By Claire Reilly

Asus has unveiled the next iteration of the Transformer series of docked tablet devices with the launch of the Transformer Pad Infinity – billed by the company as the world’s first Full HD Android tablet.

“2012 is the year of transformation for Asus – we will have a lot of SKUs coming out, including the Tai Chi, which was launched at Computex,” said Anson Zhang, ANZ product manager for tablets at Asus. “Now we have the Transformer Pad Infinity which joins our group.”

“We tried to deliver the best multimedia and gaming experience for end users – it definitely is a multimedia powerhouse,” he said.

With a thinner design than its predecessors (the tablet itself measures 8.5 millimetres in thickness) and a brushed metallic finish, the Infinity not only has an updated design, but also features updated specs that bring better performance.

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

Follow on Twitter

The 10.1-inch tablet features a Full HD 1920×1200 Super IPS+ display that offers 178-degree viewing angles and 600-nit LED backlighting. It runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and boasts features such as an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front camera, 1GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (when connected to the dedicated keyboard dock) and Asus SonicMaster audio.

It is also the first Android tablet to integrate the new Tegra 3 4-Plus-1 quad-core CPU. Explaining the new processor, Nvidia senior tech marketing manager for the APAC Region, Jeffrey Yen, said it features four high-performance cores as well a battery-saving core that is designed to run the device for low-loading functions (such as when the device is on standby).

Like other Transformer products released before it, the Transformer Pad Infinity is bundled with a dedicated keyboard dock which boosts storage space, extends battery life (from 9.5 hours to 14 hours) and offers more connectivity options including a USB 2.0 port and SD card slot.

At this stage, the Transformer Pad Infinity (Wi-Fi only, 64GB) will be sold as a tablet and dock bundle for RRP $999. Zhang indicated that Asus planned to release a 32GB model in the future, but there was no indication of whether or not a 3G model would be released.

As an up-sell for retailers, Asus has also created a number of colourful covers that click into the tablet’s dock connection ports to protect the screen when the dock is removed. Similar to the iPad SmartCover, the Asus cover features a creased design that allows the cover to be folded into a number of shapes to act as a stand.

The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity will be available in JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman as well as “selected channel partners”.

The TF700 Transformer Pad Infinity is available in Champagne Gold (pictured) and Amethyst Grey.

The tablet features a click-on cover which can be folded to create a stand.