The Asus Transformer Prime TF201 was a fine example of how a premium Android tablet should be done. It came clad in a slick metal casing and was one of the first devices to have the Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC at its heart. Asus’ new addition to its Transformer line-up is the Transformer Pad TF300TG, which is a slightly scaled-down version of the Transformer Prime TF201. Does this mean it’s a bang for your buck? Let’s find out.
Offers portability of a tablet and convenience of a laptop
Design and build quality
Unlike the Transformer Prime TF201, the Pad TF300TG sports a plastic shell. The rear panel sports a fine concentric circle texture, which adds a classy touch. In addition to the Iceberg White piece that we received, the Pad TF300TG is also available in Royal Blue and Torch Red colours.
At 635 grams, the tablet alone is about 50 grams heavier than the Prime TF201. It’s also 1.6 mm thicker, all thanks to the thick plastic shell. This doesn’t mean it’s bulky; in fact, it’s quite compact and feels very sturdy.
Comes in three attractive colours
When held horizontally, you have the volume rocker, micro HDMI port, microSD and SIM card slot on the left side. The power button is placed on the top left and the 3.5 mm headphone jack is placed on the right side. The rear panel sports an 8 megapixel camera and a secondary 1.2 megapixel camera is placed just above the 10.1-inch IPS display. The Prime TF201 featured a Super IPS+ display that was much brighter. However, at 1280 x 800 (149 ppi), the resolution of both the devices is the same.
If you notice the bottom of the frame, you’ll see a tiny downward pointing triangle, which indicates the location of the proprietary connector. The dock’s holder too has the same triangle, but pointing upward. When the two triangles coincide, you know that the tablet will fit on the dock. Press the tablet down gently and you’ll hear a distinct click indicating it has been locked in place.
Slim at 9.9 mm and weighs 635 grams
The dock adds the convenience of a laptop courtesy a physical keyboard and touchpad. It also houses a secondary battery, a USB port and a regular SD card slot. That’s a few additional hours of battery life right away. A good thing is that when the tablet is docked, the battery of the dock is used first followed by the tablet’s battery. This ensures you’ll have maximum battery life when you head out with only the tablet.
The keyboard is similar to that of a netbook with the exception that the topmost row of keys has shortcuts for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness, web browser, settings, media playback, volume control and lock. You’ll find typing comfortable if you have tiny hands. Even if you have large hands or stubby fingers, you’ll find the keyboard more convenient than the on-screen keyboard. Not to mention, you also have a touchpad with left and right click buttons on a tiny chrome strip below. Note that the right-click functions as the back button.
The topmost row of keys offers useful shortcuts
The build quality of the dock isn’t at par with that of the tablet—it feels fragile and plasticky. The plastic used should have been of better quality.
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