It has been a long time since last we saw a new Transformer device from Asus, and it's probably because Asus waited on Nvidia to release its new chip, about a year and a half after the last Transformer Pad Infinity was introduced with Tegra 3 (December 2011). However, the wait may have been worth it. Just take a look at some of its specs:
- 10-inch 2560x1600 IPS display with 178-degree viewing angle
- 1.9GHz Tegra 4 CPU
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage, expandable by microSDXC card (64 GB+ supported)
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wifi
- USB 3.0 port
- 4K video output over HDMI
The most exciting features of this new tablet are definitely the processor and the resolution. We haven't seen Tegra 4 in devices so far, and it should be one of the fastest mobile processors on the market. There are some concerns over battery life, but Transfomers have always gotten like 15h+ with the dock, anyway, so even if Tegra 4 is not the most efficient chip out there, you should still get at the very least 10h, if not even 12h of battery life with this. That's more than a full day's work.
I also like that Asus is finally joining the Nexus 10 in adding a 2560x1600 "retina" resolution to its Android tablets. I don't think 1080p is enough for 10" tablets, especially when even 5" phones have 1080p now. It might be okay for video, but for text, I think you need at least 2560x1600 (300 PPI), and we'll probably even see 4k resolutions on 10" tablets within 2 years from now (~450 PPI, just like the current 5" phones).
Another interesting addition is the USB 3.0 support, so you should be able to transfer files pretty quickly to it, or from it. It also supports 4k video playback, thanks to Tegra 4, although it remains to be seen if Tegra 4 can really handle it. I don't usually trust the new high-resolution support of a chip, if it's the first time it's doing that.
Tegra 4 is the first from the Tegra line-up to support 4k video, so it might barely be able to do it. It should support the 2560x1600 resolution very well, though, since the GPU is more in iPad 4 range, and Apple even used a similar resolution on iPad 3, which had a GPU that was half as powerful.
Overall, the new Transformer seems very interesting, and if Android 5.0 brings a new UI that is more suited for Android "hybrids", it should soon be that much better, especially considering Asus is very good with upgrades. The device should launch this fall for $400 only the tablet, or $500 with the dock.
Image Credit: The Verge