At Computex a few weeks ago ASUS gave us exactly what we had been hoping for: a Transformer-style tablet running Windows 8. In fact, ASUS gave us a bunch of options as far as Windows 8 tablets go. The two we've been asking for are the Tablet 600 and Tablet 810, running Windows RT and Windows 8, respectively. They feature standalone tablets with detachable keyboard/mouse docks, giving you the best of both worlds.

ASUS wasn't the only one to bring this sort of flexibility to Windows 8. Acer showed off a similar design with its Iconia W510, as did Samsung and more recently, Microsoft. With the Surface tablets Microsoft actually went a step further and tried to integrate the keyboard into a lightweight cover rather than an external dock. It remains to be seen just how well these approaches will work, but it's clear there's a trend for the first generation of Windows 8 tablets.

We can't forget however what started this all. Much like Apple with the iPhone and iPad, ASUS picked an intersection of functionality and technical feasibility with the introduction of the first Eee Pad Transformer. For the first time we had silicon capable of running for hours in a small form factor tablet, as well as a touch-enabled OS that could run on it. Previous attempts at hybrid tablets often tried to shoehorn a desktop version of Windows into a device that was too clumsy. ASUS' Transformer series was the start of something new.

Since the release of the first Eee Pad Transformer (can you believe it's only been about a year?), ASUS has released several members of the Eee Pad and Transformer families. We got a slider, a thinner version called the Transformer Prime, as well as a refreshed entry level Transformer Pad 300. ASUS' experimentation and learning will pay off later this year as it ships the first Windows RT/8 versions. Until then however ASUS isn't done iterating. Today it's officially announcing the final configuration of the Transformer Pad Infinity, the first member of the TF series with a 1920 x 1200 display. It also happens to be the first tablet we've tested to use NVIDIA's higher binned Tegra 3 T33 SoC.

ASUS Tablet Specification Comparison
  ASUS Eee Pad Transformer ASUS Transformer Pad 300 Series ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity
Dimensions 271mm x 175mm x 12.95mm 263 x 180.8 x 9.9mm 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm 263 x 180.6 x 8.4mm
Chassis Plastic Plastic Aluminum Aluminum + Plastic RF Strip
Display 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 Super IPS+ 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+
Weight 675g 635g 586g 594g
Processor 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (2 x Cortex A9)

NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30L - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T30 - 4 x Cortex A9)

1.6GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (T33 - 4 x Cortex A9)

Memory 1GB 1GB 1GB 1GB DDR3-1600
Storage 16GB + microSD card 16GB/32GB 32GB/64GB + microSD slot 32/64GB + microSD slot
Battery 24.4Whr 22Whr 25Whr 25Whr
Pricing $399 $379/$399 $499/$599 $499/$599

Despite early indications of $599+ pricing, the Transformer Pad Infinity comes in at $499 for the 32GB model and $599 for 64GB. The Infinity is compatible with the Transformer Dock ($149) from the TF Prime as long as your dock has firmware 207 or later on it. The dock is what gives the Transformer Pad its name as it allows the Infinity to be converted into an Android netbook complete with QWERTY keyboard, trackpad and additional battery. The Infinity and its dock are available in the same two colors (amethyst gray and champagne gold) as the TF Prime was at launch. The Infinity dock doesn't appear to carry a separate part number, it's literally the same dock that was used with the Prime.

The chassis hasn't changed much since the introduction of the Prime. It is one-tenth of a millimeter thicker to accommodate the higher-resolution display and backlight assembly, but battery capacity remains at 25Wh. The Infinity is a little heavier and its edges are squared a bit instead of being perfectly rounded. The port configuration remains the same (micro HDMI, micro SD, headphone jack), although redistributed around the chassis. The power and volume buttons are now both located along the top of the unit, with the switches themselves more integrated with the tablet.

Although official reviews of the Infinity hit today, availability isn't scheduled until around July 16th. Quantities are unknown at this point and will likely be gated by panel availability.

The Display
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  • dagamer34 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity - 1080p + 1.6Ghz->1.3Ghz Tegra 3 + Windows RT + Touch Cover = $599 Surface RT starting price. Reply
  • killerclick - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Yeah, except you get a 1366x768 screen and a lack of apps. Plus you have to wait three months for it. Plus the touch cover doesn't have an extra battery. Plus how are you going to use the kickstand+touch cover on your lap?

    Give it up, the Surface is a crap product, especially Surface Pro. A tablet is neither a PC nor a laptop, and Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that.
    Reply
  • Samus - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Microsoft understands perfectly that a tablet can both be a PC and a laptop. Reply
  • UpSpin - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    You can buy such tablets already: Asus EEE EP121, Samsung Series 7 Slate. Also the future Win 8 tablets, which are both a PC, laptop and tablet will cost twice as much as the TF700.

    WinRT won't be a laptop replacement, rather an inferor iPad clone, which won't give you any advantage, especially not compared to Android.
    Reply
  • name99 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    You may the way they understood that the SAME Windows could work just as well on a tablet and a PC (dating all the way back to 1987 and the Go tablet business)?
    You mean the same way they understood that the same Windows UI could work on a phone, through all the different naming iterations of WIndows CE/Windows Mobile?

    I think let's believe it when we see it. Right now what I see is that the fraction of people who LIKE Windows 8 as a PC OS is pretty damn small, which suggests a fundamental flaw in your theory.
    Reply
  • french toast - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Really? So no one likes w8 despite the fact it isn't even on sale yet?

    So you think because a company releases a poor product many moons ago.. that obviously means every product will be poor from that point onwards...
    Reply
  • rickcain2320 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Windows 8 has been out in beta and RC phases for quite some time now. No rave reviews by anybody other than fanbois wearing blue e t-shirts and paid bloggers. Reply
  • themossie - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Anecdotally...

    A software developer just paid me $40 to downgrade their Microsoft BUILD conference slate from Win8 DP (developer's preview) to Windows 7. This is the prototype for the Samsung Series 7 Slate, released to encourage Win8 developers. Not a good sign.

    They encountered driver issues (will be fixed by Win8 release) and found the workflow very unpleasant (which will not!)

    I played with 8 for a while first. Ugly, ugly operating system. The desktop feels gimped, because the start button returns you to Metro. I don't care about the missing start menu, but Metro isn't useful enough by itself, forcing me to the Desktop for real work - and several operations on the Desktop take you back to Metro :-(

    Also, IE for Metro is completely unusable.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Windows8 totally BLOWS chunks. Anyone who I know in RL who has used Windows8 on the desktop think its SUCKS.

    I used it... it sucks. I'll go WindowsXP before I deal with Windows8.

    Vista sucked because it was buggy garbage...Win8 sucks because its a crappy UI design.
    Reply
  • prophet001 - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    You got a little foam on your lip there bud...

    Little to the left... little more... there! you got it off.
    Reply

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