdog. In fact, it’s packing the specs to compete with the absolute newest and hottest tablets on the market. It’s internals are as such:

  • Size: 263 Ă— 180.8 Ă— 9.9mm ; 635g
  • Display: 10.1″ WXGA (1280 Ă— 800) LED with IPS
  • Processor: Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3, 1.2 GHz
  • Memory: 1GB RAM DDR3
  • Storage: 16GB, microSD slot expandable
  • Connectivity: USB, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI
  • Camera: 8MP rear facing, 1.2MP front-facing
  • Video: 1080p HD
  • OS: Android 4.0.3
  • Available with a full mobile dock/keyboard
The device is slightly thicker than the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Lenovo Ideatab S2110. It felt no heavier in the hands, I must say. Here are the three tablets stacked, with the Asus being on top.

The Tegra 3 is a massive CPU, and was capable of handling the most taxing actions I could hit at it. Nvidia, of course, pushes the gaming abilities of the Tegra 3, so I was sure to test that thoroughly as well. ShadowGun, Dead Trigger, Riptide, and the preloaded Glowball were no match for Tegra 3’s quad-core intensity. The Tegra 3 within the TF300T obtained benchmark scores that are slightly under the scores of the Tegra 3 chip found in the Transformer Prime and the HTC One X.

Software 

The TF300T is running Android 4.0.3 with the Asus Launcher running on top. The Asus Launcher is much less noticeable than TouchWiz or other manufacturer overlays, and keeps in-line with AOSP Android. Asus has also included three different modes of operation to complement the Tegra 3 processor – Power Saver, Balanced, and Performance. You will also find a bundle of native widgets that are quite useful and attractive.

Design and display

The 10.1″ IPS display on the Transformer Pad 300 is surrounded by a somewhat large bezel, but still provides a hefty amount of screen real estate. The 1280 x 800 resolution looks incredible when gaming or watching videos. The brightness is quite impressive as well, due to the additional backlights embedded in the device. The pixel density is equal to that of the Transformer Prime, coming in at 149 ppi.

Mobile Dock/Keyboard

In my opinion, the keyboard dock is an incredible addition to the tablet. The dock is extremely easy to use, lightweight, and basically turns the tablet into a quad-core netbook. Not too shabby, right? My only complaint is that it’s a bit on the small size, so it will take some getting used to, typing-wise.

The hinge between the TF300T and the keyboard is extremely strong, and offers the same adjustability as most laptops.

Camera

At 8MP, the Asus’ camera is not something to shake a finger at. The five element lens aids with focus, and produces impressive images. The camera software has the general configuration of most ICS devices, with multiple settings and effects to choose from. Here are some images taken using the rear-facing camera.

Video Review

Many of the TF300T’s features are better left to be experienced by seeing them. So here is our full Transformer Pad 300 video review !

Overview

The Asus TF300T is easily one of the best tablet devices I have had the pleasure of using. The UI, the hardware, and the keyboard dock all solidify the TF300T as a top contender for today’s tablet race.

What are your thoughts on this tablet? Does Google’s Nexus 7, with its smaller 7-inch form factor and extremely attractive price tag, appeal to you more? Or does ASUS still have a winner on its hands with the TF300T going at $399? Let us know! What’s a reasonable price to pay for a 10-inch quad core-tablet?

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