Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
Ever since the Asus Eee Pad Transformer was released in 2011, the Transformer range has been among our Android favourites. The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity looks set to continue the trend of brilliance in 2012. We'll be back with the full review soon, but for now here's everything we currently know about the HD Android tablet.
Want the cheaper alternative? Read our Transformer Pad 300 review.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity looks a lot like its predecessor, the Asus Transformer Prime. This tablet won our coveted Editor's Choice award, along with a 10/10 score. Copying the best is not a bad thing.
It's just 8.5mm thick, and has metal amour to give it that premium, strong feel. The back uses a natty-looking concentric circle brushed pattern, to make it look a little different from other Android tablets out there.
Of course, the big deal with any Transformer tablet is a keyboard case. The series offers the best keyboard docks in the business, fitting securely onto the tablet and folding smoothly, to make the tablet feel just like an ultra-premium netbook. Its base also adds to the tablet's battery life, whacking it up to double figures. You'll get up to 16 hours with the dock, 10 without.
Without the keyboard base, the tablet alone has a microSD card reader, a micro HDMI video output and a 3.5mm headphone jack that also acts as microphone socket. With the keyboard helping out, you gain a full-size SD memory card reader and a full-size USB 2.0 port.
Connectivity you can't see so easily includes Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth and 3G (optional).
Power and storage
Oddly enough, there are two completely different processors going into different version of the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. The Wi-Fi only edition uses the NVIDIA Tegra 3 T33 Quad-core 1.6GHz processor, while the 3G (and LTE in the US) edition uses the reportedly superior Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU.
However, both editions will have oodles of power to play with - enough to render 1080p video. Backing up the CPU is 1GB of RAM.
Asus says that there will be 32GB and 64GB of the Wi-Fi model, and 16GB, 32GB and 64GB of the 3G edition. Interestingly, this points towards a "low cost" 3G edition, although we'll have to wait to see if this makes it to the UK.
Like almost every Android tablet and smartphone of the moment, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Infinity will launch with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. This is the version of Google's OS that once again brings together the two sides of the Android equation - tablets and smartphones.
However, by the time it arrives, the next version probably won't be far off. In Asus's defence, though, to-date it has been fairly good about bringing Android software updates to its existing products.
Just like the Asus Transformer Pad Prime before it, the Infinity has two cameras. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back with an LED flash beside it, and a user-facing camera too. Both have had improvements made in this generation. The rear camera's aperture has been changed from F/2.8 to F/2.8, which should result in better-quality images, and the resolution of the video chat camera has been upped from 1.2MP to 2MP.
Perhaps the most important upgrade in the Transformer Pad Infinity is its screen. It uses an extremely bright 10.1in Super IPS-plus display, like the Prime, but the resolution has been cranked-up to 1920 x 1200.
It's significantly less pixel-packed than the new iPad, but should be enough to give that "Retina Display" vibe, where you can't discern single pixels. Pixel density is 224dpi - not huge by smartphone standards, but twice that of the iPad 2.
When is it going to get here? There's no definite answer as yet, but there are hints that it will arrive in May or June. We'll be back with more info as it surfaces.