Ever since people crowded shops to get an HP Touchpad on the cheap, we've seen more than a few tablets selling for a few hundred dollars. Separating the good hardware from the rubbish is the tricky bit.
In this case, you're looking at a product we actually like. Officeworks is currently selling the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 for $299; around $300 less than the original retail price. (Note that the deal includes the tablet only -- not the keyboard accessory.)
We've seen the same model sell for anywhere between $350 and $560 from other online retailer sites - Harvey Norman currently has it listed for $348, for example. It's also currently selling on eBay new for as little as $212 (although the usual buyer-beware rules apply).
The Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is a 10.1in tablet that runs on Android Honeycomb. Specifications include a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 16GB SSD drive and Nvidia ULP GeForce graphics. There is also an optional keyboard dock for the device which turns it into a netbook (sold separately).
When we reviewed the Asus Eee Pad Transformer back in August, we gave it five out of six stars (read the review here). We like the IPS screen, but noticed YouTube HD clips weren't totally smooth. As a tablet we preferred it to Motorola's original Xoom. It's also worth noting that the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is upgradeable to Android 4.0 (AKA Ice Cream Sandwich).
Here is the list of specifications as they appear on the Officeworks website:
- Size: 271 x 177 x 12.98mm
- Weight: 680g (with battery)
- Display: 10.1" LED backlight screen
- Operating system: Android Honeycomb 3.0
- Platform: Nvidia Tegra 2
- Memory: 1GB DDR2
- Storage: 16GB
- Wireless: 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
- Camera: Features:
- Interface: 2-in-1 audio jack (head phone/mic-in), 1 x mini HDMI 1.3a port, 1 x microSD card reader; 1 x internal microphone; 1 x stereo speaker
- Flash support: Yes
- Multi-tasking: Yes
- Browser: Android browser
- Battery: 9.5 hours
The TF101 has since been superceded by the latest generation of hybrid tablets, including its Tegra 3-equipped successor: the Asus Transformer Pad TF300T.
That said, for the current asking price, we think the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 is worth checking out.