Emerging Technology

GADGET WATCH: ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity

Patrick Stafford /

With a new version of the iPad coming any day now, the tablet space is heating up as smaller players attempt to corner whatever part of the market is still left for them – and ASUS is putting up a good challenge.

The Transformer Pad Infinity has been out for some time, but with an Android 4.1 update it’s worth another look. Given the tablet space needs a competitor to the Google Nexus, it’s definitely worth an evaluation.

Hardware and features

The Transformer Pad features an NVIDIA Tegra quad-core processor at 1.2Ghz, with a GeForce 12-core graphics processor and 1GB of RAM.

Storage-wise, the tablet comes with 16GB, although it comes with 8GB of Free ASUS WebSTorage. It connects with WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0.

The screen is 10.1 inches at 1200×800, and it comes with two cameras: a front-facing 1.2 megapixel lens and an eight megapixel lens on the rear.

ASUS promises 10 hours of battery power. The device itself weighs 635 grams, and measures 263mm x 180.8mm x 9.9mm.

What’s the consensus?

First thing’s first – the design. It’s a striking tablet, with a black and silver finish. Over at The Verge, the publication said the body was “incredibly well-constructed”, with the flat sides and teardrop effect making it feel thinner.

“The whole thing is a bit hardened and cold in a way the soft-touch Nexus 7 isn’t, but the Infinity feels like a piece of machinery where Google’s tablet is more of a toy. At 1.3 pounds it’s just about the same weight as the iPad and, as with the iPad, it’s not particularly easy to wield in one hand but is quite comfortable in two.”

It also pointed out the front of the device is pretty much empty, while around the edges the device features a microSD slot and micro HDMI port.

However, it also noted it preferred the Nexus 7.

But what makes the device interesting is the keyboard dock. CNET points out the dock isn’t just a keyboard on a stand, but actually works as a separate device, with its own battery. And, when used, it made the device “much more akin to a lightweight portable computer”.

CNET also noted the device zips along on its Tegra processor and 1GB of RAM, saying that although the device is cheaper than some more powerful options, “you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of that in the way this machine performs”.

Over at TechRadar, the publication put the battery life to the test – and it came out on top.

“We found the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity returned the kind of benchmark scores we really would anticipate from a top-flight Tegra 3 tablet, and it served to cement the performance we’d already experienced while using the tablet.”

General usage provided seven hours of activity, while using the dock provided up to 14.

“Either way, you won’t struggle for power or longevity with the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity,” it said.

Interface-wise, all these publications praised the Android 4.1 update, especially the fact ASUS added very little of its own software to the device.

Who’s it for?

The Transformer Pad is probably one of the few Android tablets on the market that can offer a good value purchase. It’s not going to give you as much bang for your buck as the Google Nexus, which is the top of the pile when it comes to Android, but it’s definitely not a bad purchase, either.

If you’re not into the market for the Google Nexus, and value some extra power and battery life, the Transformer Pad could be well worth a look.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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