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.