ASUS Transformer Pad 300 Review

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History has a habit of repeating itself; just as we had to burn through our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime in short order, we're on the fast track again with the new ASUS Transformer Pad 300 (TF300T).  With a tablet this hot off the press and moving to retail channels so quickly, we wanted to get the word out to you as soon as the laws of physics would allow.

It’s a bloody shame, too, because we would have liked to spend more time poring over every feature and setting of this beautiful machine. Alas, our time with this tablet-come-netbook is short thus far but we'll promise to follow-up in the days ahead with more detail. Still, we managed to get in some good quality test time with the ASUS Transformer Pad 300, spending just about every waking hour running it through its paces in on our test track.

ASUS Transformer Pad 300
ASUS Transformer Pad 300
Specifications & Feature
Operating System
Display


CPU
GPU
Memory
Storage
Wireless Data Network
Camera

Audio

Interface:







Sensor
Applications


Battery


Dimensions
Weight
Mobile Dock


MSRP
Android 4.03
10.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1280x800) IPS
10 finger multi-touch support
350nits
NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L quad-core CPU (1.2GHz)
GeForce 12-core GPU, 3D Stereo
1GB DDR3 RAM
32GB onboard (as configured) + 8GB ASUS Webstorage space
802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi Direct
1.2MP front camera
8MP rear autofocus camera (1080p), large f/2.2 aperture
Stereo Speakers with ASUS SonicMaster audio
Built-in Mic
Pad:
1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Mic-in)
1 x Micro HDMI 1.4a
1 x MicroSD Card Reader
Mobile dock:
1 x USB2.0 port
1 x SD Card Slot
G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass, GPS
App Backup, App Locker, ASUS Sync, File Manager,
MyCloud, MyLibrary, MyNet, Polaris Office,
SuperNote, ASUS WebStorage, TegraZone
10 hours, 22Wh Li-polymer (pad only)
15 hours, 16.5Wh Li-polymer (dock)
263 x 181 x 9.7 mm (10.35 x 7.11 x 0.38 inches)
630 grams (1.39lbs), pad only
Full 254mm QWERTY keyboard
Android function keys
546g (1.2lbs)
16GB - $379, 32GB - $399, Optional Keyboard Dock - $149 



The 10.1-inch Transformer Pad 300 boasts a beautiful IPS display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC (1.2GHz). Dave has already written extensively about both ICS and Tegra 3 within the context of one of this tablet’s predecessors, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, so we’d recommend a quick read to brush up on those topics here and here.

The Transformer Pad 300 has three different performance modes--Power Saving, Balanced, and Performance--and each uses the processor differently. In Power Saving mode, cores 1 and 2 are clocked at 1GHz, with cores 3 and 4 at 0.72GHz and 0.6GHz, respectively. Balanced mode keeps all four cores humming along at 1.2GHz, but in Performance mode, core 1 ramps up to 1.3GHz while the other three remain at 1.2GHz.

Our tablet came with 32GB of onboard storage plus 8GB of ASUS Webstorage space, along with an SD card slot for expansion. (There will be a 16GB option, as well.) There’s a 1.2MP webcam on the front and an 8MP camera on the back; although the latter boasts some excellent features, including autofocus, but there’s unfortunately no flash.

The built-in mic performs nicely, capturing relatively clear audio with the Sound Recorder app and understanding commands for voice search reasonably well. ASUS didn’t skimp on audio quality with the Transformer Pad 300 either, with stereo speakers that are surprisingly good, pushing out sound with a dynamic range, clarity, and volume that we wouldn’t have expected from a tablet.


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