Asus Transformer Pad 300 wants to replace your laptop

Asus announced its second quad-core tablet Monday, the Transformer Pad TF300 Series. The tablet is a 10.1-inch device that runs Android’s latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich and distinguishes itself from the pack with a detachable, full-size keyboard.

In short, this device will take from laptop to tablet and back again. The tablet starts at $379 for the 16 GB version, plus $149 for the optional mobile dock. For 32 GB, the price bumps up to $399.

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The optional dock is supposed to add up to five hours of battery life, according to Asus. It also has USB 2.0 drives and a slot for an SD card. The tablet itself sports a micro SD card slot, a micro HDMI port and is Bluetooth compatible.

The tablet will launch in royal blue, with red and white models to follow.

According to early reviews of the tablet, it’s a decent mid-priced Android tablet, particularly for those who want to be on the cutting edge of Android’s development cycle.

Computerworld’s JR Raphael wrote that the tablet is a big step up from Asus’s original Transformer tablet, but a small step back from the Transformer Prime.

The build quality, he said, is what he found most off-putting: “While the Transformer Prime is sleek and sexy, the Transformer Pad TF300T is somewhat more utilitarian -- a bit clunky, even, relatively speaking -- much like the Transformer TF101 model it’s replacing.”

Engadget’s Dana Wollman said the tablet’s battery life and graphics were enough for her to recommend it to consumers, calling the tablet “eminently usable,” for the price.

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