A common complaint of people interested in buying a tablet is the considerable price of these devices. More recently we've witnessed a price drop in tablets by smaller manufacturers, but none of the big names have really followed suit yet. Companies such as Viewsonic are launching tablets with IPS panels in the £200-£250 range, and the real cheap tablets (below £160) are getting increasingly better. The 7-inch 70b internet tablet by Archos falls in the latter category, even though it is is fully Google-certified. In other words, consumers wanting to spend less on a tablet are getting more and better options. ASUS desires a piece of this pie as well, and has released the Transformer Pad TF300, which we will now take a closer look at.
Calling the Transformer Pad TF300 a budget tablet may be a bit of a stretch though. The asking price of £399 for the Transformer Pad TF300 with dock is the same as the price for year's entry-level Transformer tablet. You do get twice as much storage with 32GB compared to 16GB, and the TF300 has a Tegra3 SoC instead of a Tegra 2 chip.
Moreover, the entry-level and more expensive models differ more widely in terms of features. Last year ASUS had three versions of one model, but it now has three separate product lines of which two are currently available. The TF300 is the cheapest, the Prime is in the middle and the top model Infinity will be the most expensive one with a full HD display. Compared to last year, the entry-level has less features than its counterpart from then, when put side-by-side with the more expensive models.
The TF300 differs from the Prime in certain key areas. It comes without the luxury body and without the Super IPS+ panel from the Prime. Because of the more extensive line-up, it is not always clear for consumers how one ASUS tablet compares to another. The different memory capacities and optional inclusion of the dock don't make it easier. The situation reminds us of the Eee PC notebooks a few years back, many models with only slight differences between them.