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ASUS, well known and widely respected for its work with motherboards, PCs and notebooks, made a leap into the tablet field a while back, and successfully created a critical wave with its top tier, moderately priced tablets, the Transformer Prime and the Transformer TF300T—the first quad-core tablets powered by the NVIDA Tegra-based ARM chip. While those two tablets were lauded for their style, design and workability, ASUS wasn’t finished. Now it’s debuting the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700, a hopped up, fully loaded Android tablet that features a super high-resolution screen, something that we don’t see much on an Android tablet, and a host of other features that may make this the best Android tablet around, currently.
The screen is a 10.1" WUXGA Full HD (1920 × 1200) LED Backlit screen, with 10-finger multi-touch and Super IPS+ display with 600 nits brightness, encased in Corning’s new Gorilla Glass 2. Not the exact specs of a Retina display (2048 x 1536), but certainly the highest end Android tablet screen we’ve seen in a while. The previous tablets in this series were standard with their 1280 x 800 resolutions, in line with tablets from Acer, Toshiba and Samsung.
Other cool features: a front-facing 2MP camera and a rear-facing 8MP camera with autofocus, LED flash, an f/2.2 aperture and the ability to record 1080p video. Not a huge leap for videophiles or photographers, but a hair better than the Prime’s 1.2MP front-facing camera and f/2.4 aperture. The ability to capture video is an added bonus over the previous models.
The Infinity falls in line with the other Transformer models by utilizing an Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM. This mighty little chip processes data and video like a champ, with no noticeable slowdown in the two app categories that are used the most—Fun, and Not Fun. The Not Fun utilitarian categories—word processing, data sheets, web browsing—never once suffered a glitch, stutter or slowdown. The Fun category—games, more games, web browsing—also performed above expectations.
ASUS has also improved on the GPS and Wi-Fi functionality of the Infinity, which was buggy with earlier versions of its other tablets. Now in addition to the aluminum casing, there is a wide plastic piece across the back of the unit that supposedly helps with Wi-Fi and GPS connections.
Ports and connections remain the same, for the most part, with a 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in), a Micro-D HDMI 1.4a port, and a microSD Card Slot. The interface department is rounded out by Dual microphones and a stereo speaker.
The Transformer Pad Infinity is shipped with a native Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, arguably the best Android OS yet. Unfortunately, the lack of Android apps that take advantage of the new high-res screen is a shame, considering the sheer beauty of the screen—watch a movie in high definition and then look closely at the apps button on the homepage, and you’ll see what we mean. Fortunately for ASUS, the company has nothing to do with this. (Get to work, Google.)
The whole line of Transformer tablets is unique for another reason, one that is not easily dismissed—the Transformer tablets have an optional keyboard dock that not only serves to save your fingers from touch screen typing cramps, but also doubles as a backup power supply. The 40-pin connector port dock has a separate USB 2.0 port (oh, USB 3.0, how you taunt us so!), a multi-touch touchpad (which can be disabled so that you can just use the screen for input) and an SD card reader. Oh, did we mention it also contains a 19.5Wh battery that provides up to 14 hours of battery life when the pad is attached?
We won’t say the dock is a must-have, but once you’ve used it, you’ll never go back to fingertip gymnastics. Don’t be fooled by the dock though; this is not a replacement laptop, by any means. It is an awesome tablet with a very cool keyboard. The dock simply enhances the tablet experience that the Transformer Pad Infinity brings you.
And it is quite an experience. The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is simply one of the best Android tablets available.
|Operating System||Android (1) 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)|
|Display||10.1" WUXGA Full HD (1920 × 1200) LED Backlit screen
Super IPS+ display with 600 nits brightness
10 finger multi-touch support
|CPU||Qualcomm MSM 8260A Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-core 1.5 Ghz CPU(3G ) NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core T33@ 1.6 GHz (WIFI)|
|Memory||Memory: DDR3L 1GB / Storage: 32/64GB|
|Storage||8GB of ASUS WebStorage for life|
|Wireless Data Network||WLAN 802.11 firstname.lastname@example.org GHz
Bluetooth v3.0, A2DP
|Camera||Front 2MP for video conferencing
Rear 8MP Auto-focus w/LED Flash
1080p video recording
1 × Stereo Speaker
1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in)
1 × Micro-D HDMI 1.4a port
1 × microSD Card Slot
1 x USB2.0 port
1 x SD Card Reader
|Sensor||G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass|
|Battery||Pad Only: 25Wh – 9.5 hours
Pad + Dock: 25Wh+ 19.5Wh – 14 hours
|Dimensions||10.3 x 10.3 × 7.1" / 1.32 lb (263 × 180.8 × 8.5mm / 598 g)|
|Mobile Dock Only|
|Dimensions||10.3 × 7.1 x 0.31" (263 x 180.8 x 8~10.4mm)|
|Weight||1.18 lb (537 g)|
|Pad with Dock|
|Dimensions||10.3 × 7.1 x 0.71" (263 x 180.8 x 17~19.4mm)|
|Weight||2.5 lb (1,135 g)|