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Asus Transformer Pad TF701T - Battery Life, Speaker and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Asus Transformer Pad TF701T

Summary

Our Score:

8

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 – Battery Life

One of the Asus Transformer series’s strengths is battery life. The tablets themselves have tended to offer stamina roughly on-par with the other high-end tablets, but as the keyboard docks have featured their own batteries, you could more-or-less double that stamina.

This time battery life of the Asus Transformer Pad TF701 is better than average even without the keyboard in tow. Left to play a video at medium brightness with Wi-Fi switched off, the Transformer lasts for around 12 hours. That’s excellent. The tablet turns itself into standby mode as standard when the battery hits the 30 per cent mark, which seems a bit aggressive when others do so when the battery is much closer to death, but it's no biggie in real-world use as you can simply bring the tablet back to life with the press of a button.

With the tablet docked this is bumped-up to 17 hours with light use – a little less for our video test. That’s exceptional stamina, whether for a tablet or a laptop-like device. The tablet part has a battery around half the size of the one in the tablet, with a 16kWh battery next to the tablet's 32kWh one. It provides an extra 40-odd per cent of life.

SEE ALSO: iPad Air vs iPad 4

Asus Transformer Pad 1

There's no easy access to either battery

Why does it last so long? It's a combination of the IGZO screen, the efficiency of the Tegra 4 processor and – we imagine – a bit of Asus software magic.

There are a number of power-optimising modes you can use to get a bit of extra stamina in more conventional use, too. There's a power-friendly speaker mode that cuts out some of the bass, and a much smarter than average power-efficient mode.

It performs the usual tricks of managing screen brightness and network access, but lets you alter when it's used based on what you're doing – one setting for watching a movie, another for reading emails and so on.

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 – Sound Quality

The Transformer Pad has just one speaker – with a grille drilled into one end of the aluminium rear. Without much focus put on the speaker on Asus's part, we weren't expecting much, but it's a perfectly good tablet speaker.

There's the extra degree of mid-range bulk and richness to the sound that usually comes from having an area inside the Transformer Pad's body in which sound can resonate a bit before escaping out of the grille. Asus offers an audio control panel that lets you alter the sound profile for games, music or speech – each EQ'ing the sound to offer a different frequency focus. This control panel is one of the widget overlays too, meaning you can access it wherever you are.

Asus seems to have significantly improved the speaker over earlier Transformer models. But there is still a way to go here.

Top volume could be higher and when playing a game or watching a movie it's clear that the sound is only coming out of one side of the tablet. We want stereo speakers here, badly.

Asus Transformer Pad TF701 – Wireless Connectivity

Is there anything else missing? There have been 3G editions of Transformer tablets in the past, but the version we're looking at is Wi-Fi only all the way. Making a 3G tablet of this grade for under £450 would be tricky at this point.

However, the Asus Transformer Pad TF701 does have GPS, letting you use it as an in-car GPS with either an app that offers offline maps or when tethered to a mobile phone's mobile internet connection. Other connections include Bluetooth, pretty advanced Wi-Fi (with support for a/b/g/n standards) and Miracast. That's a screen transmission standard that lets you share what's on the Transformer's screen with another display using Wi-Fi Direct.

Asus Transformer Pad 17

Should I buy the Asus Transformer Pad TF701?

The Asus Transformer Pad TF701 is a solid, if slightly unimaginitive, update to the Transformer Pad Infinity. Its screen is sharper, its processor faster and battery life is as good as we expected. But perhaps the most important change is the price.

At £430, it's cheaper than the price the Infinity launched at, and isn't much pricier than an iPad. Given the sheer flexibility and power on tap here, that's a bit of a bargain. The Surface Pro 2 is a much more serious laptop-replacing tablet, but it costs a good deal more (and doesn't last anywhere near as long off a charge).

Our only semi-serious issue is that the tablet on its own is starting to look a little dated thanks to its large bezel – something that will only become more apparent once the iPad 5 gets into hands. And despite the power on tap, you have to live with a small amount of intermittent lag.

Verdict

The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T takes everything that was good about the Infinity, updates it and sells it at a lower price. The tablet part alone isn't tremendously elegant in some respects, but this is a great package.

Next, head to list of the top 10 best Android tablets

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 10
  • Design 7
  • Performance 8
  • Screen Quality 9
  • Value 9

Alex Walsh

September 6, 2013, 8:58 am

If it's priced as much as an i5 laptop I'd have to say, what's the point? I've got an Asus Vivo i3 11inch touchscreen laptop, and that only cost £400...

tmc8080

September 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

I agree, this is likely to be laptop range pricing but the big caveats are things such as the ability to get android to support all the usb drivers ( and hardware) that windows does and the android OS needs an update to allow multiple apps to run on the main screen in true multi-tasking capability (not just background OFFscreen). No matter what specs they increase the hardware to, if these new updates to the software aren't enabled & developed, it's just a fancier version of the old o/s & hardware which has no significant added value and laptops become the better value. Think of having a quad core computer using the base version of windows 95... it's about the same lack of features in the OS that detracts from the value of better specs. Google can't update Android fast enough to get these features people will demand of $400, $500, $600 tablet hardware out there fast enough!

lemonlion

October 14, 2013, 11:59 am

Higher resolution screen, far better battery life, near instant on, ability to be used as a tablet without keyboard. Also Android games are designed for much lower specs, but windows games will only work on high end laptops. Plus many people don't like windows 8 and developers are slow to develop for their metro interface so not nearly as many apps (I mean the metro tablet style apps - obviously desktop applications there's plenty of).

Alex Walsh

October 14, 2013, 1:53 pm

in that case, I'm happy with my tf300 Transformer that cost £225 last month ;-)

lemonlion

October 15, 2013, 1:18 pm

Right, so the difference is this has a way higher screen resolution, longer battery life and a processor 4 times as fast, so less lag and better for playing games. You get what you pay for, if the tf300 is good enough for your needs then stay with it!

eaz

October 23, 2013, 3:43 pm

Now ship a version with Ubuntu touch and we have a real winner

andyvan

October 23, 2013, 4:41 pm

Interesting idea, that. Would be nice to see Asus take a risk on this format. Android doesn't really play that nicely with the whole 'mini laptop' vibe.

pikachu

October 23, 2013, 5:40 pm

Personally, I would like to see them reduce the bezel by increasing the size of the display, and implement some front facing stereo speakers. It is not pretty, like an iPad, but at least it would be a lot more practical if changes were made.

Marc Gennaoui

October 23, 2013, 8:09 pm

Asus has added floating widgets. As the name implies you can add almost any app in a smaller window that sits on top of your main home screen or running app for that matter. You can open as many floating widgets as you like. Look it up on you tube. In truth I haven't tried it myself yet. Maybe someone has got a user opinion of this functionality.

Raymond Duke

October 24, 2013, 1:53 pm

I still use my TF101 several times a week. It's one of my best purchases. I've been keeping up with all the Transformer new updates, including this one. I don't any reason to upgrade. All of the updates seem minor for my needs (reading, writing, Google Drive stuff, messaging etc.)

Mark Colit

October 24, 2013, 8:50 pm

I'm still using my TF101 as well. It'd be nice if the web browsing experience could match that of a desktop or laptop, but it's adequate most of the time. The 701 is tempting, but I think I'll keep using my TF101 till its run into the ground.

Raymond Duke

October 25, 2013, 3:42 pm

Same here. I thought it died last month when it wouldn't turn on or charge. Turns out the charger was just broke. I think I paid $15 for a new one, and now everything's fine.

pablouk

October 26, 2013, 8:13 pm

I have the TF700T with keyboard which I use everyday, picture is perfect for movies and TV shows but speed is poor due to only 1gig of RAM, I also have a Microsoft Surface pro. The ASUS is by far the better of the two machines and I can only assume that this new one has more memory fixing the speed/LAG problems.

How_delightful

October 29, 2013, 2:06 am

Maybe the keyboard area could be made heavier with a bigger battery all along under the touchpad front area AS AN OPTION to also top-up the power of the tablet `screen`. This would help it to not tip backwards if you lean the screen back a little (due to the weight of the screen currently being heavier than the keyboard).

I like giving away `free` ideas sometimes.

Edit;
Some jack-orf gave me a down arrow for helping.

How_delightful

October 29, 2013, 2:07 am

2Gb.

Edit; after down-arrow appeared.
Some jerk-off gave me a down-arrow for going to the site and finding that it is advertised as having 2Gb and confirming it here.

How_delightful

October 29, 2013, 2:09 am

Some people have big thumbs; some people use them in tablet-holders for hanging on the back of vehicle headrests for the kids movie. A very small edge would reduce that part of the market; unless you thought of a back attatchment method that I just thought of?

Edit;
Some jack-orf gave me a down arrow that wasn`t warranted.

Samus Arin

October 29, 2013, 8:15 pm

Tegra 4 too.

pablouk

October 30, 2013, 7:16 pm

Amazing, replies from TWO idiots who haven't read my post a seen that I'm talking about the previous model.

But then one is troll and the other an American so that explains the idiotic and pointless comment.

FYI spec on the TF700T
1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-Core Processor
1GB DDR2 RAM

Specs on the TF701T
1.9Ghz NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad-Core
2GB DDR3L RAM,

plunder

November 8, 2013, 4:53 pm

I bought a TF300T in March 2012. It has been a little flaky, but updated firmwares improved that. The drop in connector, within the join for the keyboard dock can cause problems. Occasionally I need to clean it carefully with contact cleaner on a cotton bud. Ironically, the Keyboard dock is also the main reason to consider this design. I use it for hours every day, almost like a net book; for Email, web access, iPlayer, podcasts, Skype etc.

I just wish the screen was better and it was a bit more stable. However, I seriously do not know what to replace it with. Nothing better offers the same form factor. You end up choosing between a proper compact laptop, or MacBook Air. No other "Tablet" does THIS specific job as well, so you end up with a device at twice the price that lacks the Transfomer flexibility.

Provided you understand the limitations and get it for a good price; the TF701T could be a very good choice. The concept and packaging NEEDS a proper update - not just a specification jump. ASUS just will not do it; they can't sell enough of them to justify the work. This is a pity, because it IS a good format.

plunder

November 8, 2013, 5:19 pm

The basic design needs a re-think, to make it properly stable and more reliable. Something like the Psion series 5 hinge; or the new Nokia 2520 tablet design.

I think many users like this format a lot. But they want it lighter and more compact. OR they want a full capacity touch screen Ultrabook; designed as a productivity tool from the ground up. ASUS have interesting ideas, but they don't finish designing them properly before launching them.

plunder

November 8, 2013, 5:34 pm

So you have both Alex - that's interesting. I may end updoing the same. I love the compactness of the TF300T (with the keyboard); but I end up working around it's limitations. I use Photoshop a lot, so a proper PC or Mac is essential; but 70% of the time a huge power hungry lump is painful.

Take a look at the new Samsung Note 10.1sometime. 10 inch Tabs are now smaller and lighter. That huge leap from a Nexus 7, is a bit smaller now.

Nick Bailey

November 10, 2013, 4:51 pm

Am I right in thinking that you can't import photos from a memory card onto this without connecting the keyboard?

Zeshan Choudhry

November 17, 2013, 11:33 pm

Actually, the American (Samus Arin) was saying that the Tegra 4 soc in addition the extra gb of RAM should help with the speed/lag problems.

P.S. This clarification comes from an American

Heilman

November 24, 2013, 3:52 pm

I believe the tablet itself has a micro sd slot

Bgrngod

December 1, 2013, 1:11 am

The TF700 is 1.6ghz, not 1.3ghz.

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