Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 – Better than its predecessor
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is a successor to the Prime and the new tablet isn’t just an upgrade to the previous one. Lets see what this tablet is about in more detail.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Design :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is a modified version of Asus Transformer Prime TF201. Both the tablets come with same connections and ports – microSD, microHDMI, reset pinholes, microphone, and headphones jack. However, the placement is a bit modified. Initially you might get annoyed by it but eventually you will get used to them quite well.
This tablet is 0.33 inch thick and the case is all unibody aluminum design. On the back, the metal back design has a small plastic panel which has GPS radio equipment. This is done because plastic allows the signal to enter and exit more easily.
My review model had a Amethyst Gray finish with metallic, smooth back and in the middle, there was Asus logo. This tablet is also offered in Champagne Gold shade. On the right side, there is perforation for the speaker holes and they are arranged quite narrowly as compared to Prime.
Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Display :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 comes with a IPS display and it has a resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels. This is the same as that on Acer Iconia and this resolution is the highest available on any Android tablet. Prime had a resolution of 1,280×800 pixels and at first sight, I found it hard to differentiate between the two.
Text under the app icons on the home screen didn’t really look different till you brought your eyes really close to the tablet. Things are more noticeable while surfing the Web but then the difference isn’t huge. You won’t appreciate additional pixels till you hold both the screens side by side.
The biggest difference was while viewing e-books. Text on the TF700 is sharper and blacker. As compared to new Apple iPad which has a resolution of 2,048×1,536 pixels, it is a bit hard to see the difference in terms sharpness and text quality.
Apart from resolution, the TF700 could handle the color and contrast pretty well. Images were vibrant and had good black levels. Viewing angles were quite wide just like other IPS screens and the display was very responsive when moving through the pages.
Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Keyboard dock :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is offered along with optional dock for keyboard which costs $150. You can use this dock provided you are on latest firmware.
Keyboard dock on the TF700 is quite identical to that of the Prime and the metal body used gives the tablet a well built and substantial feel. It is very comfortable but large hands will feel that it is cramped. The buttons are a bit smaller than that of Apple MacBook Air and they are both well spaced and soft. People won’t be using this keyboard on a regular basis but it is still good for use while travelling.
Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Software :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 comes with Android 4.0.3 preinstalled and it is the best version of the OS till now. There have been quite a lot of improvements and Android has got some good game releases such as Max Payne Mobile which was previously available on iOS. However, Google still has some work to do to lure other developers to make games which will take good advantage of Tegra 3 chip.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 also comes along with some goodies onboard. After you register this tablet, you get 8GB cloud based, free storage space via Asus MyCloud for life. You also get remote access to desktop of Mac or PC and you can connect to @Vive radio and online music service.
There is File Manager which accesses the root directory of the TF700 and you get organized and easy access to all the files on the drive or the expandable memory. There is MyNet for streaming 1080p content to the DLNA enabled gadgets on the network. Also, there is Asus e-reader application called MyLibrary which lets you read and buy new books through this interface directly.
SuperNote lets you type or ‘write’ the notes using your fingers. You also get to draw graphs or take video or pictures from this interface. This will be useful for students while they are in a class.
App Backup lets you back up installed applications to microSD card or internal storage. You get to reset your tablet without losing any of the app data. There is also Polaris Office free app which is quite similar to Microsoft Office and you get to create Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents.
AppLocker provides password protection on the tablet and people who don’t know the password can’t access the tablet. You can also take screenshots of the tablet whenever you want.
Infinity TF700 CPU control :
Asus has tweaked the Android interface here and due to this, you can run this tablet on the Tegra 3 processor in power-saving, balanced, or standard mode. If you are running in the normal mode, the tablet will run at full speed. In power saving and balanced mode, this tablet will throttle the speed of CPU to save the battery power. This feature was available on the TF300 and Prime as well and I am surprised that other vendors haven’t adopted it yet.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Hardware :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 comes with Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and it is clocked at speeds of 1.6 GHz and has 2 to 4 cores active. Accompanying this processor is the 1GB DDR3 RAM having frequency of 1.6 GHz. There are two options for storage – 32GB or 64GB and there are goodies like accelerometer, gyroscope, Bluetooth 3.0+EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
Mobile keyboard attachment comes with extra battery inside. When you connect the dock, the tablet uses the battery of the dock instead of its own and hence the tablet runs for a longer time. The tablet reverts back to its own battery after the dock juice is exhausted.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 comes with microHDMI port for connecting this tablet to a large HDTV and you get to play Android games using PS3 or Xbox 360 game pads. But both the wireless and wired controllers need USB support and hence, you will need the keyboard dock for setting it up. The images are well translated on the bigger HDTV screen.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Games :
While testing games, I was pretty impressed by the ability to maintain good frame rates and still gave good graphics. However, iPad was better than this with smoother frame rates as compared to TF700 and the text too was sharper. You should also keep in mind that iOS doesn’t have Tegra powered screen splash effects. However, not all the games scaled well.
Infinity TF700 Web browser :
Web browsing speeds on the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 were a bit slower by 1-2 seconds as compared to that of Apple iPad. I used the default browser for testing. Also, there wasn’t any visible clipping while swiping down on the long Web pages, after the pages were loaded fully. After this, I tried Chrome Beta but did not see any faster performance and there were also a lot of clip bugs which didn’t make me comfortable.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Camera :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 comes with two megapixels front facing camera which has better quality than the 1.3MP camera on the Prime. On the back, there is an eight megapixels shooter which gave me colorful and detailed photos. This camera quality is second only to that of Apple iPad.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Speakers :
Speakers on the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 were good enough in terms of quality and volume and they were clearer than the Prime. These speakers aren’t as loud or full as that of the iPad but still they are good enough for most purpose.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Battery :
In my tests, the battery of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 lasted for almost 14 hours in balance mode. In the performance mode, it lasted for about 13 hours and these numbers are quite the same as what Asus claims.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Price :
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 costs $500 for the 32GB model and $600 for the 64GB model.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is better than the Prime. It has faster performance for games, better screen and the back and front cameras are improved. Text looks really sharp but there aren’t a lot of Android apps that can take advantage of it. Faster RAM and CPU give faster launch times for apps but there aren’t much apps right now that can use the screen of this tablet to the fullest. It will take around six months for getting full app support that the hardware of this tablet deserves.
Apple iPad is still the best tablet available in the market right now but the TF700 is certainly the best Android tablet. However, I won’t recommend it for people who already have the Prime. They are better off waiting for the next iteration of Transformer.