Transformer Pad TF300T: The Most Cost-Effective Tablet
Asus' Transformer tablets attempt to unify the tablet and netbook form-factors by overcoming the focus on content consumption we see from almost every other tablet. Adding a docking station with a keyboard and secondary battery helps achieve that goal in a major way, bolstering the device's ability to tackle more productivity-oriented workloads. At this point, we'd consider any of the Transformers incomplete without both the tablet and docking station purchased together.
Of course, tacking on an extra $150 to the main device puts the two components of a Transformer into the range of many more powerful computing devices. For the privilege of making a tablet much more flexible, you end up paying close to what a notebook would cost. Quite clearly, the solution has to revolve around making the hardware more affordable.
And that's exactly what Asus tries to do with its Transformer Pad TF300T. Provide better value. Priced at $379 for the 16 GB model and $399 for the 32 GB model, you save about $100 compared to the company's flagship Transformer Prime. And that's for a true tablet, a notebook alternative, and a potential gaming console fill-in. The Transformer Pad is able to fill a number of roles acceptably well.
Now, we know that even with their docking stations, none of the Transformers are able to displace notebooks. They're driven by much less performance-oriented hardware, to begin. Also, though, Android simply doesn't provide as much flexibility as Windows 7. But that'll change once Windows 8 becomes available for ARM-based devices and vendors like Asus are able to pair their hardware with Microsoft's operating system. It'll be exciting to see how the Transformers evolve when Microsoft is vying for market share, too.
Between now and then, though, we know that Asus isn't done introducing new models. The company has even more exciting hardware in the works, some of which is going to emphasize the more premium market. This time around, however, Asus delivers a more affordable piece of hardware that draws from some of its successes with other models and compromises exactly where it could afford to compromise. As its competition resists lower prices, Asus stands to see significant success with the Transformer Pad TF300T, a device we consider to be the best buy available for an Android-based tablet. Asus delivers the converged Transformer Prime experience to those who want it and need it the most — but can afford it the least.