Asus' new Transformer Pad combines LTE, quad-core processor

Asus' Transformer Pad TF300TL starts at $449 and has Android 4.0

Asustek's latest Transformer Pad TF300TL has a quad-core processor and LTE capabilities to go along with a 10.1-inch screen, the company said on Friday.

Asus is selling the tablet in the U.S. for US$449 for a model with 16GB of storage; a 32GB model will cost $499. The tablet will come with Android 4.0, the so-called Ice Cream Sandwich, but will eventually be updated to Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean.

The Transformer Pad TF300TL has Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor, which enables high-definition video capabilities. The screen can display images at a 1280 by 800-pixel resolution, which is similar to the resolution of Google's Galaxy Nexus 7. The device has a 1.2-megapixel front camera, and a 8-megapixel back camera.

LTE may give the tablet appeal for mobile users; customers can buy data plans through AT&T.

An optional mobile dock accessory with a keyboard and extended battery is priced at $149. Asus claims nine-hour battery life for the tablet, and 14 hours with the mobile dock.

The combination of LTE and a quad-core processor is available only in a few devices such as Fujitsu's Arrows X and LG's Optimus G smartphones and Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note II smartphone-tablet hybrid device. Device makers have mostly opted to bundle dual-core processors with LTE capabilities, citing power consumption and device-size concerns. For example, Samsung offers the Galaxy S III smartphone in Europe with quad-core processors but with no LTE, while the U.S. models combine dual-core processors with integrated LTE.

But more tablets and smartphones combining LTE with quad-core processors will ultimately become available. Qualcomm has said it will release a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor with an integrated LTE modem, and Nvidia has a Tegra chip with an integrated software-defined LTE modem in its plans, though the company has not provided a release date.

Other Transformer Pad TF300TL tablet features include a micro-SD slot, Bluetooth and micro-HDMI port to connect the tablet to TV sets. The tablet comes with 8GB of free Asus WebStorage, which is the company's online storage hosting service.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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