Duking it out with the iPad is no easy task for any Android tablet. No matter how good the price or how slick the features, no Android tablet will ever have access to the juggernaut that is Apple's app store. On the other hand, many people love the free and open development concept of the Android Market. If Android is your thing, then the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 may deliver one of the best tablet values on the market.
ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 vs. Transformer Prime TF201
The TF300 does lack some features in comparison with its snazzier cousin, the ASUS Transformer Prime TF201. The TF300 is heavier and slightly thicker than the Prime, and its body is made of plastic rather than aluminum. The plastic shell gives the TF300 a less sturdy feel than the Prime.
The processor speed is a bit slower with the TF300, although it does have a Tegra Quad-Core SoC. Additionally, the screen of the TF300 is also more difficult to read in sunlight because it lacks the Prime's Super IPS mode. When you try to play full-screen Android games using wired PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 game pads, you have to connect the TF300 using a full USB port, which means that the TF300 has to be attached to its keyboard. The TF300 also does not hold signal strength as well as the Prime during gaming.
A Great Value for the Price
The TF300 is not to be completely outshone by the Prime. The new model gains better Wi-Fi and GPS performance than the Prime, perhaps related to its plastic housing. The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 has comparable viewing capabilities with good screen color, good viewing angles and good contrast ratio. Its screen doesn't compare to the new iPad Retina display or to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7's stunning black color depth, but the display still delivers a good value for the TF300's price point.
The TF300 comes equipped with Android's 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The keyboard dock costs $150, which is as much as the Prime's keyboard dock, but the keyboard has a slightly more cramped feel than the iPad's keyboard dock. However, when swiping the screen, the TF300 seems nearly as sensitive as the iPad and even more sensitive than the Prime. Also, although the TF300 lacks the Prime's LED flash on its rear camera, the 8-megapixel camera captures more detail than shots taken with the Prime. The speakers feature a fuller and louder sound than the Prime's, even at high volume levels.
Android apps are not developed under Apple's strict standards. This means that when you download apps onto the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300, you occasionally get buggy performance. However, these problems are inherent to the apps, not to the device. Overall, while it lacks the features of an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab, the TF300 compares favorably to the higher-priced Prime. With a price point of approximately $379.99 for the 16GB option, the TF300 tablet delivers an array of great features with a lighter blow to your wallet.