Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aspirin vs Android - The Best Tablet?

Asus Transformer Infinity - Main Photo


OK, for headaches, I’d definitely recommend Aspirin, but for a truly mouth-watering techy-tablet experience, I’d choose the snappily titled: Asus Transformer Infinity.

It’s my latest toy, manufactured by Asus - and even a nerdy person like me, has been blown away by its performance and capability. It looks like a laptop, but a quick button-click releases the screen from its dock and you have perfectly formed tablet that sports better than HD (1920 x 1200) resolution. The ‘proper’ keyboard makes a difference to someone like me who prefers physical keys and the whole thing feels very robust (The ASUS trademark brushed aluminium body helps to make it look and feel very upmarket).

Asus Transformer Inifinity - Secondary Photo

I think it does everything except make the tea!

Films, MP3 player, Office documents, Sky Box doppelganger, weather forecaster, Colour Kindle clone, Camera and video… and much, much (much) more!

The spec, is top-end and sports a quad-core chip together with with a phenomenal amount of storage (for a device like this) on-board - 64Gb. Not enough? there’s even room for an additional 32Gb storage on the tablet via Micro-SD card, and if that’s not enough, then there’s a slot on the keyboard that takes a 64Gb SD Card - so that’s 160Gb of total storage!!! Thinking back to 1990 when I purchased my first PC, it boasted 40 MEGAbytes of storage - and that was about the maximum storage capacity at the time!

Short Spec
Click on the pic for a larger version, plus there’s a more detailed spec HERE and HERE on Asus’s website

Mine arrived with Android 4 on board (Ice Cream Sandwich), but it immediately started an over-the-air update when I switched it on. Not long after, the device was boasting (almost) the latest incarnation of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

For me, the best thing about it is the battery life. Devices like this aren’t known for their long trips away from mains power, but this has a trick up its sleeve (more accurately, up its keyboard). It hides a second battery that together with the one on-board the Tablet itself makes this model leave all other competitors behind. Asus quotes around 9.5 hours for the Tablet and another 4 when attached to the keyboard - a brilliant innovation that helps out those of us that can’t always be near a power socket. I’ve yet to fully test the batteries, but a quick exercise yesterday showed that after two hours of surfing, emailing and typing, the battery level had only gone down by 2% - hardly scientific, but it felt good not to have to keep looking at the battery icon!

Any downsides? Just a few minor niggles. Certain apps that run on my Android phone, currently won’t install/run on the Tablet. These include BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Zeebox and a few other minor apps - but I guess it’s only a matter of time before they catch-up.

Also, Asus, by design, doesn’t allow any apps to install on the separate SD cards. Initially, I thought this might be a problem (I love my apps!!!), but the gargantuan 64Gb space soaks up the bytes without a problem.

I’ve no idea whether it’s better than an iPAD, but if you want to keep all your devices part the same tech family, this is a perfect complement to your Android phone. The device come in a limited range of colours (mine’s champagne gold) and prices seem to be dropping slightly. I bought mine from those nice people at Amazon - where they were £20 cheaper than their nearest rival. If you’re looking for a replacement laptop, that’s lighter, smaller and more capable, this is probably a strong contender! Just make sure you choose one that includes the keyboard - some are sold as ‘Tablet-only’.

My Home Screen
My Home Screen

I’ve got a headache now, it must be all the typing - where’s my tablets?????

Smile