The $599 64GB ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700T) is a high-powered, lightweight tablet with a detachable keyboard you’ll actually enjoy typing on. Not everyone thinks the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is the best tablet on the market, but I can’t imagine wanting to own a different one. This is Android at its best, and you’ll love it.
I hate reviewing hardware. I feel like I’m supposed to claim some sort of expertise I don’t have, saying things like “this is ASUS’ flagship tablet” and “the most powerful Android device on the market” when I’ve no idea whether either is true or not. I’m not a hardware geek: I don’t know which gadgets are cool right now. I like to buy used hardware and use it as long as possible. I’m a regular person who happens to occasionally write about software for the Internet.
So I won’t pretend to be an expert. I’m going to write this review from my point of view, pointing out reasons I think the 64GB ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is a great tablet you should maybe think of getting – and definitely enter to win below because we’re giving one away. Let’s get started.
I just realized something: the resolution on this tablet is actually higher than my computer, and identical to my television: 1920 × 1200. So this little screen can show off a lot of details, making it perfect for browsing the web, watching videos or reading comic books.
It’s got the power to match. There’s a NVIDIA Tegra 3 4-Plus-1 Quad-core CPU @ 1.6Ghz with 12-core GPU, which are fancy words for saying “it’s fast”. The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity plays back HD video without any problems, and there aren’t many games in the Google Play Store it can’t handle with ease.
With the keyboard attached, ASUS claims a 14-hour battery life. That’s generous if you use your tablet to, you know, do things, but the battery will hold up for a couple of days of off-and-on usage without charging, in my experience.
I have the model with a 64 GB SSD, and I have to admit: I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all of this space. Apps won’t fill it quickly and my music lives on the cloud thanks to Google Play. I suppose I’ll just need to rip my HD video collection to it. The tablet includes a microSD reader, if you need more space. The keyboard offers a regular SD reader.
There: I wrote about the technical stuff. Let’s move on to actual usage.
The Form Factor
Like I said: I’m not an expert reviewer of tablets. I’ve even written rants about why I’m glad I don’t own a tablet. But man: I love this thing. It’s thin (85 mm) and relatively light, meaning it’s comfortable to hold with one hand from the couch. The aluminum case is solid; the glass front is shiny. You know: tablet stuff.
If you like reading comics, you’re in luck: the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity is sized just right, and the HD screen really makes them pop. Videos look great too, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to quickly scroll through RSS feeds than this (if you find the right app).
So the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity has quickly become my go-to way to consume the best the web has to offer, from the comfort of my couch. It’s great for playing games, too. But it also works for getting things done. The cameras on this thing is surprisingly good. Front-facing is perfect for video chat; rear-facing is 8MP. The flash is insanely bright and takes some getting used to.
I wanted a tablet that could, in a pinch, become a replacement for my computer. I’m a writer by trade, so for me a computer replacement means a competent keyboard. (Microsoft: what you’re doing with the Surface Tablet is okay I guess, but I need a keyboard that clicks.)
The ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity snaps nicely into its keyboard, and when it does you’d hardly know it wasn’t a netbook to begin with. Sure, the balance is odd – the “monitor” weighs more than it should. The keyboard also offers a single USB port, so you can plug in a mouse or USB drive if you want.
Even better: instead of draining the tablet, the keyboard dock actually charges it thanks to an on-board battery. The extra battery life comes in handy.
There are occasional annoyances: far too many apps for Android are built without the existence of physical keyboards in mind. But the Transformer Pad Infinity comes with a fairly competent Microsoft Office alternative, and a bunch more are available in the Google Play Store.
But my favorite reason for using this tablet is probably Android itself. I use Gmail for email, Google Docs for collaborating, Google Voice for SMS and GChat for chatting. If you are, like me, a constant users of Google’s services there’s no way around it: Android is the tablet operating system for you. Everything Google just works in Android.
And while many deride the Google Play Store’s Android offerings compared to the iTunes store, for me this isn’t an issue. I’m new to tablets in general, but I’ve found a wide variety of apps for doing everything from editing images to syncing my files to controlling my XBMC media center.
And don’t overlook Google Now. This isn’t a Siri equivalent; it’s better. Turn your tablet on anywhere and Google will show you relevant information about your location: nearby places to eat, what time the next bus will show up, upcoming appointments and flights you need to catch. You don’t even have to ask, but if you feel like asking a question you’ll get the best answers Google can provide.
The ASUS Transformer Infinity comes with an extremely capable GPS. Combine this with Google Map’s turn-by-turn directions app (included) and the ability to download entire cities for offline use and you’ll never get lost again. There’s an e-compass, too, if you need to know which way North is.
So yeah, I’m a Google fanboy and as such love everything Google. Get over it. If you love Google too, however, you’ll love this tablet.
I’m enjoying this tablet, and think you will too.
MakeUseOf recommends: Buy it.
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