The Bottom Line
Nov 9 2012 - The Transformer Pad Infinity had the advantage of correcting some of the problems that plagued the previous Prime while also being one of the highest resolution Android tablets on the market. The problem is that the tablet took a long time to make it to market and in that time option more premium options with better displays have come out. This is still a solid Android tablet with its unique optional dock features but it has lost some of its appeal.
- High Resolution Display For Android Device
- Thin and Stylish Design
- Optional Dock Extends Abilities
- Plastic Strip Disrupts Its Premium Feel
- Internal Speakers Fairly Quiet
- Feeling A Bit Dated With Upcoming Competition
- 1.6GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (Cortex-A9) Quad Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 32GB Storage
- 10.1" WUXGA (1920x1200) Multitouch Display
- 2.0 Megapixel Front Camera, 8.0 Megapixel Rear Camera With Flash
- NVIDIA Tegra 3 Graphics
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Dock Connector, microHDMI, microSD, 3.5mm Audio
- 10.4" x 7.1" x .33" @ 1.31 lbs.
- Android 4.0 (4.1 Uprade Available)
Review - ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity
Nov 9 2012 - The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is essentially a replacement for the previous Transformer Prime tablet. It essentially takes the same base tablet design and upgrades a number of features. This means it is still very thin with just a .33-inch profile and it offers a spun metal finish on the back. The only difference really is a thin strip of plastic along the top edge in landscape mode. This was put in place to help eliminate some of the wireless networking and GPS issues that the solid metal case of the Transformer Prime had.
The first area that is upgraded in the Transformer Pad Infinity is the processor. It uses the same NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor that was found in the Prime but it increases the clock speeds. For the most part, buyers won't notice too much of a difference as the Tegra 3 already has an advantage especially when using multiple apps at the same time under the Android 4.0 operating system. It also has the NVIDIA variable processing to scale back the performance as needed to a fifth low power core in order to extend battery life.
The big difference with the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity was the fact that it brought a higher resolution panel. At 1920x1200, it is one of the highest resolution panels for an Android tablet until the Google Nexus 10 is released soon. It still falls short of the Apple iPad with Retina display but still offers a very sharp picture. The Super IPS+ panel gives it some exceptional brightness and very wide viewing angles but it falls short of what Apple achieves when it comes to the overall color quality. The default brightness still has trouble in bright sunlight with the glass coating but when enabled in Super mode, this isn't an issue but it does cut into the battery life.
As with other Transformer tablets, ASUS also offers an optional dock for roughly $150. This expands on the capabilities of the system by adding extra battery life, a keyboard that is roughly the same size as a netbook, a full size SD card reader (as opposed to the microSD on the main tablet) and a full USB 2.0 port. The dock also roughly doubles with thickness and weight of the tablet. Now, this is something that might be very useful for those that want to work on their tablet frequently. Owners of the Prime dock will be glad to know it is essentially the same dock so you don't have to purchase a new one.
The battery pack for the Trasnformer Pad Inifinity remains the same at a 25WHr capacity. In digital video playback test, the tablet was able to run for roughly nine and a half hours. This is roughly an hour less than the Prime tablet but this is due to the greater power demands of the higher resolution screen. Apple added a much larger battery and increased the thickness of the iPad with Retina Display in order to deal with such power demands which is why it can last up to eleven hours in a similar test. Of course, this still is very short compared to the iPad Mini which achieves twelve. Those that do opt to use the optional dock with its battery will find that battery life is extended roughly another five hours to over fourteen hours total.
With its $500 price tag, the Transformer Pad Infinity is one hte premium end of the tablet market. The current market competition for the tablet is the Apple iPad 4 and the Microsoft Surface RT. The Apple iPad 4 is larger and heavier but offers better base battery life, a better display and of course Apple's huge number of applications. The Microsoft Surface RT on the other hand is more of a competitor when it comes to those looking to use their tablet for productivity applications because of its Touch Cover display. It offers a higher quality look and feel and with the same interface experience as Windows 8 although without the application compatibility with desktops and laptops. Of course, the Google Nexus 7 will come out shortly with an even higher resolution display as well.