Barcelona, Spain – Asus expanded
its Transformer Pad lineup of Android-based tablets here at the Mobile World
Congress (MWC), all with the ability to dock with a companion keyboard to
deliver a laptop-like experience.
The three new models all feature quad-core
processors, which complete tasks faster and with less battery drain than dual-
and single-core processors. Two of the new models feature Android 4.0 (Ice
Cream Sandwich) OS, and one model due with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) is
upgradable to 4.0.
Two are the company’s first Android
tablets with 4G LTE, and one is a Wi-Fi-only model.
The tablets’ optional docking
keyboards extend tablet battery life.
Plans for the U.S. market weren’t
The new trio will join a
dual-core 1GHz Transformer launched in 2011 with Android 3.2. It comes in Wi-Fi
and 4G HSPA+ versions.
The new lineup starts with the Transformer
Pad Prime series, first announced late last year with Android 3.2 and
upgradability to 4.0. It features Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core 1.4GHz processor and
10.1-inch LED-backlit Super IPS+ touchscreen with WXGA 1280×800 HD resolution
and 600-nit brightness, which is designed for better outdoor reading.
The Prime is the slimmest of the
three, with a 0.33-inch metallic-spun chassis weighing 1.29 pounds. Into that
chassis, the Prime packs a choice of 32GB or 64GB memory, 1GM RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n,
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash and f/2.4 aperture,
1.2-megapixel front camera, stereo speakers, micro HDMI port, MicroSD card
slot, gyroscope, e-compass, no GPS and 12-hour battery life, which grows to 18
hours when the keyboard is docked.
Another new series, the
Transformer Pad 300 series, will feature Wi-Fi-only and 4G LTE cellular
versions. The Wi-Fi version will feature Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor,
while the LTE version will presumably feature a dual-core processor, as has
been the case with other tablets announced with LTE. It will come out of the
gate with Android 4.0.
The 300, due with 16GB memory,
will offer most of the same features as the Pad Prime, including 1GB RAM, but it
will add GPS, 1080p video recording and Bluetooth 3.0. Its 10.1-inch
LED-backlit screen, however, is listed as using IPS technology rather than
Super IPS + as in the Prime, and its battery life is slightly lower, at 10
hours expandable to 15 hours with docked keyboard.
The Pad 300 will be slightly
thicker than the Prime, at 0.39 inches, and slightly heavier, at 1.4 pounds.
Three colors will be available.
The top series in the trio is the
Transformer Pad Infinity series, which will launch with Android 4.0, come in Wi-Fi-only
and 4G LTE cellular versions, and offer 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage. The Wi-Fi
version adds the Nvidia Tegra 3 TSS quad-core 1.6GHz processor, and the LTE
version will come with Qualcomm’s S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor. Enhancements
compared to the other two models include FullHD 1,920 by 1,200 10.1-inch
display, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, 2-megapixel front camera and HDMI 1.4a
Like the Prime, the Infinity
features Super IPS+ technology with 600-nit brightness. Like the 300, it
features GPS. Chassis thickness is 0.3 inches, and weight is 1.3 pounds.
Battery life is 10 hours, expandable to 16 with docked keyboard.