Transformer Pad Jelly Bean update out, captured at 240 FPS

Owners of select Asus Transformer tablets are getting over-the-air updates to Android 4.1, better known as Jelly Bean. The Transformer Prime, Transformer Pad 300, and Transformer Pad Infinity are all eligible for an update to Google’s latest OS. Our Infinity sample has just been upgraded, and we’ve captured some high-speed footage to illustrate the difference between Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean on the tablet. Here’s a look at a few interface elements at 240 frames per second:

The difference between the two isn’t huge, in part because the Infinity’s Tegra 3 SoC is already very fast. However, there’s definitely more hitching evident on Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean’s "Project Butter" enhancements have more to do with smoothing out responsiveness than making things go faster, and they do make the Infinity feel snappier.

Android 4.1 brings more than just buttery smoothness, of course. The update also features Google Now, a sort of information aggregator capable of keeping tabs on the weather, your schedule, and the traffic on your daily commute, among other things. Google’s voice recognition engine has been incorporated into the OS, as well, and I find myself using the feature more and more on my Jelly Bean-equipped Galaxy Nexus.

Unfortunately, Jelly Bean doesn’t resolve the sluggish Gallery performance we noted in our Transformer Pad Infinity review. Android’s default picture viewer renders images quickly on low-res tablets, but it’s noticeably slower when drawing pixels on the Infinity’s 1920×1200 screen. I hope a software update can address this issue, since high-PPI screens seem perfectly suited to picture browsing—and since Android actually lets me display the 18MP images from my DSLR camera at full resolution, unlike the iPad 3.

Jelly Bean might not be perfect, but we’re happy to see Asus rolling out the update. The firm has done a much better job than other tablet makers of keeping its devices up-to-date with the latest versions of Android. Now, if only there were an official Jelly Bean update for my first-gen Transformer.

Comments closed
    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    win 8 tablets, still hoping that asus delivers my ideal in that arena

    • Martian
    • 7 years ago

    [i<]"Google's voice recognition engine has been incorporated into the OS, as well..."[/i<] I asked it about my university and it claimed it is located in the local mall... let's say I'm not an Apple fan, but it definitely has an iMap aftertaste. 😀

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Some Universities do have recruitment offices in shopping centers, but yeah that’s a little weird. 😛

        • Martian
        • 7 years ago

        That might be true to other universities, this one doesn’t have a recruitment office, at least not at the mall for sure.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Even I’m willing to give Apple a pass for shortcomings on the map for Mars.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        i think some people might have no understood what you meant. i did, anD I THOUHGT TI WAS BRAETHTAKING

    • MichaelTurbo
    • 7 years ago

    I noticed in tech report’s infinity review, the tf700 accomplished an abysmal 2000+ ms score in sunspider. With the jelly bean update, my device pulled 842 ms as well as 160k in browser mark and 1600ish in quadrant. These are significantly beefier (or leaner, depending on context) results than my personal runs on ICS, and alongside similar indicators such as above high fps camera comparisons, paint a very rosy performance improvement advantage, freely delivered, to users whom made a steep investment in he device. Games that occasionally dropped frames or crashed operate near flawlessly now (at least in the brief evaluation time thus taken) so it seems the strong soc hardware is being better utilized across the board by jelly bean. I was expecting less, honestly, gg Asus.

    • not@home
    • 7 years ago

    I have a Xoom and I loved it when ICS came out. It was good b4 that but great with ICS. It was very stable too. Now that it has Jelly Bean, I think it is worse than it ever was. It crashes all the time, it flickers (especially with card games), it seems slower and less responsive. I never even had to reboot it from the time it updated to ICS to the time it updated to JB, it was that stable. Now it crashes about once every month. I wish I could go back to ICS.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    You know what will make Android feel REALLY responsive is when touching stuff has an instantaneous effect. You can see it in both of the slow-mo videos above, and I can see it on my own Nexus 7. There’s a tangible delay when tapping the app drawer icon, the home button, etc. If they get that latency down some more it’ll feel way more instantaneous and smooth to me.

    note: that’s a rather minute nit for me to be picking, but that’s what needs addressed next. Input latency plus the reaction time.

      • funko
      • 7 years ago

      i think MS had a tech demo of touch latency reduction somewhere on youtube, and the tracking for drag guestures was dramatically better. hopefully that tech will make it to sonsumer rpoducts by the next gen

        • Geistbar
        • 7 years ago

        You’re probably thinking of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4<]this[/url<] video.

        • DarkUltra
        • 7 years ago

        You mean this one?
        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4[/url<] Also somewhat relevant? [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScFAvPN7aJM[/url<]

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      There is the issue of debounce. You have to make sure the screen was really pressed before you react to it. That’s not something you can remove from the equation. You don’t want every little brush of the screen to be some kind of activation requrest.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, that’s probably a good point. Maybe pressure sensitivity?

          • tfp
          • 7 years ago

          That already exists on *most* touch panels as well. It’s an odd balance.

        • DarkUltra
        • 7 years ago

        No, I think you do. I barely touch my windows phone, and the tile activates immediately. Ill have to try this jelly-bean update on an android phone. ICS was very noticably jerky and i couldn’t recommend it.

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    Have you guys tried doing the before- and after-update side by side like a TV infomercial? If it’s not too hard to synchronize it would be much more illustrative.

    • glynor
    • 7 years ago

    The limit on the iPad 3’s Photo App is 19 megapixel, which certainly doesn’t cover the microscopy images we generate at the office, and doesn’t cover the highest-end DSLRs at full quaility, but saying that it doesn’t let you load “full-resolution images from DSLR cameras” seems a [i<]bit[/i<] disingenuous.

      • glynor
      • 7 years ago

      I should add… And, you actually can [i<]load[/i<] larger images onto the iPad (I have a few 60Mp+ files of the aforementioned microscopy images on mine). It just won't [i<]display[/i<] them at full resolution. And, seeing that the point of your paragraph was that the Gallery app on the Transformer performs badly, I think you have your answer to "why" right there.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      ^^

      My Rebel XS is 10.1MP, and it takes great pictures IMHO. That’s 3888 x 2592, so it’ll be scaled on whatever screen you use anyway.

      I do agree, I wouldn’t want my pictures from a 38MP camera auto scaled and compressed, but even a 30″ (4MP) or Quad HD (8MP) screen isn’t gonna display DSLR photos in their full glory. Which wouldn’t really matter, as DSLR photos are noisy as heck on that level.

      • Dissonance
      • 7 years ago

      Tweaked that sentence to be clearer. FWIW, the iPad 3 wouldn’t display the 18MP images from my T2i at full resolution, so I’m not sure 19MP is the limit.

        • glynor
        • 7 years ago

        The limit in iTunes is roughly 14Mp (3,072 pixels on the short side). If you transfer via other means (Dropbox or the Camera Connection adapter, for example) then it’ll display images up to 19Mp. But if you creep over that line, then it drops the resolution way down for display.

        More info: [url<]http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/2012/3/23/displaying-your-photography-on-the-new-ipad.html[/url<]

        • glynor
        • 7 years ago

        By the way, Geoff… Thanks for responding. I did really mean just a “bit” originally (hence the italics). I didn’t think you were intentionally misleading, I just thought it was a little off. But, being in a “Creative” shop where we do photography and whatnot, I’ve dealt with it quite a bit, and know the limitations.

        Re-reading your tweaked sentence there, I’d assume you probably tried it by transferring the photos over via iTunes, which scales them to 3072px on the short side. That’s dumb, and it is confusing, and probably many people experience the same thing. But that’s iTunes, and I don’t think [i<]anyone[/i<] would accuse iTunes of being a well designed application that makes sense all of the time. 😉 The iPad itself [i<]can[/i<] display images up to 19Mp at full quality. I've verified it myself (in fact, that's why I have those 60Mp images on there, it was part of my test and it makes an effective demo now). If you transfer images higher than around 14Mp (assuming a standard 3:2 aspect ratio), you [i<]cannot[/i<] use iTunes to do it, or it will resize them in its infinite wisdom. I'd assume that to cut down on transfer time, they just set an arbitrary limit and then never changed it when they released the new iPad. In any case, on the iPad 3,up to 19Mp is fine. But if you go higher than 19Mp (I never bothered to figure out the exact pixel dimensions, though you could probably Google it by now), then the display results are [i<]worse[/i<] than if you resized the images first and then uploaded 19Mp versions. I generally use Dropbox to get high-quality photos over, but the SD/USB adapter things work just as well (And would be faster for most people, probably. Since mine come from a computer and not a camera, I'd have to copy them to a USB stick first to use the adapter thing, so I don't bother). So, there are a few annoying "gotchas" to it, for sure, but the iPad is a fantastic way to display high-res images to clients and whatnot, if you're careful about what you're doing.

    • Philldoe
    • 7 years ago

    IIRC Jelly Bean does not have flash. And as much as people gripe about it, it is a must have for me.

      • ChronoReverse
      • 7 years ago

      You can sideload the apk and it’ll work just fine actually.

        • Philldoe
        • 7 years ago

        😮 I might upgrade to JB then.

      • dale77
      • 7 years ago

      When I upgraded, I was surprized to see that the flash I already had installed just remained installed and working. Not sure why this is fresh news though, my TF300 was upgraded some weeks ago, in fact I have already had an update to 4.1.1.

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    Are you sure the gallery problem is about software and not hardware limitations?

      • Plazmodeus
      • 7 years ago

      AFAIK, any graphics card from 10 years ago can quickly load and display images in 1080p, and it should be easier from flash memory and not a slow mechanical HDD. Given that this is an SOC from a graphics chip maker, it would be very sad indeed if it was a GPU issue. Put differently, its even worse if Asus married a hi-res display to a GPU that can’t drive it.

      I have an iPad 3 and a 36mp Nikon D800 and it burns my hide that apple won’t let me view my images in full res. I’d jump ship in an instant if someone had a functioning alternative. I recently got an Asus Transformer 300 and it really leaves a lot missing when compared to the iPad.

        • ChronoReverse
        • 7 years ago

        I would test with Quickpic and see how fast it renders in comparison.

          • Dissonance
          • 7 years ago

          Quickpic doesn’t seem to render the images I’m using any faster the Gallery app. The image loads, there’s a pause, and then the detail sharpens.

            • ChronoReverse
            • 7 years ago

            This includes turning on Hardware Rendering right?

            Then I’d wager that the hardware is decoding purely using CPU which might explain the load times. Even the C2D desktop I’m on right here takes a second to load an 8MP picture and the ARM chip in even the Infinity is like 10 times slower.

            Perhaps there’s a reason Apple doesn’t allow displaying the full resolution on the iPad3?

            [edit]Wait, it’s displaying just fine on lower res screens? That does seems strange then

            On the other hand, Tegra2 has shown Nvidia isn’t quite that strong on graphics in the mobile arena. Even the Tegra3 isn’t the fastest offering among its contemporaries.

            • Silus
            • 7 years ago

            Tegra 2 was the fastest when it came out, same with Tegra 3. Tegra 3 is also 1 year old. Of course that it can’t be the fastest forever…that’s just how technology works. It amazes me that this is still a surprise, especially in a comments section of a hardware review site…

            • ChronoReverse
            • 7 years ago

            Tegra2 was the first dual core A9 (lacking NEON) but it only traded with the fastest non-Apple GPU’s at the time and was unable to cleanly pull away.

            Tegra3 was a fast quad CPU but again was only about par with a GPU (Mali 400) from several months back.

            And at both times, we all know Apple had by far the fastest GPU.

            Therefore, my point about Nvidia not being the strongest in the mobile GPU arena isn’t exactly off the mark.

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