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ASUS' followup to the original Transformer packs quite a punch

ASUS made quite a splash on the Android tablet scene with the original Transformer. While Motorola's Xoom has been a disappointment, many enthusiasts flocked to the Transformer due to its more attractive pricing.
 
Now, ASUS has announced its follow-up, the Transformer Prime, which is based around NVIDIA fresh new Tegra 3 processor (aka Kal-El). The Tegra 3 features four processing cores, a fifth “companion core” for low-power functions, and 1GB of RAM.

Tegra 3 is based on an ARM Cortex A9 design and doubles the Tegra 2's processing power. A 12-core GeForce GPU handles graphics duties and offers up to a 3x improvement in performance. To say that the Transformer Prime will be a multimedia/gaming powerhouse would be an understatement. 

Tegra 3 delivers all of this while offering up to a 61 percent savings in power consumption.

 
Moving to the actual tablet's design of the tablet, the Transformer Prime now weighs just 1.29 pounds and is just 0.33 inches thick. The 10" screen retains its 1280x800 resolution, but now Super IPS+ to go along with Gorilla Glass. Brightness is pegged at 600 nits and it has a 178-degree viewing angle.
 
Although holding up a 1.29-pound, 10" tablet up to take pictures is going to make you look like a goober, ASUS hasn't skimped when it comes to optics. The Transformer Prime features an 8MP rear camera with an f/2.4 lens and back-illuminated sensor. As is typical of today's high-end smartphones and tablets, it can capture video in 1080p. A 1.2mp camera is included on the tablet's face for video conferencing.

 
When it comes to connectivity, the usual microSD slot and micro HDMI port are included. In addition, the Transformer Prime continues to offer its proprietary interface to attach the keyboard dock that turns the tablet into a fully functional laptop. The keyboard dock adds a USB 2.0 port and a full-size Secure Digital slot.
 
Battery life is listed at an impressive 12 hours for the Transformer -- that figure jumps to 18 hours when using the keyboard dock.
 
The Transformer Prime will be made available for $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB). The keyboard dock will be priced at $149. The Transformer Prime will ship with Android 3.2 “Honeycomb”, but will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich OTA in early December.



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What made the original Transofrmer so tempting...
By Netscorer on 11/9/2011 9:56:29 AM , Rating: 1
was the price. $399 was unheard of for the class of tablet at the moment and keyboard dock with full USB and extra battery made it sound like a super deal. Now, at $499 without dock and $650 with dock, this is no longer the tablet to get. There is a lot of price range between Fire ($199), Nook Tablet ($250) and $500. Instead of playing smart and occupying that niche, ASUS decided to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Good luck with that!




By Cheesew1z69 on 11/9/2011 10:10:20 AM , Rating: 4
Really? Not worth getting? It's a QUAD core, with longer battery life than the original Transformer, and 32gb for 499, sounds like a deal to me!


By TheRequiem on 11/9/2011 1:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
Now I can get my game on anywhere with one of these, even while taking a dump. Yes! Where can I pre-order one?


RE: What made the original Transofrmer so tempting...
By XZerg on 11/9/2011 10:41:54 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously wtf!

I can get a pretty decent lightweight (not as light) laptop for price less than that. The other messed up decision was that the tablet has no usb ports, must use the dock. WTF!?

I was thinking with Tegra3 the cpus are fast enough to consider tablets but they first need to fix the pricing for most people to consider it. This is not to say many won't buy it but is to say that tablets are still miles away from becoming mainstream with these sort of prices. There are others who offer at a much cheaper price Nook and Fire but they don't seem to have the needed horsepower which I doubt is worth $300-$400.

Let's see if Black Friday offers some for < $400 with the dock.


By jimbojimbo on 11/9/2011 10:55:35 AM , Rating: 2
I was wondering the same thing about the USB ports. The Archos 10 internet tablet had a full size USB port and you could plug in an external hard drive and watch media files from it. That should be standard now! ...although with a little warning about battery life expectancy. I hope they sell a little device to plug into their proprietary port with just USB ports on it.


By chrnochime on 11/9/2011 11:46:47 AM , Rating: 3
Point me to a new laptop that costs less than 750 and weights less than 3.0lbs....Nope. Don't see any.


RE: What made the original Transofrmer so tempting...
By XZerg on 11/9/2011 11:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
By TheRequiem on 11/9/2011 1:52:19 PM , Rating: 1
I checked, and didn't see any...


RE: What made the original Transofrmer so tempting...
By TheRequiem on 11/9/2011 6:31:33 PM , Rating: 3
In a price vs. performance comparison (remember, this tablet is $500) and Windows 7 needs considerable more power to run as fast.

1.) I guess this could be valid because of price, except it's over 3lbs (I thought the argument was under 3lbs?). Also, the specs for a Windows OS 7 netbook is not good enough to be as fast as this tablet. A 1ghz cpu?

2.) The price is $650 - That's $150 more then this tab, are we comparing Apple's to Oranges here? But if we are still referring to being under $750 (not sure why we would since the tablet is $500) Then it would be valid. Still wouldn't buy a cheap plastic netbook compared to this nice looking aluminum tablet.

3.) This is a budget netbook significantly lacking in processor & video performance and is in the same price as Asus tablet. It also oeprates Windows OS 7, I guarantee this thing will not be as speedy as this tablet.

4.) $699... $200 more? Also, again, significantly lacking in specs for the type of OS it runs.

5.) This is probably the only one that is really valid, except it's a Gateway. =) Still a little light on specs for the type of OS.

Either way, after reviewing these PC's, I definitely feel much more comfortable buying a Asus Transformer Prime tablet then before.


By chrnochime on 11/10/2011 1:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Saved me from spending more time making the same comments heh :P


By SPOOFE on 11/9/2011 6:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can get a pretty decent lightweight (not as light) laptop for price less than that.

IPS screen? 12-hour battery life?

No?

Then you don't know what you're talking about.


By retrospooty on 11/10/2011 5:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
"IPS screen? 12-hour battery life? No? Then you don't know what you're talking about. "

He said "pretty decent". Most people don't need IPS in thier laptop (or even know what it is for that matter), and don't need 12 hour battery life. There are alot of really good laptops out there in the $5-600 range. Most start at $500 with a low res 1366x768 screen. Throw in the upgraded screen and its a nice deal and a good laptop.


By SPOOFE on 11/10/2011 9:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
I have one of those laptops. It cost me $380 over two years ago. It's great, all things considered.

But its screen is awful and its battery life is incredibly unimpressive.

Better screens and battery life are very expensive in a laptop. Much less expensive in a tablet.

I have a laptop. I don't need another laptop. I don't need a tablet either. However, I want a tablet, specifically the Prime. It seems like it'll be a nifty device with a few key traits that I just plain can't get in a laptop for anywhere near the same amount of money, and that's the plain and simple fact of the matter.


By SPOOFE on 11/9/2011 6:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now, at $499 without dock and $650 with dock, this is no longer the tablet to get.

Then get the base Transformer. If it used to be good at $399, then it's still good at $399.


By TakinYourPoints on 11/10/2011 2:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
You get what you pay for. $400 was a good price for the original Transformer but its performance was poor. The Tegra 3 presumably brings it in line or beyond the A5 in the iPad 2, so the the price bump makes sense.


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