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back to article Asus outs 1920 x 1280 Android ICS tablet

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Asus has joined Huawei to become a second announcer of a 10in tablet with a 1920 x 1280 display - the one it was teasing us about last week. Enter the Transformer Pad Infinity - say farewell to the Eee Pad brand, folks - a 586g tablet based on a 1.6GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU and packing 16-64GB of Flash …

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Happy

love the plastic strip

... might just fix the GPS issues :)

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Re: love the plastic strip

Should have just done away with the aluminium and used plastic all over the back. Manufacturers see aluminium as an excuse to slap a premium on the price. And then it ends up causing reception / range issues.

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Specs

Since when did good specs make something an iPad challenger / beater?

The iPad hasnt had the best specs in the tablet game for quite a while, and yet it continues to dominate.

Most people, ordinary people, think tablet, and buy an iPad. Just like there are still a LOT of people who think my HTC phone is an iPhone.

All these other tablets will sell, and as specs get better and awareness builds they will sell more, but ultimately the masses buy whatever is in their face and desirable. And right now, and for quite some time to come i reckon, that means they will go out wanting to buy an iPad (meaning tablet) and what they come home with will be the one that says iPad on the box.

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Re: Specs

Unfortunately you cant do much about moronic pack mentality.

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Re: Specs

Since when did Apple start launching legal cases against world + dog? If you go back 12 months there were not many of the devices in the wild and the Ipad 2 was still better than most, especially regarding battery life and the prices were close for high-end. And Apple held the lead in apps for its pad for a while. Only since ICS has it been possible for developers to build apps for both phones and pads.

I know everyone is waiting with baited breath for the next Applegasm - personally I don't think there is that much need to improve the hardware but the competition have caught up in record time and the Transformer now the model to follow for pads cum notebooks: something desirable/useful in itself.

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Gimp

Re: Specs

Specs don't mean good customer experience. That's a nerdy consensus that high numbers of everything means that it'll magically give you the experience you want. Unfotunately not. It's the simple concepts of the iOS package that keeps knocking down mouth-for-mouth recommendations for the iPad device like dominoes.

No other manufacturer has established a reputation in the tablet arena until they start pushing Google to make Android a much cleaner experience. Also, marketing for these new tabs is lacking to the point of not bothering releasing the product.

Don't forget that releasing a new version of tab every few months just equates to sticking your finger up at your customers. Lack of forward planning, lack of innovation and lack of care. Harsh but true.

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Re: Re: Specs

Or knee jerk trolls eh Barry?

Truth hurts - especially if you are as blinkered as BSP.

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Boffin

Re: Specs

Actually the ipad 2 has enjoyed the fastest GPU in tablet-land. Coupled with a somewhat lower-res screen, the performance figures were usually topping the charts.

None of the first crop of Tegra 2 / Honeycomb tablets were able to keep up with it in terms of graphics prowess (and I'm not talking about the software either). With the new Tegra3 or S4 (or whatever) SoC's they are slowly catching up.

As for the brand identity thing - yes I agree with you. ipad is the household name for a tablet.

As market matures and competition gets its act together, differences will begin to blur. This Asus here looks desirable enough (even next to the svelte ipad), and that battery extending keyboard _is_ a selling point, even for the masses. The USB and SD card slots are hard to miss, and may catch the eyes of a first time tablet buyer.

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Re: Re: Specs

I'm not really a brand junkie. I've got an ipod touch, because its easy to get a dock for it and friends/family have compatible docking without needing to carry an aux cable around. I've also got a second hand 4th gen ipod nano that i use for the gym - the exercise bike has an ipod dock so its useful.

I do really like the idea of this. And of the pad phone too, probably more-so the pad phone.

Until there is a mass of grown up AND kids apps for ICS though, i just couldnt justify spending £400 on it. Where as i could get an iPad tomorrow and know i would be able to get everything i wanted for myself, the wife and the kids straight away.

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Boffin

Re: Re: Re: Specs

"i would be able to get everything i wanted for myself, the wife and the kids straight away."

...Except hook up to the HDMI port of a tv/monitor, unless you buy that i-branded addon and thus, invalidating your "without needing to carry an aux cable around." comment/downside of the Android tab. Unfortunately, this tablet doesn't have a microUSB charging port, so you have to carry around your own form of the i-device proprietary connector. You would think you could achieve docking capability by having a few strategically-placed USB/etc ports at the docking-point, or at least 1 proprietary port and a standard microUSB port.

The iPod nanos are nice though. Shame it requires iTunes to manage....

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Linux

Re: Re: Specs

Or surprisingly good marketing.

In this case however, I think its just to make sure Apple can't get to "retina resolution" first. Its more a marketing ploy than anything else. This has a higher res than my 24" imac, which seems a bit daft. I suspect the screen will be a big battery drain.

Tablets are about being "good enough." I don't know what the battery life is like, but in general, I think I'd rather have more battery life and/or wifi power than a higher-res display. If LibreOffice (horrible name) is coming to Android, we'll probably need more CPU oomph (technical term) too. VGA/DVI output might be more useful if you want high-res, but I wouldn't mind seeing thunderbolt too and even proper wired gig-ethernet for quick searching through HD video.

Actually, for those who use tablets mostly while sitting still, I've found PXE booting work (locked down with symantec end-point encryption) laptops to linux surprsingly good and easy - better than local CD booting. In this case, a mythbuntu livecd image for myth, VLC and firefox. Even on 100-meg ethernet it comes up pretty quick with xfce.

It isn't as nice, but if you have a work laptop, its keeps your own stuff out of corporate IT's mitts and its free!

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Go

At last, a pad worth having?

Not one to have to carry a tablet-thing and a laptop (the laptop makes a tablet redundant anyway), this looks like it could finally have the grunt to do both...

Netbeans is SUCH a memory-hog. Off to see if there's any syntax-highlighting Android text-editors...

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Re: At last, a pad worth having?

Keep an eye on this:

http://signup.andedit.com/

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Can you actually read anything on it?

In 2007 I got a Dell XPS 15" laptop - I paid extra to upgrade the screen to 1920x1200 because I love high-resolution.

It was just about worth it. Text was pretty small, but it was readable and I could always zoom.

But that was 15". 1920x1080 on 10"? Do you need 20-20 vision to actually read anything on it?

I suppose the principle of zooming still applies, you can always zoom browser/ebook pages to make them more readable. But I would seriously worry about default text sizes, like icon labels, being hard to read; and if you always have to zoom, the high-res sounds like more of a gimmick than anything.

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Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

Remember that you can hold this closer to your face than you'd likely have a laptop must of the time. I see your point about default font sizes but I suspect they'll be set fairly ledgible so that the proportions of the interface are kept. The high resolution is probably so that you can watch dull HD video and still have a few pixels for controls.

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Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

Android has proper support for DPI scaling. Text will be the same size as always, it will just look better.

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Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

Just ask the fanbois about their beloved "retina display" and they'll gush about how wonderful it is. I think the IPS is more important but that's more difficult to market. Higher resolution does add crispness to the display and the OS normally upscales text and images to make them usable and look better.

HD-Res makes for a more compelling video performance and the basis of a media centre - simply connect to the TV and watch in full HD. Let the pad replace Blu-ray players and suboptimal "Smart-TV interfaces".

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Re: Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

Lol.

A smart tv like device with a bloody long hdmi cable attached. Concept fail. It baffles me how many manufacturers waste time with a hdmi connection on a table. I'll bet the vast majority go unused.

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Boffin

HDMI on tablets

I use the HDMI connection on my first generation Transformer at about half the hotels I stay in, to watch recorded programmes. I would do it at all hotels, but not all of them have TVs with HDMI inputs, sadly.

GJC

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Happy

Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

Any operating system worth it's salt can render fonts in a variety of sizes. So increase the default font size until you are comfortable. I find 14 point fonts on a 1920x1200 5.6" screen is good. YMMV.

I think there can never be too many pixels. Perhaps when displays reach pixel density comparable to quality paper typeset, that will be enough.

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Re: Can you actually read anything on it?

"1920x1080 on 10"? Do you need 20-20 vision to actually read anything on it?"

I'm a photographer - this would be 10 kinds of awesome to display my portfolio on...

For text Android will just scale to make it readable (my SGS2 does DPI scaling so this will too). Text will obviously be heaps sharper at this resolution.

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Anonymous Coward

iPad3 challenger?

Seeing as this is out before it, surely the iPad3 is a Asus challenger....

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Re: iPad3 challenger?

It's not out yet though - the article says April, and the iPad3 is widely reckoned to be announced on 7th March and probably available a week or two after that.

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Re: iPad3 challenger?

Seeing as the iPad has a massive marketshare lead regardless of which version we talk about, no.

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WTF?

Prime HD

Is this a name-change on the previously announced Transformer Prime HD, or a completely new tablet? Sounds like the Pime HD to me.

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Infinity?

I'll wait for the Transformer Pad Beyond

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K
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Nice...

Anybody interested in buying my Tab 10.1? I've now found my replacement :D

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Headmaster

Best got better? Or is it too early?

I do appreciate some extra resolution - but 1280x800 on a 10" tablet was plenty too. I have 2560x1440 of them here, but they are spread over 27 inches, therefore useful.

More resolution on a small(er) laptop screen can also be useful because laptops screens are used indirectly, using mice pointers which are pixel accurate. So you might need to squint at it on occasion, but you'll be able to fit more of your excel sheet or more icon bars on your CG software (which are notoriously control abundant).

A tablet screen is used with fingers. Which are big, mushy and inaccurate. Upping the res won't help to fit in more controls on the screen (unless you increase the screen size too).

And that extra resolution brings more pixels to be filled by the GPU, which may cause lower fps. Which, for a touch based UI is important.

The older iphone 2/3g/3gs had frankly too low resolution, but at that time the SoC performance was barely able to cover that 320x480(@3.5") pixels at decent speeds (making it a design trade-off, higher fps at lower res). When CPU/GPU performance improved they were able to improve upon this flaw - but for software backward-compatibility reasons Apple had to quadruple it, on a same size (3.5") screen. And they sold it as ye mighty "Retina Screen". So began the resolution craze.

Frankly I think the 9:16 ratio is ergonomically better on handhelds (as seen on many of Android phones), and the 3:4 ratio is ergonomically better on tablets (as seen on the ipad). But that's another story, obviously.

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FAIL

Dammit, my Prime is arriving tomorrow.

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you ordered a new tablet around the time MWC was due to start? This is a pretty big fail waiting to happen really. There's always going to be a new version of whatever you bought.

Its like going out and buying an iPad this week, when everyone fully expects there to be a new iPad launched, probably at a very similar price, within the next few weeks.

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Sharing the kernel with ubuntu would be nice

I like the idea of running this on a device like this.

Could be the ideal combo for a functional laptop/leisure tab all-in-one device.

http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

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I approve!

Finally, a tablet I could possibly see myself buying. I figured it wasn't worth it until 1080P was possible available, and here we are.

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Boffin

4G?

So, which 4G system will it use? LTE Advanced or WiMAX-R2?

Are there even providers offering said systems in the market right now?

Geek. Because the existing LTE and WiMAX-R1 infrastructures are not 4G.

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Pint

Any time is good

If you wait till they stop coming out with newer stuff you'll do without for a long time.

This looks like just the thing for me. I love my TF101, and it just got ics, but it's time to move up again soon. Am well invested in the Tegra Zone ware, so it's the wifi Tegra 3 model for me. That is ok because I haven't noticed the lack of 3g to now.

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Ratio- yes please!

Is that ICS button-bar at the bottom of the screen 80 pixels high?

How come you can get a nice (for things other than watching DVDs) ratio on a tablet, but struggle to get above 1920 x 1080 on a normal laptop? At least on a tablet you can turn whole thing through 90º when it suits.

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