Friday

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700)


Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700


Not even a month after the Asus Transformer Prime TF201's release, Asus began showing an upgraded version of the tablet at CES 2012. Tonight, the company showed it off again at a Pepcom media event in New York.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700, as it's now known, sports an upgraded 1,920x1,200-pixel-resolution, 10.1-inch screen. This brings the Android tablet experience -- at least from a screen clarity perspective -- even closer to that of the new iPad, with its 2,048x1,536 screen. Previous Android tablets maxxed out their resolutions at 1280x800.

My initial impressions of the TF700's screen is that the improvements are subtle and honestly difficult to notice the upgrade in clarity unless I got my eyes really close to the screen. Still, I'm looking forward to getting a review unit in, so I can get more detailed impressions. One thing I did notice was that unlike the TF300, which cut the Primes's Super IPS+ mode to save on costs, the TF700 thankfully brings the outdoor reading mode back in full tilt.
Transformer Pad Infinity TF700
Like previous Transformer models, the TF700 can be mated with an optional keyboard dock.
The front camera gets upgraded from 1.2-megapixel to 2-megapixel and will now allow for HD video chat conferencing. The 8-megapixel back camera found on most Transformer tablets these days, gets an aperture upgrade from F/2.4 (as seen on the Prime and TF300) to F/2.2 on the TF700. This should allow for more detail to be captured by the camera in video and still shots.
Another small, but key change is the TF700's new back-panel design. Thanks to its alumimum unibody, the original Prime suffered when attempting to connect to GPS satellites. The TF700 includes a plastic panel on the back that allows GPS signals to more easily enter and exit the tablet. Asus claims this should enhance Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS performance.
Transformer Pad Infinity TF700
The Transformer Pad Infinity TF700, fully docked with its $150 keyboard accessory.
Design-wise the TF700 feels just as thin as the Prime, continuing the Transformer tradition of squeezing lots of power into a small enclosure. Back at CES, Asus said the tablet would ship with Android 4.0, with planned prices starting at $600 for 32GB and $700 for 64GB. That was six months ago though and there's no word yet if those prices will change.
Additional specs include an Nvidia Tegra 3 running at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, Micro HDMI, and Micro SD. The mobile keyboard dock will of course be available as an extra and expect it to be priced around $150 as the previous Transformer docks were.
The tablet is expected to ship sometime this summer. Look for a full CNET review when it (finally) does.