Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 Hands-on Review
Coming to market later this year as the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity 700 series, the tablet with HD display we first saw at CES last month now adds one more key option - a version with 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and 4G LTE connectivity.
The Wi-Fi version of the Infinity Pad will still be with the quad-core Tegra 3 as originally scheduled - those chips are both so powerful that the difference in real life everyday performance with Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be negligible anyway. Asus promises 10 hours of battery life out of this getup, with the keyboard dock adding six more.
The Transformer Pad Infinity biggest virtue is the 10.1" 1920x1200 pixels Full HD IPS+ display, meaning we not only get very high for a tablet pixel density, but also 600 nits of brightness as well, for better outdoor visibility. We didn't have a chance to take it outside for verification, but on the showfloor the Full HD screen looked stunning, with no visible pixelization, the colors were vibrant, and it had very good viewing angles. Moreover, it is covered with Gorilla Glass 2 for added protection.
The thing that impressed us most, though, was the outer appearance. Solidly built, the tablet is a looker with its brushed aluminum back crafted with utmost precision. The Infinity Pad also felt very light, at only 20oz (586g), and it is one of the thinnest with its 8.5mm (0.33mm), despite the premium materials and the 8MP camera module.
Asus says the camera now has a five-elements lens, but we didn't have a chance to test some samples - will give it a try when the slate comes in the office in a finalized version. As for sound, the SonicMaster technology from Asus is supposed to enhance the audio quite a bit, but it was pretty noisy around us, plus the sole speaker grill is easy to cover with your fingers when holding the tablet.
The chiclet QWERTY keyboard dock also exudes a premium feeling, with tactile keys that travel enough not to be called shallow. The dock houses a 22Wh battery that gives extra hours of juice when you plug the tablet in it. The weight with the doc is less than your average netbook even, and you get a touchscreen thrown in for good measure.
Overall, we were very satisfied with the build quality and the polished looks of the Transformer Pad Infinity 700 series, and can't wait to explore that gorgeous Full HD display when review time comes.