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The Transformer line of Asus tablets hasn’t changed much over the past few years, focusing primarily on productivity and solid performance at the expense of aesthetics and other features.
It’s a trend that continues with the Transformer Pad TF103C, which doesn’t do a great deal to distance itself from previous Transformer Pads. The end result is a respectable but entirely forgettable tablet that provides solid productivity at a wallet-friendly price.
In terms of first impressions, the Transformer Pad TF103C can charitably be described as inoffensive. The thick bezel and bland styling don’t leave much of an impact compared to tablets with slick, consumer-friendly designs.
Nor is the TF103C particularly thin, measuring 10.1-by-7.0-by-0.4 inches and weighing 1.22 pounds. It does feel well-made, however, and the slightly curved shape and soft-touch backing make it reasonably comfortable to hold.
The Asus Transformer Pad TF103C doesn’t offer a lot in terms of ports and connectivity, but all the basics are here. There’s a volume rocker, microSD card slot and a micro-USB port on the left edge, while the power button sits on the top edge offset to the left.
There’s a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on the right edge, and the bottom is home to the proprietary docking port. The TF103C’s only full-size USB 2.0 port is on the left edge of the keyboard.
Resolving the Details
The Transformer Pad TF103C boasts a very reasonable price tag, and that’s due in large part to the display. The 10.1-inch, 1,280-by-800 pixel IPS panel isn’t necessarily a poor display, but it falls flat in comparison to tablets that feature full HD.
Its 149 pixels per inch is on the lower end of adequate, though the color accuracy, contrast and viewing angles are all good. At 400 nits, it’s also bright enough to be used in most lighting conditions without much trouble.
Under the Hood
Powering the TF103C is a quad-core 1.33-gigahertz Intel Atom Z3745 processor that offers enough power to handle your everyday tasks with ease. That’s paired with just a single gigabyte of RAM, however, and as a result the performance is something of a mixed bag.
Apps generally launch quickly and run smoothly, but multitasking and memory-intensive applications can occasionally bring the Transformer Pad to its knees.
The Transformer Pad TF103C is a solid tablet at a very reasonable price, but ultimately its affordability may not be enough to stand out from the rest of the Transformer Pad line. Asus’ Transformer Pad TF701 offers a more powerful 1.9-gigahertz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and two gigabytes of RAM as well as a gorgeous 2,560-by-1,600 pixel display, but it’s not as affordable and its keyboard dock is optional.
The TF303CL, meanwhile, bridges the gap between the two by offering the same Atom Z3745 hardware as the TF103C with an improved 1,920-by-1,200 pixel display.
What Customers Say
Customer feedback on the Transformer Pad TF103C has been mixed. Many customers consider the tablet and keyboard bundle a great value for the price. The construction quality receives high marks, as does the solid performance and Asus’ reskinned version of Android 4.4 KitKat.
On the downside, many customers complain about the poor speakers, long charging times, modest display and the keyboard’s poorly functioning touchpad. Some customers have also experienced very poor battery life.