After a very exciting 2011, the high-end Android tablet market niche had a pretty uneventful (so as not to say boring) first half of 2012. There have only been a couple of interesting unveilings these past six months, and, until recently, we can’t say we saw any exciting 10-inchers hit the market.
However, we knew that we were only dealing with the calm before the storm and now, finally, the storm is unleashed! Acer’s Iconia Tab A700 has just started shipping in the US, Google and Samsung are prepping the launches of the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Note 10.1, and now the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 has a US release date.
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity will start selling across the States on July 16, according to official sources cited by Engadget, and the tablet’s pricing looks fair by all means. The 32 GB version will go for $499, while the 64 GB model will be made available for $599.
It’s true, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet will come at half of those prices, but remember we’re dealing here with probably the best 10-incher to ever hit the Android world. At least that’s how the Infinity looks on paper, with a beautiful 1900 x 1200 Super IPS+ LCD touchscreen, a 1.6 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB of RAM, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a 25 Wh battery.
Asus promised a 4G LTE-enabled version of the Infinity as well (powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, of course), but we don’t know when to expect that particular tablet to hit the US or the rest of the world.
Getting back to the Wi-Fi-only models expected to be made available in just three weeks (and counting), you should know that the Transfomer Pad Infinity will come with a optional dock which will probably be sold at around $149. However, the good news is that, if you’re the proud owner of an older Transformer TF201 tablet with a keyboard dock, you’ll be able to use the same dock for the new tablet.
The Transformer Pad TF700 will come with a couple of other “treats” as well, including a pretty great 8 MP rear-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture, autofocus and LED flash, a 2-megapixel front-facing webcam, Bluetooth 3.0, a microSD card slot, HDMI, USB 2.0 and 8 GB of free lifetime cloud storage.
Don’t trust Engadget’s sources and need further confirmation that the Transformer Pad Infinity is coming really soon in the United States? Here’s a Best Buy online listing for the 64 GB Infinity! The 10-incher does appear as “sold out” for the time being, but this is yet another strong piece of evidence that the 10-incher will, in fact, start shipping in just a matter of weeks.
What say you, Android tablet lovers out there? Will you be going for the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, the Acer Iconia Tab A700, Google’s Nexus 7, or Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1?