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Thread: Is there a natural successor to the TF300 in the UK?

  1. #1
    Jazz
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    Question Is there a natural successor to the TF300 in the UK?

    I actually have a TF101 and a TF300.

    Originally my mum used the TF101 and the TF300 was mine. But in the end I swapped them over as I had other devices to call upon and the TF300 worked better for her (both faster than the TF101, obviously, and the mic was so much better - and she needed it primarily for making Skype calls).

    I also have a cheap 7" tab for general stuff, but would like to buy myself a new tablet and have always been a fan of the transformer because of the native keyboard.

    It seems that Asus appear to have scaled back their transformer product line - with the TF303 never apparently making it over to the UK and the TF103 is probably at least a year old now and seemingly isn't as widely available in stores as it once was (suggesting that it may no longer be in mainstream production).

    I did notice than when the 103 & 303 were launched Asus decided to do down the same route as the TF100A by removing the secondary battery from the keyboard dock, which is a disappointment.

    I've seen the ZenPad Z300, which is now listed on the Asus UK web site and also appears to come with a keyboard, but from what I've read about it the keyboard is less an integral part of the tablet and more of an add-on, using bluetooth as a means of communicating with the tablet - and also needing to be charged separately. I've also noticed that the Z300 keyboard dock no longer has a trackpad. This isn't a deal breaker, but I often used my Transformers to remotely access Windows PCs and being able to enable and use the trackpad made it much easier to control.

    The bottom line question is, if I want to replace either of my existing Transformers which model would be the best choice (assuming it is available in the UK).

    Thanks.

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    Depends more on you than Asus. The Amazon website lists the ZenPad as the "newer version" of the TF300, but I'm with you, I don't think it's quite all that. Of course the 300 has its limitations as well, but it is still available should you decide to simply replace it.

    The good-looking half of my family is in need of a tablet upgrade also, and I just ordered her a new TF700. In my experience it is the most robust of the TF line, least prone to problems. I figure when it slows down on her I'll unlock it and ROM it as I have my own TFs.

    I would also recommend you look at other manufacturers, Samsung, Lenovo for instance. They tend to get pricier but the owners seem to feel it's worth it.

    Oh yes, and I almost forgot, you also have the option of ROMing the 300 you have. You will not believe the difference in performance that a Lollipop ROM makes on this tablet, especially if you convert the /data partition to f2fs.
    Last edited by Kevinthefixer; 11-29-2015 at 08:52 AM.
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    I am now a big supporter of buying two cheaper devices with different use cases instead of one more expensive (does everything device). Android is great for the app ecosystem (although on larger screens there isn't too much productivity benefit over smaller ones) but as Asus discovered in designing their previous transformer products, Android is not the best for pure productivity tasks.

    This is likely why you see less and less large android tablets every year. It's a lot of work for OEMs to reprogram android for a laptop form factor. Asus did it and did it pretty well but they probably don't want to do it again.

    As for the two options I spoke about, I find a similar sized chromebook or Asus t100 is far better at getting things done than the tf300 ever was. You can get a basic chromebook for $200 and a nexus 7 tablet for less than $150. I personally use a phablet phone and a t100TA as my mobile weapons of choice.


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  4. #4
    Jazz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinthefixer View Post
    The good-looking half of my family is in need of a tablet upgrade also, and I just ordered her a new TF700. In my experience it is the most robust of the TF line, least prone to problems. I figure when it slows down on her I'll unlock it and ROM it as I have my own TFs.
    I wasn't aware that the TF700 (which, while a superior spec, I thought was actually older than the TF300) was still available to be purchased - new that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinthefixer
    I would also recommend you look at other manufacturers, Samsung, Lenovo for instance. They tend to get pricier but the owners seem to feel it's worth it.
    Do these manufactuers make a Transformer-style device? While I lament the loss of the battery from the keyboard unit in the newer Transformers, I'd prefer to have one which just attaches and doesn't need to be charged separately - which certainly puts me off the ZenBook. If the one my mum is using ends up getting too old I have no idea what I'd do to replace it. As a non-tech in her 70s she has actually managed to use the touchscreen very well, but the virtual keyboard is still a complete mystery to her. Once, I handed the tablet to her without the keyboard attached so she could look something up and she didn't know what to do with it! As soon as I re-connected the keyboard she was then happy to tap in the search field and then use the keyboard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinthefixer
    Oh yes, and I almost forgot, you also have the option of ROMing the 300 you have. You will not believe the difference in performance that a Lollipop ROM makes on this tablet, especially if you convert the /data partition to f2fs.
    I have to confess that while I've considered trying updating the ROM on the TF101 (given it's still running the Asus-native Ice Cream Sandwich build), the fear of bricking it stops me dead in my tracks!

    One of the other reasons why I swapped the TF101 that my mum was using with my own TF300 was because she had managed to break the power button on the TF101. I managed to cope for a while but eventually found a replacement component on eBay. Even having bought the part it took me another couple of months to get up the courage to take the TF101 apart in order to fit it! I managed to do so and it now works fine, but as old and clunky as it (and to a lesser extent the TF300) may be, it still works.

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    In my opnion, you have been dead lucky with your tf300, because in my view the tf300 is one of the worst built devices I have ever had the misfortune to see...

    I'm surprised Kevin has recommended the tf700 - but then he will get it and customise it beyond recognition, in normal use you will soon regret the purchase.

    As your Mum use the device with the keyboard exclusively, then I also recommend a Chromebook with the following riders...
    1) I assume she has broadband internet available
    2) I assume she doesn't ever use the tablet on its own for reading

    If both are true assumptions, then a Chromebook is easy to use, simple to look after and impossible to break software / OS wise. All her content is automatically backed up to the cloud and you can get her one with a variety of screen sizes. 11.6, 13" or even 14"

    Best Chromebooks 2015/2016 UK | Best Chromebook reviews - Test Centre - PC Advisor
    gobstopper likes this.

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    Oh yes, the tf103 & z300 both scream "budget device" with all the questionable build & component issues that go with that. Neither of them have keyboards similar to the TF range.

    I doubt her eyesight is up to using Windows on a 10.1" device... (T100)

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    Yes, I did not realize that Mum needed a keyboard, which makes a Chromebook an excellent choice.

    I recommend a 700 only if you are prepared to unlock and ROM it after a few months, as that is the usual time it seems to take to start lagging. Another argument against it: Asus has just now taken down all reference to the TF700t from its support site. We don't know when they might do that to the 300 stuff. I have to wonder why they bothered; I don't believe that Asus has a shortage of server space!

    But AFAIK there is really no good substitute if a TF suits your needs.
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    If you want to buy your Mum a wonderful Christmas present, then the best "non-pixel" (£900+) Chromebook is currently available for the rest of today ONLY at John Lewis on their "black friday" weekend promotion.

    £50 off making it £219.99 with a 2 year warranty from John Lewis & their unrivalled customer service.
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  9. #9
    Jazz
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    Thanks very much Kevinthefixer & janner43 for your collective feedback.

    Probably the only thing my Mum specifically uses her tablet for (other than Skype, web browsing and email) is to take the odd photo of her partner's wood carving exploits which she then emails to my brother who lives abroad - and I think Chromebooks generally only come with front-facing web cams for Skype and such like.

    I hadn't specifically thought of a Chromebook for her. I've been on a work sabbatical for a while and am only just about to return, so when I start earning again I may well buy one to see how well it works. Given we are both Android users email and such like is handled by Google which would make the transfer across to a Chromebook device fairly straightforward. For me personally it is less of a pressing issue. In addition to my 7" cheap tablet, I also have smatphone laptop and PC devices so if I were to stop using a Transformer it wouldn't be the end of the world. The 7" tab normally lives by my armchair and is used to check stuff on the web and play the odd (simple) game. If I see an email arrive and I want to respond to it without having to fire up one of my Windows devices then the TF101 is normally only few more feet away, obviously wakes up quickly and the keyboard is more than up to the task of rattling out a comprehensive reply.

    The only potential problem for her with a Chromebook (working on the assumption that we don't have a Pixel budget to play with) is the fact that even though she uses it almost exclusively with the keyboard attached (old fingers make it difficult for her to operate the release catch) she has now grown quite used to tapping the screen when she wishes to select something or launch an app. Given this is her first, and only, piece of tech of this nature I'm not sure how she'd get on using a trackpad. I think there are some 10-11" Chromebooks as, again, the Transformer's size has always been a plus, making it easy for her to hold and carry around.

    It does seem that there isn't much of a Transformer-laden future ahead...

    Thanks again.
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    There are any number of small laptops around. But one with a touchscreen is likely to be expensive, and of course add about US$100 for the Windows OS. Or, again of course, there is the Apple route. That is if you're independently wealthy. But if that was the case, you wouldn't be here, would you?
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