Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T Review

Transformer Pad Infinity Design

The Transformer Pad Infinity doesn't look a whole lot different than the previous generation Asus Transformer Prime. In fact, until you turn on the unit and marvel at its ultra-crisp display, the only thing that distinguishes the tablet from its predecessor is a thin plastic metallic band that trims the rear camera area of the device.

Hello Gorgeous... Display -
Ahh but the Pad Infinity's display, that's really where the rubber meets the road.  The word "Infinity" in the model branding conjures up associations with things like vision, depth and quality; the latter of which has been coined by Nissan motors for their high-end line of automobiles.  Hopefully Asus doesn't run into a little branding skirmish like they did with Hasbro but regardless, the 1920x1200 display on this tablet is "infinitely" better than anything we've seen in an Android slate to date. Alright, so maybe "infinitely" is a strong word but we had to use it anyway.

Left: Transformer Prime - Right: Transformer Pad Infinity - Click for high res, large files

Left: Transformer Prime - Right: Transformer Pad Infinity - Click for high res, large files

To be sure, the extra resolution makes a world of difference.  Images and text are decidedly more crisp, with much better contrast for the Transformer Pad Infinity's display versus the Transformer Prime. Viewing angle range is about the same between the two IPS panels. However, since there is much better contrast on the higher res Infinity, you can see text more clearly at wider angles and colors look less washed out.  It's hard to describe but it's not like the image fades out more on the Prime, as you get off center from its display, just that to begin with, it's not as deep, vibrant or as crisp as the Pad Infinity's 1920x1200 Super IPS+ display.  In addition, the Transformer Prime appears to be setup just a touch warmer for its color preset versus the new Transformer Pad Infinity.  We like the Infinity's cooler hue, though we suppose that's a subjective opinion.  It presents whiter whites and again offers better overall contrast. In the shots above we have both tablets set to their Super IPS+ mode at max brightness.  The difference is obvious and dramatic, when you see them side-by-side.

Hands-down, the new Transformer Pad Infinity's display really is that much better than the Prime's and it rivals Apple's current iPad Retina display in our opinion. Now before you pixel snobs get all hot and bothered about the higher resolution panel in the new iPad, it's true, at 2048x1536 Apple offers higher pixel density and does look slightly tighter and sharper to the naked eye versus the Transformer Pad Infinity.  However, at standard viewing distances for a tablet, we'd bet you'd be hard press to distinguish a marked advantage for the iPad's display.  In addition, Asus' Super IPS+ mode offers fricken laser beam brightness for better outdoor viewing performance over the iPad. 

And finally there's Corning's Gorilla Glass 2 that has been strapped to the front of the Transformer Pad Infinity.  Claims are that the second coming of Gorilla glass now offers a thinner but just as durable surface that is more responsive to touch interface commands.  We didn't notice much if any difference to be honest but hey, the 2.0 version of anything is better, right?  Well, maybe.

The rest, from a materials and design standpoint for the new Transformer Pad Infinity is pretty similar versus the Transformer Prime.  We got our hands on a champagne purple model with its signature brushed aluminum finish.  It's gorgeous.  We love it. Our only reservation is that the surface is a total fingerprint magnet and is more prone to scratching that most tablet exteriors we've seen and tested. 

The new Pad Infinity is ever so slightly thicker at .33" thin versus the Prime at .32".  The keyboard dock is the same between the two systems and you get a 2-in-1 audio headphone jack, a micro HDMI port and Micro SD card slot on the tablet, with a full sized SD Card slot and USB 2.0 port on the dock.  In the tablet is a 25Wh Li-polymer battery and the dock offers a 19.5Wh battery as well, for a potential up time of 9.5 hours with just the slate, and up to 14 hours possible with the dock connected.  The keyboard, though well made, is your basic chiklet style netbook keyboard.  If you're phobic of cramped typing spaces you'll need to take a deep breath, relax and come up the learning curve with it, plain and simple.

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