Getting benchmarks out of the way, we find the Transformer Pad Infinity's Tegra 3 SoC cranking along well here - beating out most other devices in Quadrant, but we know that benchmarking muscle isn't as much as it's cracked up to be in most cases. The Infinity is one of the fastest tablets on the market - on paper, at least - yet, it can sometimes lag and feel a little slow. This is most likely due to some bloat ASUS install on the tablet, and a mix of Ice Cream Sandwich - we should see these bugs ironed out as the Transformer Pad Infinity gets thrown into the world of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the coming weeks.
Performance on the Transformer Pad Infinity I found to be a mixed bag - in some cases, it multi-tasked like a champion, slid between home screens with ease and played games like a pro. But there would be times I'd be using Chrome, or Facebook, and it would just hang. It would either crash the app, or it would hang for 20-30 seconds and then be alright afterwards.
One night I used it before I went to sleep, and it had just over 60% charge - when I woke up in the morning to check my e-mail, it had powered off. Weird. It did it just the once, and after I put it on charge - it charged up to 100% pretty quickly, meaning that it had not died overnight, but powered off and wouldn't power back up. I have absolutely no idea why it did this, but it did perplex me somewhat.
The Tegra 3 that drives the Transformer Pad Infinity is quite capable of delivering some great performance, multi-tasking, gaming, and everything in between. Apart from the couple of hiccups, the Transformer Pad Infinity impressed with its performance. But, I'd expect nothing less from a Tegra 3-powered tablet. The problem is, the Transformer Pad Infinity is close to $500 - and the Nexus 7 is powered by the same SoC, albeit clocked slower and still performs better with most tasks than the Infinity.
I really wish ASUS had opted to update the Transformer Pad Infinity to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as soon as it came out, considering how they have a very close relationship with Google as they're the company who built their Nexus 7 for them - which I absolutely adored.
The Pad Infinity versus most other tablets is hard to compare performance-wise, too - as the Infinity rocks a 1920x1200 display, where most tablets are still stuck at HD resolutions of around 1280x720 - except for the third-gen iPad and its Retina display with 2048x1536 resolution. The Transformer Pad Infinity's screen still looks gorgeous, even next to the Retina-powered iPad - which is a very good selling point for ASUS. Something I found to really love.
The screen does look good, but it feels 'laggy'. I would use the Infinity in portrait for web browsing and when scrolling through Chrome, it would lag quite badly at times - almost if it was having a hard time just displaying the page. Considering the page is already loaded, I don't see how it's hard for a tablet with the power of a quad-core processor behind it to have performance issues, in a browser.
There's the aforementioned Mobile Dock, which is actually quite amazing. It is something that gives the ASUS range of tablets the edge against the competitors, not just as a keyboard, but as an extended battery - as well as a hub for your media via USB and its built-in card reader. The Mobile Dock doesn't feel like it weighs too much more, but when coupled with the Transformer Pad Infinity itself, it does make it quite a bit heavier - but then you have the benefit of turning the tablet into a quasi-notebook.
I type quite fast and precise, and I could even get the hang of using the Mobile Dock as a keyboard replacement - sure, I wouldn't use it as a permanent solution, but for travelling, it would be a perfect option. I think ASUS only have a limited time with these docks being a competitive edge, as Windows 8 will bring us tablets and hybrid devices sporting physical keyboards - although it is great to see ASUS thinking outside of the square here, and it truly pays off.
The Infinity's camera isn't too bad at all, capable of recording Full HD video, and capturing pictures with great quality with its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. I've included a few shots below of the Infinity's snapping abilities.
The new iPhone 5 isn't the only kid on the block that can take panoramic shots, with ASUS' Transformer Pad Infinity capable of doing so, too. I captured a great panoramic shot with the Infinity, as you can see below.
As for video - capturing 1080p is a charm with the Transformer Pad Infinity - as always, I feel weird standing out in public using a tablet as video camera, but the camera is there for a reason. I thought the videos came out brilliantly, considering how thin these devices are getting.
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