396 of 425 people found the following review helpful
I have so much love to give :-( REVISED AGAIN
, May 23, 2012
This review is from: ASUS Transformer TF300 T-B1-BL 10.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Blue) (Personal Computers)
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.
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