Asus Transformer Pad 300 review
Great performance, but given the weak screen we’d expect a lower price to match the appeal of its premium-priced rivals
Review Date: 3 Aug 2012
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £333 (£400 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
It may have been eclipsed by Asus’ most exciting launch of 2012 – the Full HD Transformer Pad Infinity 700 – but this cut-down version, the humble Transformer Pad 300, delivers Asus' hybrid tablet vision for significantly less cash.
It takes over from where Asus’s other award-winning tablet, the Transformer Prime, left off, cutting a few corners to keep costs down. Instead of a metal finish, the chassis is clad in textured blue plastic.
Compared to the Prime, it’s 36g heavier and 1.9mm thicker in tablet mode, and 200g heavier and 3mm thicker when attached to the bundled keyboard dock. Otherwise, it has all the benefits of the original, with its extra battery and full-sized SD and USB ports.
Its 8-megapixel camera lacks a flash, but aside from that and the physical changes, the Transformer Pad 300 is all but identical to its more illustrious predecessor. The processor remains a quad-core variant of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 CPU, albeit clocked a little slower at 1.2GHz, and it’s a very quick performer.
With Android 4 onboard, the tablet feels as slick and fluid as they come, and the benchmark results back that up. A SunSpider time of 2,008ms is quick, and a 4,037 score in Quadrant is superb. It’s only a whisker behind the turbo-charged Tegra 3 in Asus’s Transformer Pad Infinity 700.
However, there are differences. A smaller battery in the base means it can’t quite match the Prime’s stamina. In our looping video test the Transformer Pad 300 gave us 10hrs 20mins, and 15hrs 32mins with the dock.
The 300 falls significantly behind its sibling when it comes to screen quality, too. It’s an IPS display, so viewing angles are wide, but it’s far from the brightest we’ve seen. We measured a maximum of only 304cd/m2 – a big disappointment.
Maybe if the Transformer Pad 300 was a little cheaper we’d overlook this fault, but prices just haven’t tumbled enough to earn our complete forgiveness. Given a few months on the shelves, the price may drop, but for now, Asus’s cut-down Transformer seems like a poor cousin to the, admittedly expensive, range-topping Transformer Pad Infinity 700.
Author: Jonathan Bray
I bought a TF300T and despite needing a replacement for the first unit, am pretty pleased overall.
It's got a niche appeal though, i.e. if you need a tablet, do a lot of written work and are happy with android as your OS, this is is a good choice.
By chrisfc on 3 Aug 2012
- Chromebook owners get access to Android apps
- SanDisk lets you pop half-terabyte card in your camera
- Windows 9 video shows new Start menu
- iPhone 6 goes on sale... and retailer sites go down
- Intel's RealSense camera: seeing the world like a human
- Apple Watch release date, UK price and features
- How to try paid Android apps for free
- Microsoft killing Nokia and Windows Phone brands
- OneDrive promises faster sync and 10GB file uploads
- Google plays down leak of five million Gmail passwords
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- Tech support horror stories
- Become a tech support superhero
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office