The ASUS Transformer Pad – TF300T. Not quite the Prime

I’m really wondering how programs like Splashtop (and the Tegra 3 version) work with the keyboard dock and mouse. I use my Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a bluetooth keyboard with splashtop, and it’s like having a laptop with a 12 hour battery life. Would really love to upgrade to a Prime.

I would stick with the Tab, as that’s what I use, and it serves its purposes more than adequately.

It’s just extremely inconvenient to have to find a place to set up the little stand the keyboard comes with. It would be much easier to have the whole thing contained in one package.

Really, it’s that inconvenient to find a stand?

I like the Logitech keyboard, which has a case that doubles as a stand.

That’s the exact keyboard I own. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to separate they keyboard from the screen, but there are situations like public transportation which would cause issues with that configuration, where it would be easier to set the whole thing up on your lap.

I’m sorry, I misread your comment. You’re finding a place to set up the stand.

I don’t think I would bother with the keyboard unless I had a desk or table to put the whole thing down on. Otherwise I’d just make do with the screen keyboard.

I’m not sold on using a tablet or laptop on public transportation, period. It seems awfully conspicuous and unwieldy. Easy to drop, break, or have stolen. I’d rather use my phone on the train, which I can use in one hand and easily pocket when I’m done.

Hmmmm, true, true. I guess it would really come down to the amazing build quality of the Transformer and the excellent screen (not to mention Tegra 3). I get your point about public use and the oddities that come with it. If Samsung were to push out the ICS update for the original 10.1 this month I would be completely satisfied…(hint hint, Samsung)

“public use and the oddities that come with it” reminded me of this.

Thanks jerks. Now I feel like a real jerk. And I can’t edit or delete that post.

They’re the jerks because you hotlinked their image?

You’ve hit on the only use case that really makes sense to me for the dock.

By having the tablet physically attached at the hinge, laptop-style, you don’t need somewhere to prop up the screen. Makes sense for more locations than just the train, too, such as lying in bed or on the loo. In those situations, typing on the screen might be a bit tricky too. Hard to get a good angle with the screen and keyboard together.

Hmm. Maybe there’s more to this whole laptop form factor than I first thought. My only tablet is a Kindle Fire that is mostly my wife’s, so I don’t have any first-hand experience using a full-size tablet with a keyboard.

Maybe Microsoft is actually on to something with their convertibles.

Then again, the slate form factor is way better for reading and browsing and such. I guess it depends on how much of each you do?

It’s really quite a conundrum lol. I guess it depends on if you want a potential laptop replacement or primarily a tablet.

I’ve got that one too. It’s pretty great.

The keyboard dock of the Transformer here, is a big part of the attractiveness. The extra battery life as a result seems tailor suited to your use scenario.

Use a 50pk CD Spindle

Splashtop makes this the best tablet in the world. Remoting takes away any performance issues and greatly increases the capability.

I’m a massive fan of Splashtop THD and with the keyboard dock on my Prime and a wireless mouse (connected to my PC) I get plenty of gaming done over my local wireless network.

The only oddity I have is having to set the tablet keyboard to the Android keyboard prior to gaming (key presses are registered as taps instead of long keypresses when set to the Asus soft keyboard. Select the Android keyboard and WSAD works lovely)

Overall I do prefer my Prime over our iPad 2 thanks to Splashtop alone.

An iPad is actually better. I should know, I have a PHD.

Is it really responsive enough? Whenever I use Splashtop, even between computers on my LAN, it’s extremely laggy.

> Battery Test crashed the Android browser every ten minutes

Does it crash Chrome as well?

Yep. I think it’s largely the test’s fault (we’re working on that), but it runs fine on a desktop browser, so I’m still blaming Android.

File a bug maybe?

“And don’t buy it for its selection tablet apps.”

Then there’s no reason for Android. AT ALL.

I had this tablet for 24 hours. Was a horrible mistake and a waste of $100 that I lost when returning it to Newegg. The app selection is beyond horrible.

Which ones were you having trouble finding?

Ironically, all of the Google Reader apps for Android suck compared to the ones for iOS. I also have yet to see an eBook reading app for Android that doesn’t feel like a piece of crap. The Facebook app sucks too, and the browser is not very good, compared to the browsers on iOS. (For example, loading takes about 4-times as long.)

So, of the four things that I actually want to do with a tablet, Android can’t really do any of them very well. I will say, however, that the Gmail app is awesome, and the freedom to customize the home-screens is fantastic. Other than those two things, Android is horrible on a tablet.

1. Adobe Reader is an excellent e-book app, now that they’ve updated it to have nearly every feature of more expensive readers.

2. The Facebook app actually no longer sucks quite as hard since the last update or two. They had an AMA on reddit and really took the suggestions to heart.

3. Which phone are you loading the on? That makes as much difference as the browser. Also, have you tried Chrome Beta or Firefox Beta? They are quite good.

For Facebook, use “Fast for Facebook”. Very good app.

That is interesting because I think the app gReader is excellent.

https//play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noinnion.android.greader.reader&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDMsImNvbS5ub2lubmlvbi5hbmRyb2lkLmdyZWFkZXIucmVhZGVyIl0.

Well I never knew of that. Installing now, thanks!

? Have you seen Google Currents? It’s pretty awesome.

Hmm, I’ve never used Google Reader before. I find Pulse to be awesome.

Yeah, which apps you wanted to have, and haven’t been able to?

I actually don’t think the problem is selection. There are plenty of apps, they’re just all terrible.

I’t actually not that bad. I had this tablet too, but returned it for its hardware issues. There are a lot of great applications for Android.

As for tablet optimized apps, besides the Google apps like Gmail, and YouTube, I used GReader Pro, Evernote, Chrome Beta (full tabs), Rdio (the first screen isn’t optimized but the “now playing” screen is), Play Music, Google Currents, Draw Something, Stumbleupon, Angry Birds Space, IM+, and a whole bunch of games that I don’t want to link because it’s too time consuming.

Just look here

https//play.google.com/store/apps/collection/tablet_featured?start=0&num=24

Needs some Windows 8 on there…

That is the dream. Transformer Infinity w/ more storage and running W8 and with the new UX31’s build quality. Make is so, Asus, and I’ll ditch my ageing VAIO in a heartbeat.

Soon enough. I still want intel on the inside though.

The problem with Intel inside means either pokey performance (Atom) or high price (Sandy Bridge). -/

I previously owned a Transformer and just yesterday I was looking at the Prime in Best Buy. From hardware standpoint, I’m in love. It’s exactly what I want. But having used Android on a tablet, I’m underwhelmed by the OS and just can’t bring myself to buy it.

All that said, give me Windows 8 and I’m sold. -)

Only for tech reviewers is last year a couple of years ago.

You guys must age at an incredible rate.

btw, the latest update to the 300T does wonders to the UX….now there are rarely any stutters or slowdowns (when updating a couple of apps), etc

The Padfone is reported to be compatible with the Transformer dock so it is a little strange this isn’t.

Btw turning on wake by keyboard press is supposed to drain the dock battery so I probably wouldn’t bother turning it on.

Any android in the 300+ price range is going to be a hard sell because of the iPad2. If what you mostly do is watch video, read/annotate pdfs and surf the web, an Android tablet like the Prime is going to be a better buy than the iPad2.

I don’t understand how the Prime is a better buy than the iPad 2, when the iPad 2 is cheaper and has a way better app selection.

Do you mean the Kindle Fire or the upcoming Nexus tablet instead? Those are actually cost effective for casual light use, unlike the $350+ tablets.

What makes me look Android way for tablets is the fact that it involves much less hassle with playing MKVs. And the entire content management seems to be a lot easier on an Android device than on an iOS device.

That’s undeniable, but unless you’re watching a ton of MKVs, can one positive outweigh that many “negatives”?

I see tablet as a platform for content consumption, mainly. For me that would primarily consist of watching stuff(local content), browsing the web and reading.

I think overall browsing and reading would even out between the new iPad and, say, Transformer Pad Infinity/TF700 (most comparable resolution).

– Both have decent resolutions.

– iPad’s browser might be smoother, but Android has Chrome, which syncs to desktop. Given a choice, I prefer sync to desktop (for a tablet, anyway).

Thus video becomes a tie-breaker. In addition – I don’t have to go through iTunes to get stuff onto my device.

On top of that, having the keyboard dock for Transformer Pad Infinity would let me leave my desktop replacement of a laptop at home and take notes at school on the tab, assuming a tolerable typing experience.

I am not particularly concerned with app selection. I need a good browser, RSS (feedly), and means to play my content. Gmail app seems awesome on Android; Pocket and Evernote are available on both.

I am streaming mkv to iPad using AirVideo application. Indeed Android’s content management is by far easier for the tech savvy but the iPad does have some other significant pros over Android tablets

“FINALLY, YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET THINGS DONE WITH A TABLET”

I don’t understand this line. How is the dock much different from using a wireless keyboard or the Apple keyboard dock? Is it the integrated trackpad? You can use a bluetooth mouse or the magic trackpad with any Android ICS device, too.

I don’t really like the dock all that much. Mushy 90% size keys with a crappy tiny right shift key? No thanks.

I’d rather get a good bluetooth keyboard instead (Apple or Logitech). I would much rather have half-height arrow keys than the tiny right shift key. I wish Asus would quit doing that.

I guess you don’t get the double battery, but is that really a killer feature? Is it the extra ports? With a wireless keyboard, you can use the ports on the tablet itself. And you get to pick landscape or portrait orientation.

Yes but the dock adds 5 hours of battery life to it, the touchpad is actually pretty nice and works great, you get a USB port and SDHC/SDXC port, and it really turns it into an Android notebook. I think it’s totally worth it. $150 for a 5 hour battery extender and you could store a bunch of movies on a USB or SD card from your PC and use it on the tablet.

You could do the same thing with any Android tablet with a magic trackpad or BT mouse and the USB/SD card reader dongle.

I would rather have a better keyboard, an optional trackpad/mouse, and an optional USB/SD card reader, rather than have them all integrated so to use one I have to use them all.

The extra battery is pretty slick, but you can get battery packs, too. I forget which model my friend has, but it’s similar to this one http//www.amazon.com/EZOPower-Universal-External-Rechargeable-CellPhone/dp/B004I0J4F0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337969878&sr=8-2

Then again, to carry all these accessories at once would require a bag with a lot of pockets and possibly be bulkier than the clamshell docked and closed transformer tablet.

Yes, it’s way more convenient to have the tablet in the dock and just close it. Also, using bluetooth peripherals will deplete battery life, while using the dock will increase battery life.

As cool as the concept is for the Transformer line, I wouldn’t recommend buying one. Read my post below this one.

That’s a bummer of an experience you had there.

That line is complete and utter bollocks and devalues the whole review

I had one of these (well… three). Here was my experience

The majority of these devices have (or had… at least the batch I got mine from) issues with light bleeding from the bezel. Some (including in-store display models) were worse than others. It’s mostly noticeable on models in which the light bleeds from the bottom where the black bar is, and whenever you watch a movie in letterbox or with a lot of dark scenes.

Battery life was pretty great.

One of the units I had had a faulty charger port. After just two days of using it, it wouldn’t charge or recognize that it was plugged in to the dock unless the dock was plugged in. I tested the dock on a display device at Office Depot which proved that it was in fact the tablet itself.

The plastic case is actually kind of nice. I prefer it over the swirly, shiny “metal” backing on the TF200.

When the tablet is attached to the dock and the unit is closed, it’s like one of the clamshell Eee PC’s, which is great.

The touchpad is better than the ones I’ve used on most laptops.

Asus’ built-in file manager lets you access the USB, Micro SD, and SDXC storage and transfer files to and from those storage devices. It’s awesome. But…

You can’t move apps to the SD card or Micro SD card. This is a limitation of Android 4.0, and it sucks if you use Rdio or Spotify and want to have your offline tracks on an SD card. I suggest you buy the 32GB model if you want one of these.

Chrome is really slow and buggy on the Transformer Pad and Prime. Google is aware of the issue and is working on it.

I experienced frequent lock-ups, and several “Application not responding” prompts a day.

Android 4.0 is awesome on a tablet. Yeah, there aren’t tons of apps for the resolution, but there are some good ones, and desktop versions of websites work wonderfully.

I wouldn’t buy any Transformer tablet without the dock.

Using a Transformer Pad with the dock is a really great experience except for the hanging apps and backlight bleeding. I wanted to own one so bad that despite the frustration of getting that one tablet with the defective charger, and about three afterward with awful light bleed, I kept trying. Asus has pretty bad quality control, and I don’t know if it’s the Tegra 3 processor or Asus’ software layer, but something isn’t meshing here and it’s extremely buggy. There is a hack out there to get full Flash support, and it’s awesome. It plays Hulu (the website) video as smooth as any modern laptop.

I wish we could edit posts, because I’m sure I’ll think of more after I click “post”.

I knew this would happen…

Lastly, I ended up returning my final unit and giving up on the Transformer Pad because of the light bleed and that one with the faulty charger. I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. It’s extremely frustrating to buy something and have to exchange it because it’s defective out of the box. Buying Apple products has many benefits over most other manufacturers, but one relevant one is their quality control and commitment to pleasing their customers. If you buy an iPad with light bleed, you can just go to the Apple store and get another without being questioned too much. Chances are pretty good that you’ll get a replacement with no light bleed (it’s happened to me). But I went through three or four Transformer Pads and viewed display units at different retailers and all of them had the same problem, just in different areas around the display.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the first dock I bought had a non-working space bar.

It is incredible to read reports of these things having faults after the Prime debacle.

Spoke with my friend who works in Carphone Warehouse here in the UK and the store he works in has now had 100% return (sold 5, all returned faulty) and there is a vey high return rate right across the company. Asus are not supplying replacements so customers are getting their money back and buying iPads (in 4 out of 5 of the cases mentioned above) or just not having tablets.

I think Asus is turning them out too quickly and using crappy parts with crappy assembly and ripping everyone off. They should cost half of what Asus is charging for these things.

I dont think the parts is the issue – its a good quality IPS screen, machined housings, etc. Its rushed to the market without proper testing and, yes, there seems to be a fair few assembly issues

Wish I could say you were lying but you are absolutely spot on regarding your thoughts on the 300 and the prime.

FYI Currently own the transformer prime and seriously regret my purchase. Was holding out thinking it’d get better with subsequent updates but I shot myself in the foot as my warranty ran out.

My issues

The transformer prime is unbelievably unstable. I had a nexus one when I got the tablet so my threshold for BS was pretty low. However, when after I got my Galaxy Nexus and had a taste for how ICS should run, I really wanted to throw the POS out the window.

Chrome on my Galaxy Nexus = Joy to use. Seamless. No stutter. Just beautiful

Chrome on TF Prime = Don’t even know where to start. Sh8t is straight up useless

It takes 4 times as long to load a webpage like cnn.com meanwhile my Galaxy nexus just flies.

The system randomly reboots itself countless times. I thought the default browser was great until i got my GN (GN just seemed to spoil my initial perception). The default TF prime browser seems to hang for about 15 seconds at the 80 – 90% load-time. This happens in every single website including www.google.com. The default keyboard? POS. Takes forever to respond to touches and is entirely too buggy.

The worst part of all this is the random typo from ASUS through out the operating system. I am entirely convinced that the person that wrote the how-to’s or some other basic instruction on how to use most of ASUS’s stock application is not a native english speaker. Not that this is a problem in and of itself. However, if i’m going to be spending $500+ on a device, the least you can do is invest in a spell checker or something. My command of the english language might not be too hot, however, sh8t is just plain jarring when you come across a typo in the operating system of a $500 device.

At this point, i’m sticking with the Nexus line of devices and plan on selling off my prime to get the new Nexus tablet or whatever it is called.

complete

How exactly did your 1-year warranty run out less than 6 months after anyone got a copy of the Prime?

He probably meant his in-store warranty to return the tablet and get a refund.

Thing is Chrome is great on phones my Desire HD running a custom ICS ROM totally rocks with Chrome but it sucks balls on my Archos Gen9.

In other words before you hate the Prime over this stop to realise Chrome is great on phones and buggy on tablets.

One of the coolest features I think is that with the dock you get a full size USB. You can then plug a ps3 remote in and it will sync with the prime via Bluetooth. And then you have a wireless game pad to play shadow gun with and will work with all tegra 3 controller approved games. I did notice problems with audio on my prime though if I used a Bluetooth headset and game pad synced at the same time.

Most Android tablets either have or can get a USB port. It’s not unique to the dock.

http//www.samsung.com/us/mobile/galaxy-tab-accessories/EPL-1PL0BEGSTA

It looks like a great tablet but guys correct me if I’m wrong, wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper just to produce more of the Transformer Prime tablets and price them lower than to introduce a new “economy” line?

They would have to make them work first….

The Prime suffers from WiFi and GPS signal problems. They’re discontinuing the Prime when the TF701 comes out.

Woops. Didn’t know there was some heavy backlash. I might consider getting this then. _

Hey just wanted to say that you did a great review -). Keep up the good work.

This is the form factor that Windows 8 could shine one.

Ahhh, I love you Asus. ICS looks pretty great, but I really wanna see very similar hardware running Windows 8.

I will buy that so fast.

If you think ICS lacks apps wait till you see Win8 on ARM.

When did I say that ICS lacks apps? Or that I want Windows RT? I want full Windows 8 (with Core i7 preferably) on this hardware.

Isn’t that wallpaper from HTC Sense 4.0?

It certainly is. I wonder if the reviewer put that on there or if it ships with the device … if so, that’s not cool.

The video review quality is amazing at 1080p. Nice job guys!

A shame about the tales of returns and issues. I’m still rocking my TF101 with very little issues. The dock of course has been a great addition and it is very good for both my work (reading and annotating scientific papers) and for fun (videos, writing, reading rpg books). I hope that the TF101 has a good price drop now as that is still an awesome steal.

I really don’t see how you can say “this is really good but I have a hard time telling you not to spend another $120” … so is an iPad worth 30% more money? That’s saying its a lot better, and if the only reason is app selection… that’s a crappy reason.

app selection is a great reason I think. Android tablets could really use extra apps.

and don’t forget the high resolution display.

Although to be fair most non-optimized Android apps and games work perfectly fine on my Archos Gen9 – and most of the apps are free compared to iPad apps.

Although to be fair most non-optimized Android apps and games work perfectly fine

The difference between “work perfectly fine” and “optimized” is pretty big to me.

Also many of the good apps are for pay on both iOS and Android. Especially the productive and creative apps.

as much as I dislike the iPad, you buy a tablet to use apps in it…….. essentially youre saying the only reason to buy a tablet is a crappy reason…..

Still holding out for the Note 10.1, Transformer Infinity, and the Nexus tablet. That $380 price had me excited and then killed me when I found out that the keyboard dock wasn’t included and would cost another $150 (. I generally want selling points to be included on the tablet not separately sold. Still, if anyone’s hoping for a low cost tablet, this (for 10″) and Tab 2 7.0 (7″ $250) would be the best options.

“…replacing the original Transformer from a couple of years ago” ?? Since when is April 2011 a couple of years away from May 2012?

Who knows, maybe time travel gets confusing or something. Anyone can make a mistake.

Slap Windows 8 on it and we’re in business. To hell with Android. )

Im getting pretty fed up with these comments…. how about waiting for a Windows 8 review to show off how much excitement you can’t contain for a product?

Oh right there still isnt one, then I guess youre not entitled to your opinion on a Android Tablet review….

Windows 8 on ARM, good luck running any 3rd party software for the next 18 months.

lol your funny if you think its gonna take 18 months for developers to click “rebuild” as the ARM function is basically a new feature of the framework, its as simple as rebuilding the app and publishing it as an APPX … now the question is if the devs are taking this time that MS has given them to do it now or not is the question, if i was them i would i mean if you think apple has a big userbase for there appstore, the windows appstores gonna be INSANE we’re talking 100m + in a relatively short span, thats alot of faces to be in front of ASAP.

The first transformer was only last year. Not a couple of years ago.

Soooooooo When is the Infinity coming out? lol

Q3 apparently.

sadness

The Asus Transformer series must be the best Android tablets.

Is ICS really better than Honeycomb? ICS crashes daily on my TF-101 now. Honeycomb ran just fine after the first update came out. It also runs just super on GoogleTV. Maybe ICS requires a Tegra3 to function correctly.

ICS runs perfectly on my Desire HD is runs a single core 1GHz Scorpion from 2 years ago.

It runs pretty well on my Archos Gen9 – not perfectly though to be sure.

As a very big Apple nerd/iPad owner, I gotta say this baby is really impressive. I’m not gonna get one, but Apple needs to keep their eyes on stuff like this.

I think it’s a bit sad Android hardly puts up a fight. Why doesn’t someone (like the big G) invest a few million in app development? Without apps, no one’s going to buy this, without anyone buying this app developers can’t make money and won’t develop apps…

Competition is good but right now the best Android tablet is non-competitive with the iPad – costs the same, can do less, and has way fewer apps, and no retina display. The others are not even worth mentioning. I feed bad for all those people who wasted their money on a 7″ novelty item from Samsung, for example.

This just may get me to make the jump to a tablet. Is there a way to run photoshop and illustrator on Android yet?

Quick Summary

The good Various things are good.

The bad Can’t compete with the iPad in any way, shape, or form.

How is that? The display is better on the i-pad and that’s about it.

I don’t understand why the acer iconia a510 (which on almost every other website has a higher score than the tf300) was given just 6.5 on the the and asus an 8. In every benchmark I have seen the acer has higher scores than the asus. In this review you only compare the scores with the samsung tab.

The average score comes out to be 7.555555555555556

That’s a lot closer to 7.5 than 8.0.

Very cool and a nice price point though $350 would be perfect because then you are spending $500 total with the dock. I have an evo view tablet and while it performs well on honeycomb htc has denied the device an ics update. I’m waiting on the Asus gear that’s coming out running windows and android out of the box before i purchase my next tablet.

amazing tablet, totally worth it.

Ok.. What is this massive page of crap? Where to start. I like this site called . However they get lots of posts that they serve using ajax – as a result these do not get indexed. This is a test to see if they get indexed. I hope to be able to approach them down the road and say " Hey guys, missing traffic".

There are 4,654 words in this article. I am wondering if that is long tail enough.