MWC 2012: Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and 300 series hands-on
The Padfone isn’t the only thing that Asus is showing at Mobile World Congress. The company has in fact just renamed all its tablets. Gone is the “Eee” moniker – every Asus slate is now called Transformer Pad. What comes after those words is what identifies each individual product.
So, for example, we have the just-renamed Asus Transformer Pad Prime which I’m assuming you already know a lot about. But then there’s also the recently unveiled Transformer Prime TF700T, which has finally received a proper name: it’s called the Transformer Pad Infinity. It comes with a Full HD 10.1-inch 1920×1200 touchscreen, a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm S4 processor or a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 1.6 GHz unit (depending on market and built-in mobile data technology), an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 16/32/64 GB of built-in storage space, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE or HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, and it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Naturally, since this is still a Transformer, it will have an optional keyboard dock like all its predecessors. The Wi-Fi reception issues of the Prime have been fixed thanks to using a thin plastic strip to house the antennas. Most of the tablet is still made out of metal though.
The Asus Transformer Pad 300 series is also on display, and it was announced just a couple of days ago. This will be more affordable than the Infinity, although except for the screen resolution, it hardly has any downgraded specs compared to that. The 300 series has a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, an 8 MP rear camera, a 1.2 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of built-on storage space, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, and it too runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Again, there’s support for a keyboard dock which adds a few ports and a huge battery which will charge that of the tablet.
The Transformer Pad 300 series comes in three different colors, as you can see from the images above. Blue, white, and red are going to be offered, and it’s one of the most colorful tablets out there. The keyboard docks also come in the same colors for a perfect fit.
Asus now has an entire tablet range. Over the past year, the company was one of the fastest to issue Android OS updates, so it’s made some friends in the power user crowd. With some decent pricing on these new products it may just break into the mainstream. At least the mainstream of Android tablet makers, since beating Apple at almost the same price point isn’t going to happen – ever (which is something that no tablet maker seems willing to understand).
It will be interesting to see whether the ‘original’ Transformer Prime will get discontinued soon. It’s been plagued by reception issues because of its all-metal back cover and with the 300 series out there it’s really not needed anymore. Of course Asus won’t come and outright say that it’s already planning to retire a tablet that got a (very) limited launch just two months ago and still isn’t in stock in many places to this day. But the Prime going away certainly makes sense to me.
Here’s a full image gallery with the new tablets from Asus: