Asus Transformer Infinity Pad
If you want a tablet PC, but you aren't really 'feeling' the iPad, the Asus Transformer Infinity is the one for you. We took the Infinity out for a spin and this is what our reviewer had to say about it.
By Chris Messenger | Published 04/12/2012
A true competitor to the iPad
Full 1920x1200 HD screen is wonderful
2 decent cameras front and back
Docking to keyboard transforms to laptop
Speakers could be better.
When docked becomes very hot to hold
Did we mention the price?
If you want a tablet PC, but you aren’t really ’feeling’ the iPad, the Asus Transformer Infinity is the one for you. At least, that’s what Asus seem to be saying with this powerful new tablet. Is it actually the case? We took the Infinity out for a spin and this is what our star reviewer had to say about it.
With the keyboard connected, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a tiny laptop. From the sharp looking outer edges to the large, flat screen, this tablet actually resembles (superficially at least) the top-level laptops of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Has that design become swallowed by pre-millennial nostalgia already? No, not really.
I see this design as being more of a reassurance, something to finally convince the tablet PC naysayers that these wonderful little slabs of pleasure are here for the duration. Then again, I may be wrong, so if all the ‘alien head’ iconography, and silver rave clothes come into fashion again, it means I was wrong.
Running Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ ensures that this one is up to date (although as far as I know there is no update for Android ‘Jelly Bean’ yet). It also utilizes a Quad-Core CPU that seems tailor made for gaming. As for storage space, you get a choice of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB and a Micro SD port as well. By the way, the battery life runs to an astonishing 14 hours of continuous use, making it friend to the busy commuter and holidaymaker alike.
With powerful innards and a design that I guess you could describe as ‘retro’ (although doing so makes me feel incalculably old) the Infinity Pad is definitely on its way into people’s hearts and homes alike.
£373.95 is a heck of a lot of money to part with, (especially since that’s the cheapest option for the higher spec versions – you can buy one at ASDA for £431.95) but in this instance, it seems you will get what you pay for. With plenty of tablets now aiming to match the asking price of the iPad (yet very few of them actually representing the same kind of value) it’s rare to find a tablet that we can say that about.
The ‘Gorilla Glass’ display is far sturdier than most other tablets, which represents an interesting twist on the tablet PC’s usual dynamic. Generally, we have an outer casing and/or carry case that protects a traditionally more fragile screen, however on this tablet, the screen feels practically bulletproof.
Amazingly, it is also a stunning display, rendering movement, colour and web pages in breathtaking full HD.
As for the keyboard, it runs like a dream. Of course its a little small (the trackpad especially), but I honestly found it easier to use and more efficient than the equivalent that comes with the Microsoft Surface.
Although watching streamed content or downloaded movies is a breeze, the uselessly tinny speakers really hamper this experience. A far cry from the Kindle Fire HD’s specially designed speaker set (that achieves a tiny yet wholly impressive version of surround sound), these speakers would probably work better if you cleaned out an old beans tin, tied it to a bit of string and attached it somehow to the headphone socket.
It doesn’t come with much in the way of pre-loaded content, but that makes it extremely customizable. The Android app store may not be as all-pervasive as the Apple equivalent, but it’s a respectable second.
As for the general use, the Infinity moves faster than Superman after a vindaloo and the Internet (provided by Android ICS) is super fast and problem free. You can even open multiple tabs, apps and programs and never once feel any kind of lag.
What Other Users Say
Predictably, the customer and industry response to this one has been very positive. Jeff Parsons from ‘TechRadar’ gave it a well-deserved 4.5/5 (probably just held back by the crappy speakers) and ‘The Verge’s’ David Pierce gave it a 7.6/10 despite criticizing the “cramped” keyboard and highlighting various minor issues.
The Amazon customer base has welcomed the Infinity with open arms as well, with users ‘R. Pearce’ and ‘Dieseldoc’ both bestowing glowing 5/5 scores upon it.
This is almost certainly the best Android tablet in the world right now. Combining a great OS with an innovative and creatively minded design, the Transformer Infinity Pad is the logical alternative to the iPad. I won’t go as far to say that it’s better, but if iOS isn’t your thing, then you definitely will.
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