June 19th, 2012, 08:55 AM
Thread Author (OP)
Join Date: Nov 2008
Device(s): GS3, Excite 7.7 32GB, iPad 4 128GB wifi, TF300 32GB & dock
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TF300 32GB blue review & comparison
I have been going through 10" Android tablets like good beer (no driving of course). So far the A500, Thrive, Prime, A510, Excite Quad 16gb and now the TF300. Many reasons for returning them:
A500 = Weak wifi and visible verticle screen lines.
Thrive = Kept it, but sold recently due to poor Tegra 2 video support
Prime = Weak wifi, iffy touch response
A510 = Gets too warm/hot on right side- this also impacts battery life if sustained. Also has visible verticle lines, but not as bad as A500.
Excite Quad = Bad light bleed, poor file support, battery drain issues and crazy big connector (the footprint of that and the cable is about the same space as the tablet). File management was also an issue (like the Thrive, the Excite is poor in this regard).
Office Max has (at the moment) the TF300 on sale for $350 and the keyboard for $100, so got both for the same price as the A510 and Excite. This seemed too good to not jump on, so got both yesterday morning. Here is a review/comparison with the A510 & Excite:
Build = Good, but A510 and Excite are better
Display = Some light bleed bottom right corner, but IMO, better display than the A510 and Excite and GREAT touch response like the Excite.
Sound = Kind of weak and not on same level as the A510 and Excite. Headphone sound is good.
Performance = About the same as the A510, which is very good. Excite seemed a little better and benchmarks support this.
Heat = Coolest tablet I have used. The A510 gets hot when using the GPU and even the Excite gets warm.
Wifi = Great. All three perform fine, but the 300 appears tops.
File management = Great. Seemless with dock. I have a 64gb loaded in the tablet and a 128gb card loaded in the dock. All apps work fine and media is stutter free. Ditto for 64gb thumbdrives too. IMO, this tablet equals the A510 and both are FAR better than the Excite.
GPS = Seems fine, but I do not use it on tablets.
Keyboard = Better than expected and game emulators are a more playable than using virtual pads (though touch is good). Handy if no controller is around. Speaking of controllers, they work as good as my laptop.
Battery life = Only had less than 24 hours, but battery life is in between the A510 and Excite, which is good. Seems the battery life will actually be better than the A510 with dock attached.
Stuff I do not like:
Plastic docking section. Not sure how long this will hold up compared to metal. Metal would seem a better option for the back and the curved section the tablet seats in.
Proprietary connector. I prefer the A510 design since can use a normal micro USB in a pinch for trickle charge with a computer.
No USB connector on tablet. This seems flat out silly to me. Even Samsung is adding them now. I have already had a few times where I was at another computer, but had no way to transfer data. At least with the iPad the cable is so common you can get one in a pinch- not so with this. The good news is the Asus cable is small like iPads and not a giant monster like the A510 (what were they thinking?).
I will restate more directly- It is flat out STUPID to have no USB, but no connector on this tablet is by design, since Asus has already stated with the Prime they made the most margin on the docks, so want people to buy them.
As a complete system, the tablet and dock rock, but just as a tablet, the usb issue is huge to me. If the total price was $450 rather than $550, I would not have bought this, since too close to laptop price territory for me. Not sure I would just have the tablet though, so total price drove me to the TF300.
Net result is all current tablets have issues and there really is no "perfect tablet", IMO. If I did not have or want a laptop, even at $550 the TF300 is good. For what I paid though, the TF300 and dock rocks hard!
Note: Acer just released their A700 and the performance seems to support concerns Anandtech had that the Tegra 3 efficiency sweet spot is 1280X800 and anything beyond that appears to trend in diminishing returns. Until Nvidia pulls and Apple and makes a more robust GPU for the Tegra 3, I think users are better off with a good IPS 1280X800 display.