ASUS has cited "past experiences" with its Transformer Prime tablet as a reason it will not sell its latest flagship Android tablet — the Transformer Pad Infinity — without a keyboard dock in Australia.
Speaking at a media event officially launching the Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T in Sydney today, ASUS' product manager for tablets, Anson Zhang, said the company learnt from past experiences when deciding on how to sell the Infinity in Australia.
"We brought in the no keyboard version of the Transformer Prime along with the with keyboard version," explained Zhang. "We found that everyone who bought the Pad then came back to us to purchase the keyboard as an extra. So we found that from past experiences, and we are just bundling the dock together with the Infinity."
Although ASUS includes the keyboard dock bundled into the sales package on Australian models of the Transformer Pad Infinity, the company sells the dock as an optional accessory in other markets around the world.
The Infinity's included keyboard dock adds an extra six hours of battery life to the device's stand-alone 10 hour battery life when connected, therefore producing a total battery life of up to 16 hours. However, it also raises the overall cost of the unit. The Transformer Pad Infinity has an RRP of $999.
When questioned why the device is more expensive in Australia than the US, where the Transformer Pad Infinity and keyboard dock can be purchased for around $794, ASUS cited Australian "retail and advertising costs".
ASUS did confirm it will honour warranty claims for Australian consumers who purchase the Transformer Pad Infinity overseas, but would not cover pickup or return costs for any warranty or service claims.
"We offer a one year global warranty, but we will not do pickup and return, they will need to deliver and pickup the product themselves," said Zhang.
The Transformer Pad Infinity is a follow-up to the Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet, which was released in Australia earlier this year. The key feature of the Transformer Pad Infinity is the 10.1in super IPS+ screen with an impressive 1920x1200 resolution. In comparison, almost all current 10in Android tablets use a 1280x800 resolution display panel.
The Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 was originally expected to hit Australian retail shelves in early July but was delayed due to issues with stock.
ASUS will only sell the 64GB Wi-Fi only model of the Transformer Pad Infinity in Australia. In other markets, the company sells a cheaper, 32GB model.
Globally, the company will sell 3G and 4G LTE models of the Transformer Pad Infinity. Both of these versions use a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait dual-core processor instead of the Tegra 3 quad-core chip that powers the Wi-Fi only model sold Down Under.
The Transformer Pad Infinity initially ships with the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 version of Google's Android software platform, but ASUS has already confirmed it will be updated to the latest Jelly Bean 4.1 version "in the coming months".
“We are pleased to announce that we will be updating many of our tablet products to Android 4.1, Jelly Bean," the company recently announced on its Facebook page. The ASUS Transformer Pad, Transformer Prime and Transformer Pad Infinity are all scheduled to receive an update to Jelly Bean in the coming months."
Australian models of the 64GB Wi-Fi-only ASUS Transformer Infinity TF700T will be available in "champagne gold" and "amethyst grey" colours for $999. The tablet goes on sale through authorised ASUS resellers from tomorrow.
Will you be buying an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity? Let us know in the comments below.
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