"A really good tablet with a few issues."3.5 starson by OmegaCerebro
Pros: 1. Price
3. Keyboard dock
4. Surprising loud, albeit not great, speaker(s)
5. Good battery life
Cons: 1. Light bleed
2. No native word processor
3. Sometimes slow and finicky web browser(s)
4. Less than stellar screen resolution and colors
Summary: I was one of those people who always said I'd never buy a tablet. I had absolutely zero interest in owning one; I already had a smartphone, a laptop, a desktop, and a netbook (which I never used), so I was pretty adamant. Then a friend bought me a Nook Color for graduation. The very next day, we traded that for a Nook Tablet and I rooted it in order to make it a "true Android tablet," but was unimpressed by its performance. So, by the third day we'd returned the Nook Tablet and then went to BestBuy where I had every intention of getting a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.I was wrong about there not being and productivity software. It does have Polaris Office, but this software is so horribly executed and buggy, it may as well not be there. A word of caution: Polaris Office has a known issue with randomly corrupting Word files. People have reported losing homework, term papers, and entire lab reports. USE IT AT YOUR OWN DETRIMENT.
Having read less than impressive reviews on that device, however, I soon found myself torn between a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Asus Transformer Prime, and the Asus Transformer Pad TF300. Although I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone, I opted against the Samsung tablet for two major reasons: 1) The Samsung tablet wasn't quad-core, and 2) Having owned two Samsung smartphones, I knew that Samsung had a terrible track record when it came to updating its devices to the latest Android OS in a timely manner. I mean, my Galaxy S2 STILL doesn't have ICS.
So, it came down to the Transformer Prime and the Transformer Pad. Ultimately, I opted for the Transformer Pad because its plastic construction wasn't as flimsy as I'd been led to believe, and the plastic build also ensured I'd have better wi-fi reception and avoid the issues with GPS and signal strength that the Prime suffered from. With the exception of the Prime's aluminum body, longer-lasting battery, camera flash, and moderately brighter screen, the Pad is practically identical while costing significantly less.
The Pad has the same Tegra 3 quad-core processor as the Prime, and it shows; the Pad is fast, powerful, and fluid. The Pad has surprisingly loud audio, but it lacks stereo output (either because there's just one speaker, or, if there are two speakers, they're too close together). Still, it's far louder than even my laptop. When my screen is black, I notice some light bleed in a few of the corners, but it's nothing major and becomes unnoticeable when the screen is displaying colors other than black. That being said, the Pad's screen is a bit underwhelming. I wouldn't say it's terrible, but the screen on my Galaxy S2 blows this thing out of the water. The Pad's colors aren't as vibrant and text/images aren't nearly as sharp. It took me a while to adjust to the lower resolution and more subdued colors. If you don't already have a mobile device with amazingly high resolution and vivid colors, then you probably won't have any problems with the Pad's screen at all.
The native browser is unforgivably slow and buggy at times. I thought to rectify this problem by downloading the Dolphin tablet browser, and while it is significantly faster than the native browser, it too, has its share of buggy moments. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the future. Still, if you have this tablet (or any other Android tablet, for that matter) I recommend the Dolphin browser over the native one because it's faster and it has the helpful feature of treating your tablet as if it's an actual computer while browsing the web instead of a mobile device; this is very useful in most situations, but particularly when watching Youtube.
As for the battery, I'm impressed. I'm not a heavy user (I mainly use my tablet to play word games and do light web browsing and reading), so I find that I rarely have to charge my Pad, perhaps once every other day. Apps that are optimized for tablets really shine on this device thanks to ICS and the quad-core processor. With the exception of the browsers, I've never had problems with any of the apps that were actually optimized or specifically designed for tablets. I love the keyboard dock. It is, of course, significantly smaller than a regular desktop or laptop keyboard, but if you're at all comfortable with typing on netbooks then you shouldn't have any problems using the keyboard dock. I have fairly large hands for a man, but I still find the keyboard dock adequate, just make sure you turn off the hyper-sensitive track pad while you're typing. Oh, and the keyboard charges the Pad when you dock it, provided the keyboard dock has an adequate charge.
The keyboard dock leads me to my biggest and final gripe with the Pad: it doesn't come with productivity software. This should have been a no-brainer, especially when one considers that Asus made such a functional keyboard dock in the first place. Yes, you can use Google Docs (now merged into Google Drive, if you weren't yet aware), but that presents you with Google Docs' main shortcoming: you need to be connected to the internet in order to use it. If I could open, edit, save, and create word documents without having to be connected to the internet I'd probably get rid of my laptop, or at least relegate it to the same dust-gathering status of my netbook.
So, that was my rather long review of the Asus Transformer Pad TF300. I'm truly pleased with it, despite some shortcomings. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for an Android tablet. If you've always wanted the Asus Transformer Prime but were put off by its sticker price and/or GPS/wireless issues, then this is absolutely the tablet for you.
Updated on Jun 23, 2012
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