For those who are interested — and surely there will be lot’s of them — Amazon have the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime up for sale. The tablet would cost $492.20 for the 32 GB and $584.22 for the 64 GB model. However, the prices mentioned are only for the tablet and does not include the optional keyboard docking station. The keyboard which comes as an accessory to be attached to the tablet, one has to shell out a further $150 though the site does not even list this item as available for sale yet. CDW too is accepting pre-orders for the Transformer Prime though the prices here are a bit hefty, $535.99 for the 32 GB version. Also, no shipping dates are mentioned anywhere though those who are placing their orders now will surely like to have the brand new Android tablet delivered by Christmas.
As for its claim-to-fame, the Transformer Prime is not just about being a sequel to one of the best selling Android tablet — the first gen Transformer but is also the first tablet to be based on the latest 1.4 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core processor. The tablet otherwise measures 10.4 x 7.1 x 0.33 inches which is thinner than the previous variant of the Transformer as well as lighter, being 1.3 pounds. The Transformer together with the keyboard never felt light and it will be interesting to see how the Prime measures up here.
Rest of the spec sheet is impressive too, like 1 GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, front facing 1.2 megapixel camera along with a 8 megapixel auto focusing camera at the rear with LED flash. Then there is a micro SD card reader, micro HDMI port, G-sensor, gyroscope, E-compass, GPS, and built-in light sensor as well. The Transformer Prime also scores heavily on the battery front, with a back up time of 12 hours.
No information as of now as to what apps the tablet will come pre-loaded with apart from the usual Google application of gmail, gtalk or google maps. Access to google books can be a boon here for e-book lovers though its not yet confirmed.
The OS as of now is Android 3.2 Honeycomb with an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to be offered by Asus at a later date.
Till then, NVIDIA has released a video of the Transformer Prime running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which provides a glimpse to what to expect when Asus officially releases the ICS update. So while everything is smooth with no hiccups whatsoever, what also impressed is the iOS like method of creating folder when one icon is dragged and dropped on another. This along with more has only made us impatient for the real stuff.