New tablets are being launched basically each and every week but up until now none of them were able to grab as much attention as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. A long name for a tablet, don’t you think? Anyway, this can be a rival for Apple’s iPad as this is the first Android-running tablet to feature a full HD (1,900 x 1,200-pixel resolution) display. The 32GB version will set you back $499 while the 64GB model costs $100 more.
When it comes down to its design, not a lot have changed since the company’s Transformer Prime. The front of the tablet is mostly occupied by the exquisite 10.1-inch screen which is surrounded by a thick black bezel and wears the Corning Gorilla Glass 2. When you hold the tablet in landscape mode you’ll notice that above the screen there’s a front-facing two megapixel camera as well as a faint logo of the company.
The back of this Android tablet has a brushed aluminum finish that holds a silver ASUS logo which is nicely ringed by several concentric circles. The back panel of this tablet is offered by the manufacturer in either an Amethyst Gray finish or with a Champagne Gold look. The impressive eight megapixel camera and its LED flash are on the single strip made from plastic. The reason why ASUS decided to use plastic for this area is to improve the performance of the GPS and also to allow a 4G radio on the upcoming versions.
There is a generous array of ports sitting on the thin rounded edges of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. On the left spine you will have access to the tablet’s microHDMI port, microSD card slot and also the 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack. The small power button is found on the far left of the top edge, while on the opposite side sits the volume rocker which is a bit too thin in our opinion. The proprietary connector port has been installed on the bottom of the tablet and it sits next to the two docking ports that you can use with the company’s keyboard dock which is available for more money as an accessory.
The size and weight of the tablet are virtually the same as its predecessor since it measures 10.4 x 7.1 x 0.33 inches and weighs 1.3 pounds. This means that the tablet has roughly the same dimensions as Toshiba’s Excite 10 tablet, while compared to the third generation of the iPad, the new Transformed Pad is a bit larger yet lighter.
The tablet has the best screen we’ve seen on such a device that runs on Android OS. A lovely 10.1-inch display with a full HD resolution which provides extremely sharp images and vivid colors, making it suitable for watching high definition content. The colors are also brighter and very crisp so you can imagine how great the viewing experience is on this screen. This display is almost as good as the exquisite Retina Display that the new iPad comes with.
The back side of the tablet holds a single speaker which means that most likely when you hold the tablet in your hand in landscape mode you’ll cover the speaker with your hand. The sound coming out is nothing impressive, but it still sounds clear and crisp, along with a hint of bass.
For typing you get just about the same virtual keyboard as on the previous model so it’s almost the same as the native Android keyboard. We liked the fact that this keyboard is very responsive but we wished that the spacebar was a bit larger for a more comfortable use. We should also mention that this virtual keyboard comes with a trace feature similar to the Swype keyboard which allows the user to trace lines between letters in order to form words. If you are not a big fan of the virtual keyboard then you might be willing to spend an additional $129 for the docking station which brings a physical battery while at the same time it increases the battery life significantly.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which means that you will get to use up to five homescreens. Available on this tablet are various widgets, such as for time & date, e-mail, along with a big AccuWeather.com widget. The icons for Home, Back and Recent Apps have been slightly revised, while the notification bar is heavily modified. If you perform a tap on the digital clock that sits in the screen’s lower right corner, you will open up the blue & black notification box which shows date & time, battery status and settings icon. This notification box also packs several shortcuts for Bluetooth, screen orientation lock, GPS, mute button, auto-sync and Wi-Fi. In addition, the notification box is also loaded with buttons for changing the tablet’s three power modes, along with the screen’s Standard IPS and Super IPS+ modes.
Not only is this the first Android-running tablet to get a full HD display, but at the same time it is the first of its kind to be powered by a Tegra 3 T33 quad core processor. According to ASUS, the CPU has a maximum clock speed of 1.60 GHz when two of the cores are running and a speed of 1.70 GHz when one core is working. This clock speed is higher than the previous Transformed Pad which ran at 1.30 GHz and 1.40 GHz, respectively. It has 1GB of DDR3 RAM while the older tablet had DDR2 memory.
The eight megapixel camera sitting at the back of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 features a new F2.2 aperture and manages to take very sharp pictures, with excellent color reproduction and a lot of detail. This camera can take 1080p clips of similar quality. Let’s not forget about the front-facing 2 megapixel camera which can also grab sharp photos, plus you have the possibility of doing video chat in high definition. If there’s enough natural light, the camera performs splendidly.
As far as the battery is concerned, it manages to last for more than seven and a half hours in LAPTOP Battery Test which consists of web surfing over a Wi-Fi network, while the screen’s brightness is set at 40%. This is a great performance for an Android tablet but it still can’t match the 10-hour runtime of the third-gen iPad.
So, is the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 an iPad killer? Probably not, but it’s darn close.