I personally like the idea of a smartphone that docks into a tablet. The ASUS PadFone 2 strives for the joy of both form factors without the hassle of maintaining two separately. Those who happen to own the device have seen a steady stream of updates roll out as the months have gone by. While the latest update may not jump the device past version 4.1, it does usher in a slew of bug fixes and other general improvements.
Good grief, but the people who run eBay's Daily Deals portal really love their Android tablets. After discounts on Nexuses for the last couple of weeks, today we get one of ASUS' flagship tablets at a significant discount. A refurbished Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T (the Tegra 3 model from 2012) is going for just $289.99 with free shipping. That's $210 off the current retail price.
The bad news is that it's a refurbished tablet.
It took an annoyingly long time for ASUS' official case for the original Nexus 7 to become available, and even when it did, it wasn't all that great. For the 2013 version ASUS has created two cases: a travel case, which is made of a soft plastic material like the older "official" case, and a premium case, with a hard plastic outer shell, foldable cover/stand, and microfiber interior. This more functional case is now shipping from at least two Amazon vendors.
The new Nexus 7 is pretty awesome in all respects, and it should be right at the top of your list if you're looking for a 7-inch tablet. But if your budget won't stretch up to $230, ASUS has a more low-end model that's perfectly respectable. The Memo Pad HD7 (ME173X) is an upgrade to last year's budget tablet, and it's up for pre-order at no less than four, count 'em, four US online stores.
Update: Well, it seems someone at Google was a bit confused, as LTE has been added back to the European specification of the new Nexus 7, including band 20. Crisis averted.
The last generation of Nexus devices was stuck with HSPA+ mobile data, but with the new N7 Google has stepped into the 4G world. However, it seems like that world may be smaller than we previously thought. The specification page for the Nexus 7 has been tweaked to remove LTE bands from the European version, leaving it with only HSPA+.
Looking for a high-res tablet, and don't mind getting a model that's a bit long in the tooth? Then you'll want to check out Tiger Direct's listing for the 32GB Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. This 1920x1200 10" tablet is a pretty great deal at $279.99, assuming you're OK with a somewhat outdated Tegra 3 processor, a refurbished model, and a $50 mail-in rebate. Jeez, but I wish those things would die - the rebates, not the Tegra 3.
We have all been anxiously awaiting news of a successor to the Nexus 7, which is now a year old. Google I/O came and went with no announcement, leaving everyone a bit deflated. Now some regulatory filings appear to offer the first peek at what Google and Asus have up theirs sleeves for a new Nexus 7.
The Bluetooth SIG includes a small image of what is apparently the new Asus-made N7, but from the front it's just a generic black rectangle.
ASUS wasted no time at Computex 2013, taking the stage for a press event that lasted around forty minutes, during which time they managed to reveal a total of eleven products, including gems like the new, $499, 2560x1600 Transformer Pad Infinity, a couple of new MeMO Pads, and of course the FonePad Note FHD 6 that, while nice, may not show up in the US.
While the actual announcement wasn't quite the spectacle ASUS' MWC conference was, it no doubt had its own merits.
The ASUS Transformer AiO is undoubtedly one of the most interesting pieces of Android-powered tech that we've seen in the past year or so. As a member of the Transformer family it's made to convert from one device category to another, but unlike the "typical" Transformers that we're used to seeing from ASUS, this one doesn't change from tablet to laptop – it's both a full Windows 8-powered desktop PC and a gigantic Android tablet.