ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T) Reviewby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 25, 2012 3:00 AM EST
The Transformer Pad Infinity addresses everything we didn't like about the Transformer Prime. Both WiFi and GPS performance are much improved, the latter to the point of actual usability. The display is also appreciably better thanks to its very high panel resolution and wonderful brightness/contrast. ASUS completes the package with an increase in SoC performance and memory bandwidth, ensuring the Infinity maintains the UI performance and behavior of the Prime despite the higher resolution display.
Portability and form factor are just as good as always. Despite moving to a higher resolution panel, device thickness increased by no more than 0.1mm. There's no increase in battery capacity as a result, which does hurt battery life. Video playback is still fine at over 10 hours, it's really the general use and 3D workloads that take the biggest hit. By keeping the form factor constant, however, ASUS guarantees the Infinity is just as easy to port around as its predecessors. Although the dock is nice, there's something about just carrying around an ultra thin, ultra light tablet that feels so comfortable.
While improved features and higher resolutions are nice, it's equally as important that ASUS delivers all of this without an increase in price. The Infinity was originally talked about as a $599+ device, but falling panel costs and increased competitive pressure dictated that $499 would be the actual starting point. Availability isn't scheduled until mid-July however, which actually brings us to our only issue with the Infinity: it doesn't run Windows 8.
Android does quite well as a tablet and smartphone OS, but it seems to fall short as a notebook OS. To really use the Infinity to its potential is to use it in combination with the Transformer Dock. While docked, the Infinity is good, but I suspect the overall experience with Windows 8 will just be better. Current estimates put Windows 8 based tablets out in early Q4, which isn't all that far away from the July 16th launch week for the Infinity.
If you're a fan of Android tablets, the Transformer Pad Infinity will likely be one of the best options when it arrives. You get a good, thin, tablet form factor with a nice high resolution display and functional WiFi/GPS. But if you're really interested in having a tablet that can really perform as a notebook, you may want to wait for the ASUS Tablet 600, 810 and Transformer Book. The hybrid tablet/notebook market is one that Windows 8 seems perfectly suited for, and ASUS now has a lot of experience under its belt in building devices for that market. When those two meet, I suspect only good things will happen.