Before introducing you to the Asus Infinity, the AndroidEmotions’ Team would like to thank Asus for its availability in providing us with this device for tests.
Asus continues to bet in a quality Tablet line, allowing many of them to shine through time. This time we present you with the Asus Transformer Infinity, also known as TF700. The power of this device is due , mainly, to its hardware, as you can see from the following specifications.
- Chipset: Nvidia Tegra 3 T33
- CPU: Quad-Core 1.6GHz Cortex A9
- GPU: ULP GeForce
- Memory: 32/64 GB, 1Gb RAM (Internal) / micro SD, up to 32 Gb (External)
- Screen: 10.1 inches (1920 x 1200)
- Camera: 8MP (3264×2448 pixels) / 1080p (vídeo)
Looking only at the Infinity’s specifications the processor’s power stands out promising a great performance. The full HD screen, with a 1920×1200 resolution makes you believe that the user experience of this device will be simply wonderful, leaving you anxious to open the box and start using the TF700.
The box that contains the TF700 is in all similar to the other boxes Asus has presented us with. A minimalistic rectangular box, referencing the device model you’re about to unpack. In the box you will find the following:
- The TF700
- Usb cable
- Power adapter
- Quick start guide and warranty
- Micro fiber cloth to clean the screen
Design and Ergonomics
The design is very simple and pleasant. Keeping to what we usually see in the transformer line, the Infinity has rounded corners and the glass of the screen occupies the whole front of the device. But being this the flagship of the Asus tablet line, they deemed it necessary to give it a touch of finesse that would set it apart from all the others. In order to do so Asus gave it an aluminium finish on all sides, which makes the TF700 more appealing to the eye when compared to its siblings.
When it comes to weight, the Infinity counts only with 598g and its only 8.5mm thick, allowing its user to carry it around with no effort whatsoever.
Once you pick the Tf700 the first you will notice is the cool feel of the aluminum, which replaces the customary plastic back cover of the previous devices in the transformer line.
On the front you are confronted with the 10.1 inch screen, as well with the 2Mp frontal camera and the light sensor, which allows an automatic adjust of the screen’s brightness according to the light characteristics of the environment.
On the top left you have the on/off button and a LED indicator that tells you if the device is charging and if it finished charging. On the top right of the device you have the volume controller. The positioning of the volume controller could have done well with some more thought put into it, since placing it on the top makes its use difficult when handling the device.
When looking at the sides of the TF700 you will notice the micro SD card slot, the headphones 3.5 mm jack and he micro HDMI port on the left side. On the right side you will find the microphone, which is well situated since you won’t cover it when holding the device.
On the bottom you will find the dock slot (which we didn’t have the chance to test, yet), and a 40 pin connector that will allow you to connect the device with your computer but will also allow you to charge the Infinity.
On the back of the TF700 we are faced with a spectacular aluminum surface, which we already mentioned. Besides the Asus inscription in the center you will also find the 8MP camera and the LED flash that accompanies it. On the left side you have the speaker that will allow you, according to Asus, to enjoy an unforgettable sound experience. All that’s left to find out is if the position of that speaker won’t impair the audio quality when your handling the device, since it sits exactly where you would grab the device.
With the Infinity, Asus not only expected to reinforce the transformer line but also achieve to have a top tier device on the market. For this reason, the display, which is the first line of communication with the user, was one of their greatest bets.
The display counts not only with its size and magnificent resolution but also with its brightness and spectacularly well-defined colors. The display has the new IPS+ technology, this allows an increase of the brightness of the display which guarantees good visibility even outside in the sunlight. Given the Infinity is portable its definitely a plus that Asus invested in a technology that would allow its users to enjoy the TF700 outside.
As well as most devices now-a-days you have the auto-brightness option available, which will not only help you save precious battery life as well as help you see in different light conditions. The auto brightness option will have some hiccups now and then making you have to set the screen brightness manually.
When it comes the visualization angles you won’t be disappointed. They allow you to look at the display clearly at a 170 degree angle.
One of the biggest faults of this screen is the amount of dust and fingerprints that seem to glue themselves to it. We all know the devices that have touch interface seem to keep all the fingerprints to themselves but the screen of the Infinity takes this to a whole new level, so you would do good keeping the micro fib de cloth with you at all times.
Performance and Software
Equipped with 4.0.3 ICS Android, with an update for Jelly Bean available, Asus gains the trust of their clients being one of the makers that cares most about software updates.
There are 5 homescreens available, adding or removing a homescreen is out of the equation. When it comes to personalization you can do the usual. Add and remove app icons or widgets, change the wallpaper. The lockscreen has nothing new to show, you can unlock it directly to the camera interface or unlock it and go to the homescreens.
There are no contacts on the Infinity as your contacts are known as People. As such in order to see your contacts you have to open the People application. This application is very similar to the stock ICS app. Makes it very simple to see, search or edit a contact.
Sending emails on the infinity is ensured either by the Gmail application or the already known Email application that allows you to synchronize your accounts of other mailing servers.
Sending emails is easy, since both the applications and the keyboard are very cooperative and execute their functions.
The keyboard is based on Swype technology, that is, in order to write a word you simply have to drag your finger across the letters of the word and the Infinity will show you a list of words that have those letters in that order. Although this technology is based on Swype it doesn’t work as well as it, which makes using the keyboard for normal writing, letter after letter, more
Still on the keyboard subject we need to say that it adjusts itself to every application you can find. For example if your browsing the web there’s a .com button that helps you to write your email address or the site address more quickly and efficiently.
Besides the already known Google apps, which are installed in every Android device, Asus offers us other apps which will be presented next.
Book reader from Amazon
There are multiple apps that exist for the sole purpose of backing up installed applications in your device. However all of them oblige you to root your device in order for the backup to be successful.
This app allows you to backup your applications to external or internal memory. You can also backup only the application data instead of the application itself. Later on if you desire you can restore the state of the applications you backed up. So if you ever need to reset your device you can always backup your applications and their data to an external source and then restore them.
Do you have applications that you don’t want anyone else to use them? Asus found the solution to that. App Locker allows you to set a password to block the applications you choose. After you lock the applications, their icons appear with an indicator.
This Asus app store and more. Taking into consideration you have the play store available this store is dispensable. This store offers music, games, books, magazines, radio stations and movies. Another downside to this application is that it requires you to install flash which is kind of useless nowadays in Android devices.
File explorer is always useful, even more so if your Android device is a tablet.
The image gallery is extremely simple. It allows you to see your images, pictures and videos. Besides that you can also lightly alter your pictures, like rotating and cut them. Later you can also share them through various social networks as well as by email.
Simple tool that allows you to make small adjustments to your recordings.
Asus cloud service that gives you access to media and files whether you’re at home or at work.
Although the Infinity already has a media reader, the amazon kindle, you also have this app that allows you to read pdf files. This is a big plus for the Infinity, not only it’s a reader but you can also take notes directly on the pdf, making the app a great productivity app.
Allows the users to share files and media with other devices on the network.
This is another productivity app. This is a mobile version of the well-known Microsoft office. There are various types of documents you can read and create, such as doc, excel and presentation files.
How about leaving all your notebooks at home and replacing them for a single device? Thanks to SuperNote you can do that. We tested the SuperNote in college classes and it behaved brilliantly, recognizing easily what was written.
Another useful functionality of the SuperNote is that it allows you to import images directly from your camera and gallery, and write directly with the on screen keyboard.
Asus offers 8Gb of online storage in order for you to always be able to access your files.
Video playback on the Infinity is nice. On YouTube the videos play with no hiccups even in HD, this being the excellent processor’s fault. When it comes down to audio, although the initial preoccupations about the positioning of the speaker, you easily reach the conclusion that those were unfounded.
On the contrary, it is when you hold the tablet or lay it on the table that you are able to enjoy the true quality of the audio coming from the speaker.
One thing we need to point out is the poor codec variety available on the Infinity, for example you don’t have an mkv coded available, so if you want to open an mkv movie you will need to install a different app with new codecs, if you don’t want to see the movie without audio.
When it comes down to performance we tested the Infinity with the AnTuTu, the NenaMark2 and the Quadrant Standard. These tests were made in the 3 performance modes the Infinity has: eco, balanced and normal. You can see the results below.
We also tried some games on it, such as Dead Trigger, which runs without any hiccups.
The energy modes are well thought of since you can take advantage of them without being irritated with the device. On the lowest energy mode you can easily access web pages, read your emails and chat through the Google talk application without any problems whatsoever. if you’re planning on playing games or seeing HD videos, you might want to change to the normal or balanced energy mode, respectively.
Connectivity and Battery Life
When it comes to connectivity the Infinity is capable of communicating by Bluetooth, WiFi and also has GPS. All of these are normal nowadays in mobile devices so there’s nothing new to talk about. Bluetooth is the 3.0 version so it allows data transfer without any problem between devices.
There’s nothing wrong with the Wi-Fi either. Data transfer occurs rapidly and without faults, taking advantage of the N class, with velocities up to 20Mb/s.
The GPS is pretty quick when acquiring signal, taking only a few seconds to indicate your exact location on the map.
Battery wise the Infinity leaves something to desire. On a regular use, explained below, you can only count on it for one day and few hours more, obliging the user to charge it every day. It’s not a bad thing that the Infinity gets by a day without having to charge midday but looking at the competition, like the Galaxy Note 10.1, that goes 2 days and a half without charging, Asus could have improved on this subject.
By regular use, we mean the following:
- Using the GPS for about 30 to 40 min.
- WiFi always on
- Regular email checking
- Browsing some web pages
- Reading PDF’s and Book for about 3 hours total during the day
- Taking 3 / 4 pictures a day
- Game play for about 20 minutes (*)
- Actively using SuperNote for about two hours
Every activity described above were performed in balanced mode, except game playing which was executed in normal mode which is the highest energy mode available.
We were pleasantly surprised by the camera quality. The 8MP give excellent quality to the pictures being that the LED flash helps a lot when light is scarce in the environment. Having said that, our 3264×2448 pixel photographs have spectacular quality, leaving behind a lot of cameras currently available in the market.
Another different subject is video recording. The camera is capable of recording at 1080p and those look pretty good also.
Indoor Sample Video:
Outdoor Sample Video:
With a price tag of $599, the tested version with 64GB and Wi-Fi, Asus tries to make a stand with the top tier Infinity tablet. And they succeeded, with the specifications and functionality presented in this review the Infinity really is a top tier device.
The finishing touches in aluminium gives the device a special texture and keeps it always fresh. The aluminum also helps in keeping the device cool even when being used at the top of its capabilities.
- Productivity apps: My Library and SuperNote
- Image and Sound quality
- There are some freezes when changing menus and homescreens, which shouldn’t happen with such powerful hardware at work.
- Battery life
- The Launcher should allow more personalization where it comes to the Number of screens to display.
After about two weeks of testing, and myself being a Galaxy Note 10.1 user, the Infinity hasn’t convinced me to make the trade. Although the stellar hardware specifications there’s something lacking in the Infinity that makes me want to keep the Note. But for all of you out there who still don’t have a tablet, the Infinity is a great buy.
Review by: AndroidEmotions