The Infinity's images were similar in sharpness to the iPad's, though both the iPad and the Iconia Tab A700 had an ever-so-slight edge in that regard; also, the Infinity's images looked overly bright--likely a consequence of the brighter display (iPad's display maxes out at 445 cd/m2). Dialing down the brightness helped a bit, but both the Acer A700 and the iPad outpointed the Infinity in color and skin-tone reproduction and saturation. That said, the Infinity clearly topped its predecessor, the Prime; the Prime's images lacked the contrast and clarity of those on the Infinity.
The glass panel is composed of Corning Gorilla Glass 2, an upgrade over the first-generation Gorilla Glass used on the Prime. But like the Prime--and unlike the Microsoft Surface, introduced last week--the Infinity offers optical bonding on the display to minimize glare and improve image clarity.
We tested a shipping version of the tablet supplied by Asus, but the company said that it would have an over-the-air firmware update available at around the time of retail launch, providing Hulu certification and other optimizations.
The Infinity comes loaded with Android 4.03 Ice Cream Sandwich, 1GB of DDR3 memory operating at 1600MHz (an improvement over the type of memory used on the Prime), and a quad-core 1.6GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 T33 processor. When in single-core operation, the new Tegra operates at 1.7GHz. By comparison, the Prime's Tegra 3 processor operates at 1.3GHz for two to four cores and at 1.4GHz when a single core is in use; for its part, the processor in the Acer Iconia Tab A700 runs at 1.3GHz/1.2GHz.
Among Android tablets, the Infinity roared past almost all comers on our suite of tablet tests. It outperformed other Tegra 3-based models running at a slower clock speed (and with slower system memory) to grab the crown as our top scorer on Geekbench and AndEBench, and it posted the best frame rates on our two GLBenchmark tests (Egypt Offscreen and Pro Offscreen). It also delivered 2.9 frames per second, matching the Toshiba Excite 7.7's frame rate, on WebVizBench.
The high-resolution display saps battery life faster, and that drawback is visible in the Infinity's battery performance. On our updated battery life tests, the Infinity lasted 7 hours, 58 minutes, versus the Prime's 8 hours, 22 minutes and the iPad's 10 hours, 46 minutes. But it was super-fast at recharging, requiring just 2 hours, 32 minutes to juice up.