Android tablets are often criticised for high prices in comparison to Apple's market leading iPad, but ASUS seems to be pushing things in the right direction. Its latest Transformer Pad TF300T Android tablet is a slightly cheaper version of the flagship Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
On face value, it's hard to tell the difference between the Transformer Pad and the existing Transformer Prime. These two tablets look quite similar but there are subtle differences, mainly as a result of the lower price tag. The Transformer Pad is constructed largely from plastic compared to the aluminium build of its more expensive counterpart, is slightly thicker and has an IPS screen rather than the brighter IPS+ panel of the flagship model. Despite the plastic construction, the Transformer Pad TF300T weighs 635g compared to the 586g weight of the Transformer Prime.
Like the Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad TF300T boasts an optional, detachable keyboard dock that transforms it from a tablet into a notebook-style device.
The ASUS Transformer Pad has similar specifications to the Transformer Prime, with some minor differences. It has the same quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor but has a slightly smaller battery than the Transformer Prime. Officially, ASUS says the Transformer Pad will last for up to 10 hours stand alone, and up to 15 hours if the keyboard dock (with built-in battery) is connected. These figures are slightly less than the flagship Transformer Prime, which boasts 12 hours stand alone and 18 hours when combined with the dock connector.
The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T ships with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, has a 10.1-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280x800 and comes with 1GB of RAM along with a microSD card slot. It also has a micro-HDMI port and an 8-megapixel camera, along with 32GB of internal memory.
The Transformer Pad's keyboard dock adds a full-sized USB port, a full-sized SD card slot and a multi-touch trackpad. There is no 3G connectivity so this is a Wi-Fi only tablet.
Australian models of the ASUS Transformer Pad will be available in "Royal Blue", "Iceberg White" and "Torch Red" colour variants and will be sold through major Australian retailers. The 32GB model will sell for $499 without the keyboard dock, or $599 with the docking station included.