The world’s first tablet PC with a Tegra 3 heart is here in the form of the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The tablet will start off with Android 3.2 Honeycomb on board as was originally planned which though was subsequently quashed in favor of a launch in December so that the Transformer Prime is seen running Android 4.0 ICS right from the start. With that now being put off, a subsequent upgrade will bring along the Android Ice Cream version sometime in December.
On offer will be two versions of the Transformer Prime — a base version with 32 GB on board that has been priced at $499 while the top of the line model with 64 GB on board has been priced at $599. The keyboard dock comes extra at another $150. However, all of this will not mean the end of the the road for the original Transformer as it will continue to be on offer with price starting at $399.
As for the tablet’s specifications, the Transformer Prime can well turn out to be the game changer in the tablet market. For apart from being compliant with Android 4.0 ICS, perhaps the biggest USP of the Transformer Prime is the NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.4 GHz quad core processor that it comes with. NVIDIA has stated their latest processor is five times faster than any of their current offerings while consuming less power on most situations. Battery back up times are impressive with the tablet alone providing 12 hrs of run time, which goes up to an even more impressive 18 hours when operated in conjugation with the key pad dock.
The rest of the specs include a 1200 x 800 pixel 10 inch Gorilla Glass display that offers 178 degrees of viewing angle, a microSD card slot, 3.5 mm combo audio jack, a micro HDMI slot, 1 GB of RAM, GPS, a gyroscope, along with SonicMaster audio. A 1.2 megapixel camera at the front will allow for video chatting and self portraits while at the rear lies a 8 megapixel unit along with LED flash.
A unique aspect of the Transformer Prime is its Super IPS+ display mode that allows for a better reading experience in bright light conditions by enhancing the brightness. This is a different approach than that adopted by Pixel Qi displays though can be severe on battery resources during prolonged usage. Nevertheless, the feature will surely be liked by those who’d like to catch up with their reading when outdoors. Asus though hasn’t stated what e-book reading apps the tablet will ship with though there’s plenty to choose from and install from the net. Among the apps the Prime will come pre-installed with include SuperNote for recording notes and Polaris Office that allows dealing with Microsoft Office files.
In the end, the Transformer Prime is now thinner and lighter, with a thickness of just 0.33 inches while tipping the scales at 1.29 pounds. The tablet will start shipping from December with color choices of ‘amethyst gray’ and ‘champagne gold.’
[showhide type=’pressrelease’]ASUS Announces the Eee Pad Transformer Prime
Featuring the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-Core Processor the Transformer Prime is designed to greatly enhance the mobile computing experience
Fremont, CA (November 8, 2011) – ASUS officially announces the world’s first tablet with the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor – the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is ultra-thin at 8.3mm (0.33″) and lightweight at 586g (1.29lbs) while featuring a stylish metallic swirl design with class leading enhancements including ASUS SonicMaster audio technology, an HD 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash and battery life rated for up to 18 hours* when combined with the optional mobile dock. Pricing will range from $499** (32GB) to $599** (64GB), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149**.
Incredibly Slim yet Incredibly Powerful
Featuring an ultra-slim form factor, the Transformer Prime is only 8.3mm (0.33″) thin and weighs in at a mere 586g (1.29lbs without dock). This makes watching movies, surfing the web, playing games, taking photos, finishing up homework or video chatting with friends or family so easy and natural that you’ll wonder if the Transformer Prime was designed specifically with you in mind. Its innovative metallic swirl design is made of aluminum for a secure yet extremely comfortable grip that comes in two gorgeous colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.
The Transformer Prime is the world’s first tablet to feature NVIDIA’s next-generation quad-core Tegra® 3 processor. With the quad-core CPU, 12-core GeForce® GPU and vSMP technology, the Transformer Prime delivers an optimum user experience featuring smooth multitasking capabilities, lightning fast app loading, a rich and fluid web experience, full 1080P HD video for realistic media playback or recording and of course, incredible gaming performance that allows you to experience games in an entirely new way.
Fantastic Battery Life
While the Transformer Prime is extremely slim and light, ASUS did not forget about battery life. Thanks to the advanced power management features of the Tegra® 3 processor and ASUS optimizations the Transformer Prime has a battery life of up to 12 hours*, but when combined with the mobile dock, it lasts up to an incredible 18 hours*, the longest battery life of any current tablet. That’s enough battery life for a trans-ocean flight, all-night game session, viewing several movies on a long road trip or even video recording, editing, and then playing back your child’s school play all in 1080P HD clarity.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime boasts a wide 178° viewing angle IPS display, protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass, which features new ASUS technology to enhance the brightness of the screen for a better outdoor reading experience while still offering a remarkably vivid and brilliant viewing experience of photos, books, videos, movies and web pages indoors. Thanks to Multi-Touch technology, you can use your fingers to do everything from swiping through photos, surfing the web, playing the latest games, typing emails, instant messaging, reading books or magazines, and starting your favorite movie.
A 1.2MP front camera allows for instant photos or high-quality video conferencing with friends, family or coworkers while an 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash takes brilliant photos or video thanks to a large F2.4 aperture, back illuminated CMOS sensor, touch-to-focus depth of field and low-light noise reduction to provide the clearest and sharpest photos or even 1080P HD videos.
The Transformer Prime offers impressive audio capabilities in a tablet, powered by ASUS exclusive SonicMaster technology, renowned for crisp and acoustically accurate audio. It produces crystal clear sound with a wide sound stage, increased audio fidelity, and distinct vocal enhancements for an immersive audio experience with your favorite music track, video, or movie.
The Transformer Prime is offered with either 32GB or 64B flash storage options for quick, efficient and reliable access to your applications. Both models feature a micro SD card slot, 3.5mm combo audio jack and micro HDMI port so sharing both what’s inside and on-screen is quick and easy. However, the function that gives the Transformer Prime its namesake is the mobile dock, which gives new meaning to the term versatility. This innovative and convenient design seamlessly provides the user with a keyboard and touchpad, along with limitless expandability options via the USB port and SD card slot.
ASUS will include several innovative applications like SuperNote that is fantastic for its ability to take, draw or record notes and Polaris® Office which is great for staying productive with the ability to read, edit or create Word, Excel and PowerPoint (MS Office 97-2007) compatible files. Thousands of top rated applications and games are also available at Android Market that fully takes advantage of the Transformer Prime’s amazing features and power.
*Battery life will vary based on usage patterns and options.
**Pricing will vary by country and SKU. North American MSRP pricing listed.[/showhide]
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email