The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 uses the Google Play store, previously known as Android Marketplace, to offer downloads of all apps, games, and every increasingly, movies and books.
The selection is no-where near as colossal as the iPad's with the backing of iTunes, but it's certainly an area which is growing fast. Google's rebranding of the app store puts a bigger focus on consumable content, and the options to find movies and make book purchases is obvious as soon as you open Google Play.
The buying experience is seamless, and Ice Cream Sandwich's revamped video handling puts all your videos in one place. Movies are fractionally cheaper than on iTunes too, with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo available to rent for £3.49, but the selection isn't only a fraction of Apple's, and there are no high definition options.
As a tablet, it's not well suited to books, and the chunky body doesn't lend well to reading on the train or tube. It feels top heavy in the hand, requires effort to grip, and the plastic back isn't as narrow or tactile.
Due to the docking keyboard, the tablet feels more natural when held in landscape mode, which is good for movies.
If you want to use your own media, rather than buy from Google, the Asus Transformer Pad 300 is an excellent tablet. You can drag and drop resources, and the generous amount of storage that we mentioned earlier is great if you have large collections.
While drag and drop makes life a lot easier, we found that the TF300 was slightly sniffy about the formats it played. AVI files were strictly off limits, which wiped out much of our collection of TV shows, as was MKV. HD content played smoothly when we did get the formats right.
One of the major bugbears with the iPad is the need to use iTunes to manage media, so being able to drag and drop, and the presence of microSD and SD slots is a welcome relief. This makes it a superior media tablet to devices which claim to be film-friendly, such as the Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition, which bafflingly uses proprietary software to manage media.
Ebooks are read using the Google Books app that you can download from Google Play, or you can use the Amazon Kindle alternative.
It's serviceable with clear text and lets you easily swipe to turn pages, but there's no way the Transformer Pad 300 should be considered a good ereading device for book junkies. The selection of books falls far short of expectation, and the screen and size simply can't compete with the host of budget ereaders now available.