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Review: Asus Transformer Pad TF103C
3.4Overall Score

Price (RRP): $429
Manufacturer: Asus

The netbook is dead, but the cheap laptop lives on, with Asus attempting to find a middle ground with its Transformer style of tablet hybrid and a sub-$500 price point.

Features

Hybrid laptop tablets have never really been made for people on a budget, but the Asus Transformer TF103C hopes to change this, throwing enough tech into a tablet and keeping a keyboard nearby.

The tablet is going to be the most important part here, and for this machine, Asus has provided a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with all of the technology inside this section.

The screen itself runs a resolution of 1280×800, displaying a pixel clarity of 149 pixels per inch, which isn’t anywhere near Retina-class, but will be enough for most people.

Beyond the screen, look for an Intel chip under the hood, with the Atom Z3745 quad-core processor clocked at 1.33GHz and paired with 1GB of memory, below the 2GB sweet spot Android tends to prefer.

Storage is set to 16GB in our review model, and there’s room to move with a microSD slot on the top left edge of the touchscreen.

Connections are relatively standard on this model, with 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Miracast, GPS, with a microUSB port to charge from and a proprietary dock connector found on the very bottom.

A headphone jack can also be found here, but the rest of the multimedia is catered for with cameras, and there’s a 2 megapixel rear camera with a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera.

There are only a few buttons of which to speak of here, with the power button up top on the left side, the volume rocker on the left edge, and Android’s on-screen soft buttons for back, home, and multi-tasking sitting at the very bottom of the display in a black bar.

Like most tablet hybrids, all the bits and pieces you’d normally need to think about are in the tablet, but there’s a second piece to this puzzle as well.

That piece is the keyboard dock, which is a staple in the Asus Transformer range, and in this model, you’ll find a keyboard, trackpad mouse, and full-size USB port working with the tablet.

No other ports can be found here, unfortunately, but the keyboard does support several function buttons, including keys for media playback, searching, taking screenshots, and turning wireless on and off.

The battery in the tablet (screen section) is rated for up to 9.5 hours of battery life, and there is no other battery in the keyboard section.