Hands-on With ASUS’s Transformer Pad Infinity and 300 Series Tablets

Of all of the companies that took part in Mobile World Congress 2012, it’s safe to say that ASUS had one of the more solid showings. The company not only introduced a finalized version of their PadFone (tablet/ phone combo), but also debuted two new tablets in its newly re-branded Transformer Pad series. (The company announced the name change from the Eee Pad Transformer to the ASUS Transformer Pad during its press event at MWC).

The first tablet the company debuted was its new Transformer Pad Infinity. If the tablet looks a little familiar, than you’ve been paying attention. That’s because the Infinity is essentially a slightly upgraded version of the Transformer Prime TF700T that we saw at CES. So what kind of upgrades are we talking about? Well, how does 3G and 4G data connectivity sound?

Unlike the TF700T, which was Wi-Fi only, the Transformer Pad Infinity will be available in both Wi-Fi only and 3G/4G LTE-capable models. The 3G model retains the TF700T’s quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, in 1.6-Ghz guise, while the 3G/4G LTE version gets a 1.5-Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor. RAM for both the Wi-Fi only and LTE versions stays at the same 1GB offered in the TF700T.

The Wi-Fi only model is available in both 32GB and 64GB models, while the LTE version is available with 16GB/32GB/64GB of storage. Both the Wi-Fi and LTE models will come pre-loaded with Google’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

There’s little difference between the TF700T and the Infinity in terms of design. Both feature ASUS’s now standard concentric circle design scheme. The Infinity also sports the TF700T’s gorgeous 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+ display. The TF700T and Infinity share the same dimensions, although the Infinity is a scant 2g heavier.

Asus 300 Series

ASUS also debuted its Transformer Pad 300 Series tablets, a slightly less powerful version of the Infinity Series. Outfitted with a 1.3-Ghz Tegra 3 processor, the 10.1-inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich-powered 300 series is available in both Wi-Fi only and 4G LTE versions. The 300 Series’s 10.1-inch display is also slightly less impressive than the Infinity series’s, a 1280 x 800 IPS panel, versus the Infinity’s 1920 x 1200 Super IPS+ display.

The 300 series’s cameras are also slightly underpowered compared to the Infinity’s. Around back is the same 8-megapixel rear-facing camera found in the Infinity, but up front is a less powerful 1.2-megapixel camera. The Infinity has a 2-megapixel camera. The 300 series is also available in three different colors including Red, White and Blue.

Overall, both devices felt solid and performed well during out short hands-on time. We couldn’t see much of a performance difference between the Infinity and 300 series, but that will more than likely change when we run a full series of benchmarks on both devices.

The one thing we disliked was the weight of their keyboard docks. And while the keyboard docks’ key travel was improved over the previous docks’, their touchpads were a bit too sensitive for our liking.

Stay tuned for our full reviews of both of these tablets in the coming months.

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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