Transformer Pad 300 debuts at $400

Asus’ Transformer Pad 300 made its official debut yesterday. The tablet arrived in our labs late last week, but we’ve been busy with Ivy. It’ll take some time to run the new Transformer through its paces and generate a full review. Since Amazon is already selling the tablet for $400, I thought I’d give you a quick preview of what it has to offer.

An upgrade to Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC defines the new model, which has a thinner profile than its Tegra 2-based forebear. The Transformer Pad 300 isn’t quite as skinny as the Transformer Prime, and its Tegra chip runs 100MHz slower than Asus’ current flagship. However, it feels every bit as smooth when navigating the Android UI—and costs much less. The Transformer Prime was supposed to sell for $500, but it rings up at $550-560 right now.

Gone is the Prime’s brushed aluminum exterior, which has been replaced by a ribbed plastic case that’s both attractive and impervious to fingerprints. The only glossy surface is the 10″ screen and its surrounding bezel. Sorry, no high-DPI love here; the new Transformer has the same 1280×800 display resolution as Asus’ other 10-inchers. The rear-facing camera has been updated to an 8MP unit, if you care about that sort of thing.

All the hallmarks of the Transfomer series remain, including the optional keyboard dock, which sells for $150. Unfortunately, there’s no cross-compatibility between Asus’ various tablets and keyboard docks. You’ll need the one that matches the Transformer Pad 300. Fortunately, the dock still still comes with a USB port, an SD slot, and an integrated battery. (Our sample doesn’t have the double-height enter key shown in the stock picture above.)

The unit currently testing in the Benchmarking Sweatshop is a blue 32GB model. White and red versions will be available in June, and there’s a 16GB version due to sell for $380. We’ll have an in-depth look at the new Transformer soon. Stay tuned.

Comments closed
    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    looks like these guys didn’t get the memo … new norm for tablet price is $200.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      I wonder just how much quality a manufacturer can refuse to put into a product and still make it sell well, at that price

        • JohnC
        • 7 years ago

        Well, you don’t need to wonder – such half-baked, unreliable junk is easily available in all forms and sizes, for $200 and even less:
        [url<]http://www.dealextreme.com/c/tablets-1409[/url<] Not sure about "selling well" part, though.

        • Anarchist
        • 7 years ago

        do these guys have to create/maintain their own OS? No. The components that make up these commoditised tablet consists of screen, battery and about $20 worth of electronics pancaked in a plastic. In a year or two $200 tablet will be considered a high end.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          You can throw some hardware together for $200, but you can’t throw together [i<]good[/i<] hardware for that price. Maintaining the OS is not your largest manufacturing expense. iSuppli got roughly $330 for an iPad2 teardown and that's just the pure hardware BOM cost, it doesn't include any development costs, hardware or software.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Last time I checked the $500+ ipad is still the “norm” by a landslide.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    can we get a write up on the performance difference between the white, blue, and red? i’m curious as to how much a difference a fast red or blue vs a slow white, might impact demanding programs.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      Oh you. You deserve every minus.

        • EtherealN
        • 7 years ago

        Actually, that was funny, so I gave him a plus. 😀

        Do I get a minus now? O.o

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Everyone knows red is faster.

        • axeman
        • 7 years ago

        Black is the fastest color by ~20%

          • Thatguy
          • 7 years ago

          DIY racing stripes mod. +10% performance

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            so basically, we are in agreement that the color with stripes can add 30% performance? I’M GETTING A CAN OF SPRAY PAINT

            • helix
            • 7 years ago

            Prediction: Some chinese market researchers lurking here will read this and take it literally. Six months from now all laptops will be market segmented by the colour of their racing stripes.

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    As much as I love my Xoom and as impressive as the iPad 3 is, this is where prices need to be for tablets. They’re neat machines, but 800 dollars is way too much.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      I’d say $300 is where the price point needs to be for 10inchers, $200 for 7in, and $99 for docks. I’m thinking next year’s holiday season will be when the tablet + keyboard wave really hits the mainstream.

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