An assessment of the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 (Page 6)

6.7.2013 Magdalena Gauci


The saying goes that some things always stay the same. This Transformer, like every other we have reviewed, works with a keyboard dock that can also be used as an extended battery, adding an extra five hours of runtime, for this particular case. The dock is also home two full-size ports -- a USB 2.0 socket and SD slot -- giving you two more ways to shuttle files between your tablet and computer. The main thing that you should know is the dock is sold separately for $150.. Although, what you should know  if you are a newbie at these things is that the Transformer doesn't exactly live up to its standards when it is taken directly out of the box.

If you already own a first generation Transformer and are trying to decide whether or not you should upgrade or not, you can make do with having only a quick glance at this section. This is because the engineering and the functionality here has changed very little. Although for newbies we can say this much: the keys are serviceable, but we don't recommend buying the tablet and dock and expecting them to add up to a laptop replacement. The keys have a low-quality, insecure feel to them, and are at the disadvantage of having been shrunk to accommodate a 10-inch screen. We've also found that the speed of word entry is limited by the tablet, so even though your hands might fly across the keyboard, you'll still notice a slight delay as letters start to appear onscreen. When it  comes to the typing experience, we would recommend this about as much as we would recommend a netbook: it is incredibly handy for picking up on URLs, short messages and web searches, although we would not recommend that you write your very important 25-page thesis on it just in case.

The dock is very useful for picking up on URLs, but we probably would not recommend you typing up your term paper on it.

Although the truth remains that it has a very weak keyboard panel, even a netbook has a stronger keyboard panel than that of this. And a netbook has much better ergonomics. ASUS hasn't done anything to remedy the off-kilter weight distribution, so when the tablet is docked it can still tilt backwards if you're not careful (this is especially true if you're working with it in your lap). But a positive thing we can say is, the tablet fits into the dock with a click that puts the mind at ease. Also the combined setup feels pretty lasting, even if it is possible for there to occur surface scratches on the underside of the dock.

(See Page 7)

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