Asus Transformer Pad Infinity 700 review
Asus gives its hybrid a stunning high-resolution screen and a turbo-charged processor, but it’s as expensive as they come
Part tablet, part laptop, Asus’ split-personality Transformer devices deliver some welcome innovation in a sea of copycat tablets. They’ve never been cheap, but the latest Transformer Pad Infinity 700 - due for release on 31 August - ventures even further into premium territory by adding a glorious Full HD display and the latest Nvidia Tegra 3 processor to the mix.
Physically, the Infinity looks familiar. Brushed grey metal pools across the back, while a thick, glossy black bezel surrounds the display. Build quality is as solid as ever, with the metal chassis feeling stiff, sturdy and even reasonably light at 606g; the keyboard dock remains well built, the tablet slotting home with a cushioned click.
Switch on the Infinity and the new display leaps out immediately. With a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution across a 10.1in IPS panel, it effortlessly climbs to the top of the Android pile, making tablets with 1,280 x 800 displays look fuzzy by comparison. Text is pin-sharp and colours stunningly vibrant. It isn’t quite the match of the iPad’s 264ppi Retina display, but at 224ppi it isn’t far off.
In some ways the Infinity comes out on top, though. With the IPS panel at full brightness, we measured the Asus at 423cd/m[sup]2[/sup] with a contrast ratio of 940:1, only a smidgen better than the iPad. But with the Super IPS+ mode enabled, it rises to a searing maximum brightness of 650cd/m[sup]2[/sup]. Although that drops the contrast to 823:1, the payoff is legibility: even under direct sunlight, the Asus delivers a punchy, detailed picture.
The one weak point is backlight leakage – in the black bars above and below a widescreen video, we saw little pools of light straying in from the LEDs along the panel’s edges. It’s a minor disappointment on an otherwise exemplary display.
The screen is the headline upgrade, but there are other, more subtle changes. A 1.6GHz Tegra 3 T33 processor replaces the 1.4GHz T30 of the Transformer Prime, but the added graphical demands of the pixel-packed display mean you won’t notice the boost in everyday use. Nevertheless, this tablet shows Ice Cream Sandwich in its best light: the crisp front-end flicks back and forth with liquid smoothness, and jumping between applications is appreciably nippy.
|Price ex VAT||£499|
|Price inc VAT||£599|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Features & Design||6|
|Value for Money||4|
|Dimensions||263 x 8.5 x 180mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,200|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,920|
|Display type||LED TFT|
|CPU frequency, MHz||2MHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||8.0mp|
|Built-in flash type||LED|
|Accessories supplied||Docking keyboard|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|Mobile operating system||Android 4.0.3|