Apple beat the Android manufacturers yet again to be the first with a “retina”, or a high-resolution tablet that makes text, images and videos very crisp on it. But Asus is again one of the very first in the Android ecosystem to innovate and offer a high-resolution tablet of 1920×1200, and with a PPI of 224, high enough to let you watch 1080p videos at native resolution, and to make the display look stunning.
The display is a Super IPS+ one, with a very high brightness of up to 700 nits, which will make it the perfect companion for outdoor usage. It has a quad core 1.6 Ghz Tegra 3, which means higher CPU performance compared to previous versions, but it seems the GPU is the same as before, which is unfortunate considering this high-resolution that the tablet has to work with. But overall things seem to be working well, unless you’re playing a very advanced 3D game. So from that point of view it’s not very future-proof.
The 32 GB model will cost $500, which is kind of a bargain when you think that the 32 GB iPad costs $600, the same as Asus’ 64 GB model. The docks of all the latest Transformer Prime/Pad series will be compatible with this device, and if you don’t have one, it will cost $150 (it includes a battery, which almost doubles the battery life of the tablet). This tablet will come out on July 16th in US.
There’s also a LTE version with Qualcomm’s S4 chip, but the pricing and availability for that one hasn’t been announced. If it’s soon, it might add $50 to the cost. If it’s coming a couple of months later, it might start at $500, and they will reduce the current version’s price to $450. They could also release the LTE version with half of the storage of the current Tegra 3 version, but for the same price. Both versions should arrive with Android 4.0.