ASUS launches cheaper Transformer tablet

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T available through Australian retailers this week.

ASUS Transformer Tab TF300: available in Australia later this week.

ASUS Transformer Tab TF300: available in Australia later this week.

ASUS has announced the launch of the Transformer Pad TF300T Android tablet in Australia, a slightly cheaper version of its flagship Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet. The Transformer Pad TF300T will be available through major Australian retailers this week starting at $499.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T preview
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime preview
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer review

First announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in February, the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T is a more affordable version of ASUS' flagship Android tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The Transformer Pad has similar specifications to the Transformer Prime, but is constructed largely from plastic, is slightly thicker and has an IPS screen rather than the brighter IPS+ panel of the flagship model. It also has a slightly smaller battery.

Like the Transformer Prime, the Transformer Pad TF300T has a quad-core processor and boasts an optional, detachable keyboard dock that transforms it from a tablet into a notebook-style device.

The ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T will be available later this week through major Australian retailers including Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys. ASUS will sell the 32GB model for $499 without the keyboard dock, or $599 with the docking station included. By comparison, the flagship ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime sells for $799 with the keyboard dock included.

ASUS says the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that powers the Transformer Pad TF300T results in five times the performance of the Tegra 2 CPU used in many current Android tablets. It also promises much better battery life — the company says the Transformer Pad is good for 10 hours by itself, and up to 15 hours if the keyboard dock (with built-in battery) is connected, slightly less than the flagship Transformer Prime.

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 1280 x 800 and comes with 1GB of RAM along with a microSD card slot. It also has a micro-HDMI port and an 8-megapixel camera.

The Transformer Pad's keyboard dock adds a full-sized USB port, a full-sized SD card slot and a multi-touch trackpad, though there is no 3G connectivity so this is a Wi-Fi only tablet.

Australian models of the ASUS Transformer Pad will be available later this week in "Royal Blue", "Iceberg White" and "Torch Red" colour variants.

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