April 22, 2012, 8:54 PM —
The 10.1-inch Asus Transformer Pad TF300 aims to reshape the tablet market by delivering top-tier performance at a value price. It largely succeeds in this mission, delivering performance that's on a par with its pricier Transformer Prime sibling. However, the Transformer Pad had to make some compromises in components and display to achieve its goal. And more worrying than those compromises--which include a slightly heavier weight and different build materials than what's found on the premium Prime--were the frequent glitches I seemed to encounter, with no rhyme or reason, while using this Android 4.0 tablet.
Priced at $379 for 16GB of storage, and $399 for 32GB of storage, the Transformer Pad is the new value tablet in Asus' lineup. The Transformer Prime, which was released last December and was the first Tegra 3 tablet, remains at the top of the pyramid, for now; that model stars at $100 more than the Pad for the 32GB version. (Asus has already announced high-definition, 1920 by 1280 resolution 10.1-inch models, coming later this spring/summer season.)
Those prices also put Transformer Pad in direct competition with the 16GB Apple iPad 2, which is priced at $399. And if you're just interested in specs, the Transformer Pad has the advantages over the iPad 2 in spades, starting with the fact that you can get twice as much internal storage for the same price. Why anyone would consider spending just $20 less for the 16GB model is beyond me, though; for the cost of less than two movie tickets, you can double your storage capacity for your media and apps. The Transformer Pad's extra bang-for-your-buck resets the bar of expectation for other 10-inch class Android tablets, too, since no other tablet offers 32GB for $400.