At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today.
ASUS, in a bid to sell to "several emerging markets," has just announced the MeMO Pad – a seven-inch tablet sporting ASUS' nearly-stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience, a 1GHz VIA CPU (with Mali-400 GPU), a 1024x600 display, 1GB RAM, and up to 16GB internal storage with a refreshing microSD slot available for expansion.
Just like the Nexus 7, the MeMO pad just offers a front-facing camera, though it's a 1MP shooter with a back-illuminated sensor.
One of the nicest options of ASUS' line of tablets is the keyboard dock with a built-in extra battery that can make your device run forever and much easier to type on. The downside? Those docks tend to cost over $100. In the case of the Transformer Pad 300 (TF300), exactly $127, to be precise. Right now, though, Newegg is offering it for free if you buy it with the tablet.
You might remember ASUS as the company that manufactured the overwhelmingly popular Nexus 7 tablet. Did you know that ASUS makes other tablets as well? It's true! Among them are the Transformer Pad, Transformer Pad Prime, and Transformer Pad Infinity. If you happen to own one of these tablets, then ASUS would like you to know that your slate is "scheduled to receive Android 4.1 updates in the coming months." Nice, huh?
With the flagship Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) release right around the corner and the release of the budget-oriented Transformer Pad (TF300) a few months ago, Asus has filled out it's line-up of 10" quad-core Android tablets. Obviously, most people would opt for the highest of the high-end (that'd be the TF700) if they were just looking to blow money. Unfortunately, most people aren't just looking for ways to spend as much money as possible, so instead, they spend enough to cover their needs.
Fun fact: a 1080p display packs 2,073,600 pixels. The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (or TF700)? 2,304,000 - or 230,400 more. Most 1080p HDTVs are somewhere around 40-60 inches. The TF700 checks in at just 10. Compared to a 40" HDTV, that's 111% of the pixels in a package that's 6.25% of the size.
The screen may be the real headline feature with the Infinity, but it's not the only one worthy of note.
UDS, the company that brought us Capta (which we loved) and now working on Vavo, has a limited quantity of pads made of what I called "magic alien goo" - a key ingredient used in its products. It's sort of a weird material made in part with polyurethane (PU), which is both sticky and not sticky at the same time - but in exactly the right ways.
I have been playing with a PU pad for the last month or so, and it's now become my trusty gym companion.
Ask and you shall receive (apparently) - ASUS has just published the bootloader unlock utility for the Transformer Pad 300. You can download it here.
Unlock Device App: Unlock boot loader. Notice: 1. Only suitable for Andriod4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS version. 2. Before you download, install, and use the Unlock Device App you acknowledge and assume complete risk to the quality and performance of this App, including but not limited to the following: once you activate the App you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions;the Original Product with the activated App will not be deemed the Original Product; the Revised Product will no longer be covered under the warranty of the Original Product; the software of Revised Product will no longer be deemed the software of the Original Product and can no longer receive ASUS software updates; your purchased digital content may also be affected.
Happy Star Wars day, everyone! ASUS got you a present: it's firmware updates with a side of source code! You can head to ASUS' site right now and download firmware version V22.214.171.124 for a few countries including the US, as well as version V126.96.36.199 if you're in Japan. Kernel source code for the TF300T is also available, in both x.17 and x.23 flavors for your downloading pleasure.
Head on over to the source link and select "Android" from the dropdown box to get your downloads.
Meet the TF300T, the newest addition to Asus's ever-expanding line of Android tablets. While the model number may suggest that it's the successor to the TF201 - the Transformer Prime - that's not exactly the case. Pick one up and it's immediately clear that this is really the successor to the TF101 (the original Transformer, or TF); it's wrapped in plastic like the 101 (the 201 is aluminum), and the dimensions are a bit more portly, as with the 101.