on April 25, 2012
This is an awesome tablet. Extremely powerful and versatile. Some purists will say the display isn't up to par, but that's ridiculous. This is a stunning display even if it falls short of the highest pixel count available. The performance is better than the iPad 3, it's a beautiful device and it offers the unique ability to pop into a keyboard base and "transform" into a laptop. Combine that with it' s low price and Apple is outdone and forgotten. Buy it now.
I originally bought this for my wife, after spending some time using the tablet, I've decided to purchase another one for myself. Ease of use, convenience, portability and awesome power make it a better option for me than my laptop.
The unit is made of plastic, but it's very sturdy and I feel it will last quite a while, I did order a leather case for it though. As I previously stated, the screen is great regardless of what anyone else says. I have poor eyesight, but I can clearly read the screen even with full sun shining on it. I tested the GPS with the unit tethered to my iPhone and it works flawlessly. Wifi reception is so good, it found more servers around my house than any other device I own and has had full strength connected to mine since I fired it up, regardless of where I use it in the house.
I was able to easily conect to my main computer via DLNA and stream the music and videos I have stored there. There are litterally too many features on this tablet to list individually and I know I haven't even found all of them yet. So far, there's nothing I've tried to do with it that's slowed it down.
I did notice two glitches; the browser shut down a couple of times for no reason and had a hard time coming back up. I think this is a problem with ICS and will probably be fixed with the next update. Also, the on screen ASUS keyboard is very glitchy. I was constantly hitting backspace while writing lengthy messages because it would misspell (even though I hit the right key) and would put spaces in the middle of some words. I haven't tried the Google keyboard yet because I decided to just use the dock from now on for long messages.
One more note. I've used an iPad before and have owned an iPhone since it was released. The Apple OS is more polished than Android, but Android has come very far since it's humble beginnings and I believe it will surpass IOS very soon. But, it's good enough now for us to thoroughly enjoy these tablets and has given me a reason to ditch our iPhones and go with Samsung Galaxy S's as well.
Having spent an extended amount of time with the tablet, I've got a few observations.
First, there is some light bleed on the screen edges, but under normal circumstances it's not noticable.
Second, on top of shutting down occassionally the browser is very slow to extremely slow. I believe this is more an Android issue than a tablet issue and I hope it will be corrected with an update.
Third, the tablet has 3 performance settings. Initially, I left it on the default balanced setting. I've discovered that MANY times video will not play unless I switch to the high performance setting. I've decided to just leave it on the higher setting and sufffer the battery drain.
Fourth, for some reason, you cannot use a usb extension cable. It won't work for power or data with any cable extention. This is dissapointing as I'd like to sit on the couch and charge at the same time, but the stock cable is too short.
I still believe it's a great tablet and will only get better with software updates, but right now it suffers from glitchy, slow apps and OS. I've dropped my review by 1 star due to the software issues.
I've spent many months with the tablet and thought I'd share my thoughts now.
The new JB upgrade and subsequent upgrades to that have really helped. The keyboard works great now. For the browser, I switched to Chrome and have had no issues, just have to go to the stock browser for flash related content. Battery life is around 7 hours for almost constant use. And, about another 5 hours if I add the dock, very good in my opinion. A user commented about the extension USB issue and rightly informed me that it has to be USB 3.0, I was using a 2.0 cable.
I use the tablet every day and it has become a necessary part of life. I use Kingfsoft office for word docs and spreadsheets, scribble pad for notes to myself and during meetings, play games, do email, take videos, navigation, weather, etc. I've also installed Splashtop on my PC so I can do remote desktop, works great.
It's still the best Android tablet availible at this price point and will be a viable option for some time.
I like the tablet so much, I bought one to give away to one of my employees during my company Christmas party. The lucky winner is very happy.
on April 28, 2012
I got my TF300 a few days ago and I love it! I really wanted to wait for the Transformer Pad Infinity because of the nicer screen and the metal casing, but for $200 less, I felt that the TF300 would be a great deal and it is! I haven't tried to use the tablet outside, but inside the screen is bright and crisp - I have zero complaints about it.
Some of the best things about this tablet:
*It's able to run Flash programs
*Full keyboard dock
*customizability (Apple doesn't want you messing with anything except maybe where you put the apps on the screen)
*The ability to print on most printers using Google Cloudprint (Apple airprint lets you print on certain printers, but the list is short)
*Comes with Polaris Office (like Microsoft office and compatible with office and excel and power point)
*Much more compatible with a PC
*You can remotely control your PC using this tablet (really cool!)
*Way more apps than I thought there would be with all the hype about Apple's App Store having more - I have an iPhone and so I know there are gazillions of choices there, but if I didn't know better, I wouldn't have noticed the difference.
* You can use your PC to download apps directly to the TF300 without connecting it or anything.
*There's a widget you can use to kill all the running apps to save battery power.
As for the unit itself, it feels nice in my hands - the plastic doesn't feel chintzy, but I have nothing to compare it to. The touch screen is very responsive, the apps and browsing are fast and smooth (even with some really cool live wallpapers running in the background).
So far, I have no complaints at all. Part of me still wants the Infinity just because it will have some things that are really cool, but I'm not sure they are worth $200 extra when the insides of the two are pretty much the same.
on May 23, 2012
UPDATE 3: Please check each individual section in my "PRIOR REVIEW" for updates on those particular items. I will do one more small update later.
UPDATE 2: This is just a short update just to let everyone that the replacement TF300 has for all extensive purposes been a home run. This is the tablet I wanted to love and it keeps giving me reasons to love it more. I will do a more in depth update later in the next few days but for now just let me say BUY THIS TABLET. I'm very happy I just got a defective unit the first time around. No strike 2 for ASUS. I'll leave my prior review in place just in case someone gets a tab that was doing the same thing.
UPDATE 1: Just to keep those interested in buying up to date. ASUS responded very quickly to my review (see comments) and after a few emails back and forth they also think I have a faulty tablet. For those interested I'll post some excerpts in the comments, I do go into a bit more detail on some of the errors.
Well, I'll get right to it. I want to LOVE this tablet. I did a lot of research and knew this was it for me. I received my tablet and started putting it through the paces. All was well for about a week, then it started rebooting over and over again. First it was rebooting after every song on Pandora. So I uninstalled the app and reinstalled it. Ok, problem solved. Not quite. Angry Birds Space froze, tablet rebooted. Now I'm getting suspicious. Pandora made it reboot. EVERYTHING made it reboot. Keep in mind all this was yesterday that it got all kooky. I am on the latest firmware. I did a cold boot (power off, unplugged, power button+volume down) and was hoping for the best. Nope. Getting my google play on and then silence. Look at the tablet and it's rebooting. So I start opening apps to test again. I open Dolpin Browser, Gallery, Super Note, and My Library, all but one come PREINSTALLED on the tablet. I go to open Pandora and don't even get to touch the icon before it's rebooting again. So I want to run that scenario, open the same apps, it's fine. I have the tab in the keyboard dock and I go to open Netflix. The screen goes to portrait then back to landscape and nothing happens. So I say screw it and put Google play back on again. I let it play over night, it did not restart, but the music did pause. Fine. I hit play in the morning and like 15 seconds in it restarts. I am returning this tablet and hoping it's just a defective unit. From the reviews it sounds it is. But I will make some comments on how it was when it did work.
People say it's not as nice as the new IPAD. Well it's not, IPAD is a premium unit sold at a premium price. I'm not gonna compare a Hyundai to a high end Mercedes. Is a super duper HD screen really worth THAT much more? Not for me. Compare the Transformer Infinity to the IPAD. That said, the screen is great. Reading books is no problem, my pictures look awesome, games look very detailed. LITTLE bit of bleeding on the bottom (landscape) but as others have stated, only on black back grounds and really it doesn't take away from anything. It's not burn your eyes out bright as the Prime, but it's plenty bright. At home I usually keep it at 50%, in my office I might max it out, but in my defense 3 of my 4 walls are windows really so I get a lot of sunlight in here. It's plenty bright. I sort of think we've all been pampered and spoiled by gorgeous screens and I can honestly say this is one is just that. It's just not super duper IPS HDx400. Stop, it's great, plenty good, especially for the price. I've thrown some HD video at it looks awesome. And I'm a little snobby when it comes to these things, I'm happy with the display. It's also (when it works) very responsive out of box.
UPDATE: Not much to add to this. I still feel it's plenty bright for the average person. Resolution is fine, HD video looks great. HD games and apps look great. Non-HD apps are a little pixelated but that's not a display issue, that's an android issue because (and apple does do this better) not every app is made to be displayed on tablets. Great, solid screen that is very responsive. Really my only gripe is a gripe about ALL tablets is that they are finger print magnets. I was given a stylus that I thought I would never use, but I gotta admit that I love the thing. Since I use it so much it sort of solved the finger print issue.
Meh, can't comment on this until I get the replacement unit. It started off pretty snappy and just fell apart. Graphic intensive games were nothing to it. No lag at all. My bigger problems were the simple things which is kind of odd. I do love the option of low consumption, balanced, and performance. You can change between them quickly and there is a definite difference in battery life (and performance). I don't need 5 cores to do most things, i'm usually on balanced and it (when it works) was plenty fast. I think my unit is defective so I'll hold off on this part.
UPDATE: Now I can comment on this. GREAT tablet. This will probably be one of the most important sections for most so I'll try to be thorough. I'll break this up into subcategories to make it easy.
MULTITASKING UPDATE: This beast is amazing. Let me take you through a normal day. I get to the office and throw on streaming music or put a movie for back ground noise. I gotta prep for some meetings on Evernote, review some documents on Google Drive. Meeting time. We have a lot of internal documents in pdf, no problem with ezPDF reader (two bucks, buy it) where I can pull it up and ohhh look at that, yes I am annotating the pdf file with my own notes, text, drawings and pictures. I work at a large facility, someone in the meeting just asked about a certain area of our property. it's Maps time! I remove my tablet from the keyboard dock (which always is met by a look of surprise, then "oh how cool" then questions about the tablet) and scroll smoothly from side to side and zoom in and out with no problem (AS LONG AS YOU HAVE FAST WIFI!!!). Another question and I have to look at a website for a quick answer (like I said in the internet browsing, it's not that bad, just not a desktop experience on the speed) and now they ask to see some pictures, up comes the gallery where my pictures render quickly (performance mode is your friend, ladies and gents). Another question that I know can be better explained with a youtube video and back to my notes. Is Thursday good for a follow up meeting? Let me pull up my calendar....how were your numbers last year for this....let me open the file manager and pull up my excel sheets. I do not close any of this stuff down and only once has maps frozen and shut down. I do this almost every day to that extent and do not close apps between all this bouncing around. It handles it with out breaking a sweat. This machine is a multitasker. Quad-core? Yes please!
PERFORMANCE GAMES UPDATE: I did not purchase this tablet to play games. That said, holy jesus I love playing games on this thing. Your normal Android game (i.e. angry birds, Fruit Ninja, Ninja Chicken, TnT, Temple Run, Brave Temple Run, TripleTown (I saw the cutesy graphics and was going to bail, 3 minutes later I'm buying this insanely addictive game) all look and run beautiful. The graphic intensive games that should show off the processor might does just that. Max Payne, NOVA 3, Six Guns, ShadowGun and Biohazard 4 (korean only release, I don't know what the hell is going on in it) all look great, run smooth, and do it all with a high frame rate. I did have Shadow Gun shut down on me when I connected it to my 50' panasonic along to my PS3 controller, but that was after I played it for about half an hour with no problems, turned it off, and went to play it again. That was yesterday and I haven't tried again. I'm getting used to playing the higher end games on the tablet, it was a little weird at first with out a controller. I'm still a little clunky at it but I'm guessing I just need to practice. Overall I'd say the tablet has exceeded my expectations on the game front.
At times it's brilliant, but it's buggy. (right as I wrote that my tablet restarted...again with pandora) Anyways, not the smoothest web experience. But i think that will get better. My personal experience is that Chrome Beta seems to be the most unstable, it shuts down a lot. Dolphin seems pretty good as does the stock browser. I honestly have not put in enough time browsing the web to make a fair judgement on this.
UPDATE: I think this Internet Browsing might be the weakest thing about Android (not this tablet, it's really more of a software problem) It's not as good as desktop browsing, but it's a pretty new OS so there's going to be a lot of improvement on this front. It's not awful by any means, but it's just not that normal desktop experience. Some sites load just fine, no problem at all. Others that are flash heavy or have videos tend to take a bit too long to load. Nothing unbearable mind you, but definitely has room for improvement. But I might not have the right browser. I mainly use the stock browser. Haven't used Dolphin HD much, the chrome browser (beta) was god awful and unstable, and Firefox just came out and I have not tried that out yet.
Not bad, not oh my god amazing, but not bad. I watched Iron Man 2 on netflix with my Onkyo system hooked up to it, it did surround sound pretty damn well actually. Didn't really expect that. With out assistance I would say the sound is above average. It's actually damn loud with Ninja Chicken.
UPDATE: I use it in my office all the time, no problem hearing music or movies over the stupidly loud AC. I use headphones a lot, they sound good. I would like an equalizer but that's a software thing and I'm sure there's on in the market place, haven't looked. But really that should be standard for any OS. I also connect it for music and movies to my Sound System and it sounds epic. Don't expect to put this thing as your sound source for your party or anything like that. One somewhat big gripe is the speaker placement is stupid. If I'm holding the speaker landscape laying a game like NOVA 3 I cover the damn speaker with my hand. Why ASUS put two speakers on one side of the flippin' thing is beyond me. The speaker quality itself isn't bad though and the placement is more of an annoyance than an actual problem.
MEDIA PLAYBACK UPDATE
Music: No problem. I use Winamp myself and have had no problems.
Moves: Ahhh! Here's where this beautiful creature shines. First, as stated several times in this review, get the MX PLAYER. It's awesome. HD looks great. The intro to Dark Knight, Hugo, Final Fantasy Advent Children and African Cats all made me give a little "wow" and I was playing them. But it's not just HD that look good. I threw Batman the Animated series and Batman beyond on this tablet and was a kid again watching them with no problem. I've thrown a lot of formats at it, avi, mp4, mkv (my personal favorite), mpg, all play no problem. The only thing that makes it jam up a bit is the M2TS which I actually never heard of until recently. Aside from that all video files have played back with no problems.
it pretty much mirrors what's on your tab. Looked good but subtitles are a bit of a let down. Playing netflix movies subtitled will not display on screen. It'll show the movie on your TV but the subtitles only show up on the tablet. There's technical reasons for this having to do with HDMI, but it's disappointing because in my situation (my wife has english as a second language) it really does help. Other than that the quality is good and the sound does carry through the HDMI in case anyone was wondering.
UPDATE: Loving the HDMI playback. No stutter, no slow down. I have quickly amassed a large digital library and it's great. Picture and sound are not problem. The subtitle thing for NETFLIX is a no go, but when playing a movie from your tablet on MX PLAYER (highly recommended) the subs on that show up just fine on the TV. I go into more detail on this in the comments section.
You don't really realize how much a pound is until you are holding it for a while. I'm ok with it, my wife on the other hand did complain after a short while that it was a little heavy. I think it's fine, you'll really get tired holding pretty much anything for a while.
UPDATE: After a few weeks I think I'm just used to this thing, weight doesn't bother me at all. I can and do hold it for long periods of time. My wife hasn't complained about it again either so I think she's on the same boat.
It feels sold, keyboard dock does too. Not poor quality at all. I actually like that it's a littler thicker than the prime, it makes it more comfortable. There is such a thing as too thin sometimes. (And my tablet rebooted again, just FYI, this time with google play)
UPDATE: Ah hell, I dropped it. It did have a case on it but parts were exposed. It got dinged up a bit because it was right onto asphalt, but it took it with minimal physical damage. Probably would have dented an aluminum housing, it was sort of a rough drop. But it's fine and very happy with the build quality thus far.
Great battery. Tablet with keyboard dock lasts me about a day and a half of fair usage, streaming music (as I keep trying to do), playing games, reading documents, always connected to wifi, brightness at full in my office, multi-tasking.
UPDATE: I use the thing a lot and almost exclusively on performance mode (I paid for all those cores, I'm gonna bloody well use them). I do try to adjust the brightness to my surroundings (more proof that it's plenty bright) and keep the GPS and bluetooth off. After a day at work with me, games, movies, and streaming music I usually have about 30% left. Once it was at 23%, never has it died on me. I do have it in the keyboard dock most of the time. I don't need it to go 3 days with out charging. I am confident that if I had a super long flight or something that if I turned off the unnecessary items (wifi, gps, bluetooth, etc) and adjusted the screen brightness I can get between 12-15 hours out of the tab with dock and probably about 10 hours tab alone. For my personal needs it's more than enough.
No problems with wifi. two seconds to find and connect to my home network. My work network is hidden. I just punched in the info and away I was. I have not done speed tests yet but I will with the second unit. I have fios so it should be interesting.
UPDATE: No problems at all. Good range, stays connected. Fast downloads. Just used the speedtest dot net app and I red lined download at 20284 kbps and upload at 18317 kbps.
UPDATE EXPANDABILITY: Yet another area where this tablet absolutely murders the IPAD. On the tab alone I ordered (have not received) a 32GB micro SD card. For the keyboard dock I have already slammed in a 64 GB SD card and I can equal that in USB flash drive at a reasonable price. But I have an 80 GB ipod that has a busted something or other and I get no sound. Kind of useless to me...or is it? Yup, reformatted and plugged in via USB port...HELLO EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE! Also had a spare 80GB macbook drive that I reformatted and it read it no problems. So let's do some math. 32GB internal+32 Micro SD+64 GB SD Card in dock+80 GB external drive=208 GB. Suck it IPAD, suck it.
This tablet is filled with potential and I really really hope it's just a defective unit. Android has come along ways and ICS is great. Still has it's bugs, but I think it'll give iOS a run for it's money sooner rather than later. Don't be cheap, by the keyboard, it's really handy and good build. Easy to type on (and I type pretty fast). I'll hopefully be changing my rating to 5 stars with the second unit. Any questions or tests you would like comments on just leave a comment. I'll get to them when I get my new tablet in hopefully the very near future. By the way, exchanging on amazon is painless.
on November 30, 2012
Below is a review of several tablets I tried in MY chronological sequence with them, with explanations of why I rejected all but the Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 tablet. I am placing the same review under each model I tried.
Background - I am now 65 - NOT a member of the electronic generation! I love playing Scrabble and thought intensive games in general. I know very little about smart phones or tablets. I firmly believe that a company OWES SUPPORT to their consumers and NOT at additional cost! Customer service is VERY important to me! Before anyone accuses me of bias: I have NO connection to ANY of the companies mentioned. I am simply a consumer relating my personal experiences!
iPad - first generation - EVERYTHING you do with it is tied to iTunes. When I tried it, there was absolutely NO manual or documentation available for iTunes. Beyond the first 90 days Apple wants to charge for tech support. I found iTunes and the Apple OS to be confusing and difficult to use. The tablet, itself, performed well but I prefer an OS that allows direct folder and file access.
Samsung Galaxy 7 inch tablet first generation. This device runs Android 2.3. It is now several years old and STILL functions perfectly. The battery still holds an all day charge with moderate usage. I have never found an app that is "incompatible" with this model. This is an important point in the reviews that follow. I even used it to shoot surprisingly excellent videos of a music/dance presentation in a dimly lit auditorium. Now, several years later, with cataracts growing in both eyes as well as "floaters" in both eyes, I was seeking a screen larger than the 7 inch.
Motorola Xoom 10.1 tablet. It is HEAVY. While it worked well, for reasons unknown to me it was not compatible with several of my favorite apps. Furthermore, the screen seems to get greasy very quickly!
Asus TF300 Transformer 10.1 inch tablet. While the construction of mine was solid, all the other negative observations of other reviewers were immediately apparent. The tablet would not maintain wi-fi contact even close to my router. The Asus TF300 was also incompatible with many of my favorite apps. Finally, the Asus TF300 (and TF700 mentioned below) has a strange auto-spelling correct system that FREQUENTLY screwed up my typing. To their credit, Asus did answer my question with instructions on how to turn the spelling correction off, but only via email. They have NO telephone tech support.
Samsung Galaxy NOTE 10.1 inch tablet. While it offers a pull out writing stylus AND a rear facing autofocus camera, I saw little difference between it and the Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 table discussed below. At roughly $200 more than the Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 tablet, although it performed well, I did not feel it was worth the difference in price.
Asus TF700 Transformer Infinity - suffers many of the same problems as the less expensive TF300 model. SPASTIC OS, intermittent wi-fi disconnection. The auto-brightness control also appeared not to work or not to work properly. Perhaps worst of all, possibly because of the increased resolution (the improved resolution was NOT apparent to MY eyes - it appeared to me about the same as all the other tablets) the device is incompatible with MANY apps!
Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 tablet. It performed as well as my first generation Samsung Galaxy 7 inch tablet until I tried to download the QuickMark app to scan bar and QR codes. According to the app developer, the app is incompatible with the tablet because the tablet does NOT have an "autofocus" rear facing camera. A phone call to Samsung tech support, and YES - Samsung BELIEVES in customer support at no extra charge, confirmed the absence of autofocus in the rear facing camera! Since I do NOT carry the tablet with me when I go shopping and am NOT likely to scan Bar or QR codes often, I felt I could live without the autofocus rear camera. However, I did find a different QR code app that DOES work on the tablet. I have now had the tablet for a week and am loving it. SO FAR, I have not found any incompatible apps other than QuickMark. I find the screen to be bright and sharp (auto brightness works well), and the contrast to be superb. I have used it to watch Big Bang Theory via the TBS app. The Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 inch tablet maintains strong wi-fi connection both anywhere in my home and at the school where I attend classes. Other than the lack of autofocus in the rear camera and the lack of direct USB connectivity without their proprietary cable (sadly, this lack of standardization is still common amongst tablet manufacturers), I have absolutely no complaints at this time.
IF you do not need or can live without a rear camera that autofocuses (it DOES have a rear camera and a front camera for SKYPE and other functions), I highly recommend the Samsung Galaxy 2 10.1 tablet. At the current price of $300 for the wi-fi 16GB model (memory is expandable through a micro SD card. I see no need for a 32GB model), it is VERY reasonable! I think there are also cell phone service compatible models at additional cost.
Advice to tablet shoppers:
1 - Buy from a source that allows easy returns without restocking fees. Amazon is EXCELLENT for their customer service, but you may want to buy from a local store to avoid shipping time and costs. Buy from a source that does NOT charge a restocking fee AND allows a reasonable time for device trial.
2 - Download as many apps that are free and that look appealing to you. Try each one at least briefly. NOTE any apps that are not compatible with the tablet you are testing. How important are they to you?
3 - Look at each screen under bright and dim lighting. How do YOU find the brightness (usually adjustable, if auto-brightness does not work well for you), the contrast, the sharpness?
4 - Log into your email account and/or create a Gmail account. Type an email to someone. Does the auto spelling correct work well for you? Is the virtual keyboard suited to your style and needs?
5 - Play with the tablet for a whole day, if you can afford the luxury of sitting with it on. See how long the battery lasts.
on May 9, 2012
The Transformer TF300 disappointed me a bit. It wasn't the hardware but the software that was disappointing. The TF300 does indeed have great specs and its benchmark performance is high. Unfortunately, in the real world, things tend to work differently. My tablet suffers from random unresponsiveness and lag when browsing the web, running certain apps or multitasking. I get the option to close the browser/app or wait for it to respond. Usually, right after selecting the "wait" option, it becomes responsive again. Using a different browser to at least remedy the web experience only makes it worse. Another issue plaguing the tablet is certain game apps not loading or crashing randomly. A re-installation of the app usually fixes this problem. These issues are unacceptable for a next gen tablet with such good specs. However, the tablet is still new in the market and I expect Asus to patch these issues in the near future.
I'm very pleased with the TF300's hardware and construction. Yes. You're going to get a plastic shell. This isn't Asus' Prime series and it's not an iPad. This is the Asus Transformer TF300 and sacrifices had to be made in order for the company to sell it at a lower price than it's competitors. Fortunately for the buyer, the TF300 doesn't sacrifice too much to keep its low price tag. If you compare it to its more expensive predecessors, it actually gains in some areas.
In conclusion, the TF300's performance is held back by it's poor implementation of software. Fortunately, this problem can be solved by software updates. I'll be keeping my TF300 because I'm hopeful that these issues will be patched and, once they are, I'll be one very happy consumer.
P.S. Would you like to see your problems fixed? We can ALL help get these and other issues fixed faster by letting ASUS know. Contact them via their webpage and tell them what's wrong. The process is very easy and they do listen. I did it:)
I received a reply from ASUS concerning my tablet's issues. They recommended a factory reset followed by a cold boot. I did as they recommended and the tablet did in fact become more stable. Occasionally, I'll still get an unresponsive browser. This mostly happens if I try to scroll the page before it fully loads so it doesn't bother me. Also, some Tegra 3 optimized games crash from time to time. This is no big deal as the games only need to be patched up. There is, however, one persistent issue that drives me mad. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, the browser will close by it self. I'll make sure to follow up with ASUS about this.
ASUS released an update for the TF300 on May 10th 2012. First of all, I would like to mention that this firmware update fixes the FLICKER issue that some of us have experienced. Since the update, I've also noticed a better web experience. However, I still suspect that the WiFi receiver is kinda weak. Also, it could still use some more tweaking. You can look over the fixes provided by the firmware on ASUS website. If your tablet didn't update automatically (mine didn't) do so manually under Settings/About Tablet/System Firmware Update. I'm raising the rating from three stars to four stars because of the current fixes and ASUS' quick response to consumer complaints. Keep it up ASUS.
on September 4, 2012
Okay. I had a Nexus 7...bumped it into the toilet...DOA. After tasting Android 4.1 on a tablet and loving it (that tablet was great, btw), I decided to go with ASUS again (despite horrible customer service once) and get this because it also has Android 4.1 (you'll have to upgrade using your wi-fi when you open it up, it comes with 4.0.3 on it. The upgrade took it to 4.1.1...UPDATE: Now updated to 4.2.2 in the US).
The tablet is pretty nice and comes with some nice additions, most notably, a well integrated version of Splashtop Remote 2.0 which controls my PC perfectly!. The screen is beautiful. The machine runs things pretty well...once they get going. Clicking on the clock takes you to all of the quick settings I would want. Brilliant little interface tweak there. (This interface tweak is now optional with the new Android 4.2 update...it now has two drop down bars on the top of the screen...stock Android 4.2...it gives you the option to keep the 4.1 interface if you prefer).
Here's the issue: LAG! This thing gets laggy and misses touch presses too much. It really detracts from the experience (but it also registers when your hand is close, even when you don't touch it). You might be happier with the Nexus instead which was really smooth without a single issue. Maybe the lag is noticeable because I switched from the Nexus 7? Who knows. (UPDATE: I can now say that, with the Android 4.2 update, I no longer worry about the lag. This baby screams.)
I did a bunch of research and it's a common problem complained about online. I found a solution that seemed to help a bit: Completely factory wipe the machine 3 times and start over. That seemed to clear up the laggy nature of this machine...UNTIL...I installed Swiftkey X Tablet on it. Then the lag came back. Now, I've used Swiftkey on three other phones AND the Nexus 7, and had no problems with it. The stock keyboard on this tablet is TERRIBLE. Can't decide if I want to stay with this tablet or not because I LOVE Swiftkey and HATE the on-screen display on this machine. *UPDATE*: No longer applicable with subsequent software upgrades.
As for ASUS, they make rock solid PC parts, so I was thinking this would rock. A little disappointing. Do yourself a favor and get something a little nicer or save money and get a Nexus 7. BTW...I called ASUS twice about my damaged Nexus 7 and, of the two calls, one guy was great, the other was a complete pain in the rear...antogonistic, belittling, and didn't want to do the work. He demanded a serial number for my Nexus before he could "help" me, when I read it to him, he replied, "that's not a serial number" and refused to help me. Told me to go back to the store I bought it from. I called Google and they verified the serial number and called ASUS with me on the line. That call had great, helpful service. I wish I knew who was the pain. I couldn't catch his name because the line was so scratchy (on every call to ASUS!). If you need service, this is something to be wary of.
UPDATE: After my last wipe and reinstall of everything. The lag has not been noticeable. It's running pretty smoothly. Not exactly the most user-friendly thing to do out of the box. Interestingly, after the factory wipe and reset, the set-up screens changed from the ASUS setup to the stock Android set-up. Very odd. Overall, I am now happy with this purchase and am upgrading the review from 3 to 4 stars.
By the way, something to consider: The keyboards are hard to find in red (I got a red tablet) and, when you do find them, they cost $20 more than white or blue. Do yourself a favor and get this in white or blue. I'm going to get a white keyboard to go with the red tablet. Also, the keyboards don't appear to be getting stocked anymore, so, if you're going to get one, get one soon.
Also, if you get this tablet, this is a handy addition: ASUS USB Kit for Eee Pad Transformer TF101, TF101G, TF201 & TF300 Tablets This is a dongle that plugs into the charging port and allows you to use USB devices (Hard Drive, thumb drive, keyboard, mouse, gaming pad) with the pad. It works really well and thumb drives pop right up, just like in Windows, when you pop one in. Not necessary if you get the keyboard, however, as the keyboard has a full sized usb port built in.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Just found out that standard USB chargers (of any amperage) do not charge this tablet! Be warned that you will have to use only chargers exclusively designed for this tablet. Almost all other chargers use the USB standard 5 volts (including iPad or Nexus 7). This tablet requires the ASUS-only 15 volt adapter in the wall to charge. Just a helpful tip for those that may have or buy one of these.
***UPDATE*** 3/4/2013: Just installed the Android 4.2 update to this thing and it rocks! I mean, this update has cleared up a ton of the lag and the tablet feels like new. I
on May 15, 2012
This is my third tablet this month. I bought the Transformer Prime and would have loved it, but the Wi-Fi issues were as bad as everyone says. It is a shame, because other than that, it was a great looking tablet and I loved everything else about it. I returned the Prime for an iPad 3 and was really not happy with it at all. I had the 1st gen iPad and loved it because it was it was new and different. The New iPad felt like the same exact product with a crisper screen. A week after buying the New iPad I heard of this being released and returned the iPad immediately. I ordered this off Amazon and had to wait a week for it to ship due to grouping it with other items that were not in stock. Best decision I could have made. This tablet is really fantastic.
The TF Pad 300 is basically the same as the Prime, but the Wi-Fi works. I don't care about the camera not having a flash, that is what my camera and Galaxy Nexus are for. There is the occasional hiccup while browsing, but I have found that using the task manager widget that comes preinstalled by Asus resolves this issue every time. I also have widgets on every screen that are updating constantly (weather, email, Facebook, twitter, G+, etc.) I am sure this is the cause. I have tested this by removing all widgets and just placing app icons on the screen (like the iPad) and the performance improved greatly. However, I love the customization with the widgets, so I just run the task killer occasionally to fix it.
I also bought the keyboard dock. I have used it a bit with the keyboard dock and it works very well. I do not see myself using the keyboard a lot, but I like having it if I want to type a lengthy email or document. Also is great for long trips due to increased battery life. I will write a separate review for the dock.
Also, if you do buy this, or any Android tablet for that matter, be sure to download Tablified Market from the Play store. It finds apps in the Play store that are created specifically for Android tablets. Trust me there are a lot more than you think there are. I do not know why Google has not implemented a tablet apps section in the Play store yet; it might really help their sales of Android tablets.
Also, playing NES and PlayStation ROMs is awesome. These are bit trickier to install on a tablet than a phone, but you can do it easily with ASTRO manager from the Play store.
Great looking screen
USB ports (Dock only)
Micros SD slot (Up to 32 gig)
Keyboard dock (Sold separately)
Tegrazone (Games are fantastic)
Ease of setup
No flash on camera (If you care about that sort of thing, I don't)
Placement of power button (Top left)
BLOATWARE - There are quite a bit of preinstalled apps and widgets on this table. However, I am not adding as a con, because frankly, most of them have turned out to be very useful. Also, most of them can be removed. You definitely want to keep the following BLOATWARE MyCloud (8 free gigs of storage, MyLibrary and MyNet, Polaris Office, Nvidia Tegrazone.)
I hope this helps those of you that are on the fence.
on April 30, 2012
All aspects of the TF300 have worked great for me. I won't rehash details from other reviewers. I too don't understand 2 star reviews. If I want a Porsche, I don't expect to pay $20,000 for it. At this price point, the TF300 can't be beat. I am a big Android user/fan and have spent countless hours rooting and modifying my early model Android phone but I doubt I will bother with the TF300 because there really isn't any need to. They finally got it right with ICS,a real treat to use. For those having performance problems,I suggest looking at your apps or maybe its a bad build that should be exchanged. Some of the first things I did was download the Nova launcher (awesome) to replace the stock launcher and disabled apps I won't use (though ASUS is much better than most vendors at not putting too much crapware on their pad). Also replaced the stock browser with ICS Browser+. I also suggest BSPlayer Lite for video and Multipicture Live Wallpaper to manage your wallpaper.
on May 1, 2012
I've had my tablet for about a week now, and can say I'm very pleased with the device! I was happy to find that it has nearly the same specs as the Prime, but is priced at $100 cheaper. Personally, I've found the screen brightness to be just fine and the speed to be very impressive. I do wish there was flash on the back-side camera, but I don't expect to be using my tablet as a camera very heavily.
Other users have had complaints about "light bleeding". I haven't found this an issue at all on mine, and I'm usually one to notice these things. After watching a video of someone showing this light bleeding, I took the tablet into a dark room to look for it and it does show up...if you really look for it. Now this has been a more serious problem for some users, but I haven't had any problems here. On the other hand, I have noticed that the colors don't seem to be quite as vibrant as on my PC or my Evo 4G, although this isn't a very significant difference. The picture is very crisp, and I don't have any complaints here.
I'd also like to comment on the speaker quality. I was very, very impressed. Honestly, I think this thing has better speaker quality than my laptop, and can go to higher volumes. On the other hand, however, the speakers are placed both on the right side, removing any stereo separation. Really, it's hard to tell whether there are two speakers or just one amazing speaker. Either way, I still found the quality very impressive.
Although it is slightly heavier and thicker than the Prime, it certainly doesn't feel like a bulky device by any means. Even at thicker than the Prime, it's still only 9.9mm thick (thinner than the Evo 4G at a *massive* 13mm thick!). And, the weight is still less than the Acer tablets.
I tested the microphone with Skype, and it seems to work well. Of course it's not anything like a headset microphone, but as far as built in microphones go this does the job. I haven't tested video calls yet, but the pictures I've taken with the front facing camera look as good as any other device I've used.
The plastic finish is very solid. Now this is my first tablet, and I haven't played with the aluminum tablets to compare with. But, most laptop and phone cases are plastic and this case is just as sturdy as any other, so I see no reason to have anything different here.
For game players out there, you'll be really pleased with the gaming performance of the tablet. I've installed probably 3 dozen games and have been quite impressed with the performance. In fact, I can't play 3D games on my Evo 4G anymore because I've come to realize how terrible its framerate is. Unfortunately, Tegra 3 optimized games are new and still a bit buggy, but they're getting better every day. If you're looking to show off the gaming performance, I'd recommend Riptide GP or Dark Meadow.
The battery strength has been decent. It lasts about one day through heavy use (reading/writing emails, gaming, watching videos, web browsing, and downloading).
Overall, the TF300 has some strong pros, and a few (relatively insignificant in my opinion) cons.
- Very fast, the 1.2GHz Tegra 3 handles everything without issue.
- Ice Cream Sandwich runs very quickly and smoothly
- The speakers are ridiculously good
- The picture is crisp
- Expandable microSD card slot, plus a microHDMI out and Bluetooth
- Strong and consistent WiFi and GPS reception
- Still light and sleek, even if not as much so as the Prime
- No flash on back camera
- Screen colors aren't as vibrant
- The speakers are close together, removing stereo separation
- Tablet and/or Tegra 3 optimized apps are still relatively new
on April 25, 2012
I first ordered this tablet the day that it was available. After doing much research on the Prime vs the TF300, I figured that the TF300 would fit my needs perfectly, and I would not have to spend an additional $120 for the Prime. I also was able to get the keyboard dock (which is a REALLY nice addition) for $125. The end result was getting the TF300 and Dock for about the same price as JUST the Prime itself. A great deal if you ask me!
The only issue I had with the TF300 was that the first one I received had "light bleed" on the top and bottom of the display. I read that the original transformer had issues with this as noted here [...]. I could not find this issue relating to the Prime (probably due to the Super IPS+ display, or that Asus has become aware of the issue).
Overall a great Android tablet. One of the best on the market.