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Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

Jim Carter, 2013-06-15

My laptop, a Dell Studio 15, is getting rather ancient. Its good features:

Its bad features:

I am remembering when I got my first laptop in 1999. I got good use out of desktop machines and was worried that I might not use the laptop, but it turned out to be very useful and I never went back. Presently (2013) tablets have gone viral and a lot of people get a lot of use from them, and I'm wondering if I could be one of them. Thus I am inclining toward trying out a tablet.


Requirements: It's not likely that I will get everything I want.

Recommendations and Reviews

10 best tablet PCs in the world today By John McCann, 2013-05-03.

He gives a short discussion of 10 products, then reveals his Apple fanboy nature by picking… the iPad Mini for first place. Anyway, the main interest here is as a starting place for comparisons. His ranking:

The Asus Transformer Infinity jumps out at me because it has a physical keyboard, referred to as a dock, sold separately. The Microsoft Surface also has this arrangement and we were favorably impressed with Ben's Surface. Very few or no other tablets have the physical keyboard. I'm sure that I would not be happy with the on-screen QWERTY keyboard for tasks that I do a lot such as writing text (like this web page) and like shell access to remote hosts. Other people I've talked to agree with this judgment. A more space-efficient input method would be nice, but none is available on the Android Market (Google Play) and I can't commit to develop one before buying the new machine. Therefore I'm fixating on the Transformer Infinity very early in the selection process.

Vendor's Product Page

Vendor's hype about the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity:

Dock features:

Technical Specifications:

Pricing and Reviews on Amazon

Pricing on Amazon:

IPS = In Plane Switching. Wider viewing angles and lets through more light. One reviewer mentioned playing a movie in noon sun; "turned on IPS+ and it worked perfectly." This reviewer's report of battery life jibes with what's on the spec sheet. He says the SanDisk Ultra 64Gb micro SDXC card works in this machine; apparently some products don't work. Note, exFAT format.

Another reviewer: Side buttons are not too sensitive, avoiding accidental activation. Good signal strength for WiFi. Internal speaker emits to the rear, so sound is muffled if it sits on a table.

3rd reviewer: After 8 months of experience, he claims its RAM is slow and Asus' skin screws up the UI and everything is so slow. I'm not going to take this one seriously.

Reviewer mentions that some apps can't handle high resolution and won't run.

Several reviewers say you need to root it and put a modded image on it to make it run decently (i.e. not slow).

Reviewer mentions putting CyanogenMod-10.1 on it. (Stock image is a slug.) He says the bootloader is not locked. (See below; the CyanogenMod instructions imply that it is locked but the Asus support site gives you an unlocker.) Make sure to buy a spare 40-pin connector in case you lose or break it.

Reviewer likes the Polaris Office app that comes with it: Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point.

Consensus of reviews: Some people hate it because it is slow, blamed on the stock image's (or the user's?) bloatware and skin effects. People fix this issue by putting on a modded image. The rest love it. Only one actual manufacturing defect mentioned, a sticky "T" key. A lot of people say it needs more RAM; they're conditioned by Windows conventional "wisdom".

ASUS Transformer Infinity TF700 Mobile Dock - Amethyst Gray. $148, sold by Hot Deal and fulfilled by Amazon (prime eligible). Other non-prime vendors' prices are lower, e.g. $128 + $8 shipping from Computer Brain. The dock has one USB-2.0 port and a SD card slot, among other things. Mfgr's hype page on Amazon says dock's battery is 22Whr (not 19.5Whr). Weight (of dock): 1.19lb = 539g; both together: 1137g = 2.5lb There is a new version called the TF500 Mobile Dock, forward compatible with future products but otherwise identical with the TF700 dock.

Reviewer Steven Weigand (2012-08-10) says: Look for part number TF700T-DOCK-GR, ignore box hype and FCC registration referring to TF201 which is for Transformer Prime but works with Infinity (and $50 cheaper). He says more:

MoKo 360 Degree Rotatory Detachable Cover Case with Stand for Asus eee Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 / TF700T Android Tablet, Black $21, sold by BCStore, fulfilled by Amazon. Fake leather. It has ridges so the display will stand up. Works with or without the dock. Easy to rotate the tablet to portrait, upside down… Includes back handle in portrait. Reviewers love it.

Official ASUS Transformer Series Power Adapter, $31.25, sold by BuySPRY and fulfilled by Amazon. Special charger (puts out 15 volts!), the charger has a type A host connnector that the cable plugs into. But the cable is only about 1 meter long. Anyway, we'd better get one of these in case the one provided with the machine breaks. One reviewer said the provided one broke after 2 years.

Meeting Requirements

How well does the Transformer Infinity meet my requirements?

CyanogenMod Checkout

Purchasing on Amazon

Terms for Amazon computer returns: Within 30 days you can get a full refund for: dead on arrival (they will test themselves, 15% penalty if not dead), arrived damaged, or in unopened boxes.

Order estimate:

ASUS TF700T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch Tablet (Champagne) (32Gb) $438
Same (64Gb) (didn't get) ($566)
ASUS Transformer Infinity TF700T Mobile Dock (Champagne) $129
MoKo 360 Degree Rotatory Detachable Cover Case $21
ASUS 10/18W Power Adapter for Transformer Series Tablets $31
Item total $619
Shipping Free (Amazon Prime)
Tax ($64 if entirely in California) $39
California environmental fee $3
Order Total $661.62
Order Number 102-8488722-9025019
Promised delivery 2013-06-18
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