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
POST A COMMENT

112 Comments

View All Comments

  • smartypnt4 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    So, I understand that you can only do so much in one review, but come on...

    Where are your physical impressions of the device? I understand that the exterior is virtually identical to the Transformer Prime, but still. It'd be nice to even get a "go see the Tranformer Prime review for my detailed impressions on build quality, etc." Where are the battery life figures with the dock? I know it takes a lot of time to test everything, but you waited much longer after all the other review sites to post your iPad 3 and rMBP review. If you don't have a problem waiting on the Apple products, why rush this one out as soon as the NDA lifts?

    Sorry if it sounds like I'm whining. I just want the same kind of coverage devoted to Android's new flagship tablet as I saw with the new Macbook Pro or that I saw in the iPad 3 review. Both of those had reviews that were twice as long. Granted, the rMBP (love that acronym you used btw) was a very large upgrade, but the iPad 3 didn't differ appreciably from the iPad 2 in any area other than the screen, similarly to how the Infinity differs from the Prime.

    Other than not covering the build quality aspect, though, great review! I really want to see one of these things in action and compare it to my iPad 3 and see how it stacks up. I know the pixel density isn't on par with the iPad, but I'm getting rather tired of the iOS UI on a tablet. I wish I could have some good widgets.
    Reply
  • bryanb - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Why is Windows and Microsoft mentioned so much in the article? This article should have been reviewing the updated Transformer Prime running Android.

    Please keep the Microsoft fanboy rants in their own articles so that we can ignore them easier.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    TF Prime is taken off market or is going to be cheaper, then will the other plastic body ones be cheaper??? Reply
  • Possum - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Did ASUS change anything with the way their tablets are assembled and filtered through QC? I went through one Transformer Prime and three Transformer TF300's, and all had horrible backlight bleed issues. Reply
  • fic2 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Is it just me that doesn't really see the use in a rear facing camera? Holding up a big tablet (compared to a phone or actual camera) to take a picture is kind of awkward. I just don't really see the need for my tablet or laptop to have a camera other than for skype, etc. Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    How did the Internet (Browser) benches get Benched. By which Internet connectivity type being utilized ?

    - Wi-fi
    - Tethered Phone
    - Some other

    There was not any USB port said on the Tablet . Unless I missed this spec. somewhere. I have not seen any HDMI Wimax (via Internet Service Provider). In order to run a wireless connection.

    Is this intended to be marketed this way. A localized Internet device via wi-fi etc. Certainly looks intentional w/o a USB connector.

    Did not see a processor percentage for use of HDMI to external Display/HDTV either.
    Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    P.S. Idea being is this being marketed to that you/me/us/we .. can go "shopping" for wi-fi spots ? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    All of the browser benchmarks were over WiFi. Reply
  • sonelone - Monday, June 25, 2012 - link

    Please review the N56VZ next. It is a very capable laptop and offers Macbook Pro level performance at $1300. Reply
  • Godofmosquitos - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - link

    Any word on when the Infinity Pad we're actually waiting for will arrive? I ofc mean the 3G version of this device, sporting Qualcomm's S4 Krait instead of Tegra 3, likely sporting both better performance and much better battery life than what we see here... Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now