Storage and Connectivity
Transformer Prime – 32/64GB, microSD card, full-size SD slot with dock, microHDMI
Pad Infinity – 16/32/64GB, microSD card, full-size SD slot with dock, microHDMI
Pad 300 – 32GB, microSD card, full-size SD slot with dock, microHDMI
Demonstrating a good awareness of what its audience is after, the geek-friendly Transformers all offer good connectivity and expandable memory. With the tablet alone, you get a microSD memory card slot. Add the keyboard dock and you’re granted an additional full-size SD slot. This will come in particularly handy if you’re a photographer, letting you jam-in memory cards with ease. As long as you’re not still using CF, that is.
Transformer Pad Infinity – looks much like the Prime
Other connectivity options are good too. Each tablet has a microHDMI, letting you plug the tab into an HDTV with ease, and the dock features a full-size USB socket, which is handy if you want to use a mouse for an even more convincing laptop impersonation. All three use Asus’s proprietary socket to transfer data directly, though, which is a bit of a bummer.
Transformer Prime – 8MP, 1.2MP, F/2.4
Pad Infinity – 8MP, 2MP, F/2.2
Pad 300 – 8MP, 1.2MP, F/2.2
The Transformer Prime had a decent-spec camera, but shots produced by it weren’t all that dazzling. To up the quality, Asus has jacked-up the aperture rating in the new models, from F/2.4 to F/2.2.
The top-end Infinity also has a significantly improved user-facing camera for better-looking video calls. Contrary to what you might expect, though, the Pad 300 should – in theory – outperform the Prime, in spite of being cheaper.
However, we we’ve said many times – taking picture with a tablet camera is no fun.
Transformer Prime – metal, 537g, full-size SD, USB 2.0 port
Pad Infinity – metal, 537g, full-size SD, USB 2.0 port
Pad 300 – plastic, 546g, full-size SD, USB 2.0 port
Differences in the keyboard dock are much like those of the bodies of these tablets. The Prime and Infinity are very similar, and the Pad 300 is different. It’s the old plastic versus metal question again.
Once again, the Pad 300 is a little bit heavier than the other keyboards, but is functionally very similar. The design appears the same, using a shallow chiclet keyboard that’s similar to what you’d see in a decent netbook. Action is a little less generous than the ‘board of the first Transformer, but all these tabs are significantly thinner than that old (modern) classic.
Transformer Prime – 12 hours, 18 with dock
Pad Infinity – 10 hours, 16 with dock
Pad 300 – 10 hours, 15 with dock
If anything, we’re surprised that the Transformer Pad Infinity has as healthy battery life figures as it does. The new iPad had to increase battery capacitive massively to keep its 10-hour figure, but the Infinity is the same size and weight as the Prime, but manages to stay in double figures while offering a much higher-res screen. It should be noted that these figures won’t equate to using the maximum brightness of the eyeball-toasting Super IPS-plus display.
With the keyboard dock attached, the Transformer trio blasts away just about all the competition – laptops, tablets, netbooks, hardly any get close. The Prime wins out, with a jaw-dropping 18 hours – if you drop the brightness enough and don’t tax the processor with intense gaming sessions.