Print 74 comment(s) - last by jRaskell.. on Nov 23 at 11:00 AM

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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RE: $$$
By quiksilvr on 11/9/2011 10:10:16 AM , Rating: 4
Don't you mean less than 1/2 the battery life, horrendous GPU performance and very little portability?

You're comparing two completely different product that meets two completely different needs.

The point I'm making is that if you want affordable tablets, they are out there for pretty cheap compared to this one. Its just that this one is taking on the elites and still is a better deal in that market.

RE: $$$
By bug77 on 11/9/2011 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
There's laptop, tablet, smartphone. Which would you pick?
For me, laptop+smartphone is the winning combo.

RE: $$$
By retrospooty on 11/9/2011 11:05:01 AM , Rating: 2
"You're comparing two completely different product that meets two completely different needs"

No he isnt... In a personal sense. He is talking about his use and his needs and his perceived value.

I totally agree and take it further. For me, a tablet is nice, but I would never pay $500 for any of them. For that price you get a good laptop that is able to run fully functional enterprise apps becasue its Windows based.

A tablet is a cool toy and I would pay $200 for one, maybe $300 max for a high end one like this. If the price were $400, a laptop would be a better buy. Its just not worth the $ to me. I am actually really surprised how many $500 tablets have been sold. I do see that people like them, but I think they all overpaid. Kindle fire at $200 may make some waves, or larger 10 inchers at $300

RE: $$$
By SPOOFE on 11/9/2011 6:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
For that price you get a good laptop that is able to run fully functional enterprise apps becasue its Windows based.

I already have a laptop. Why would I get another one? That's stupid.

Now, a gorgeous IPS screen and 12-hour battery life... those are real features not duplicated by something I already own.

RE: $$$
By retrospooty on 11/10/2011 8:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Now, a gorgeous IPS screen and 12-hour battery life... those are real features not duplicated by something I already own. "

I like that too, just not $500 worth of like. =)

I was agreeing with the poster above that the price is too high for me to want to buy. I'd personally get more productivity and pleasure out of a laptop at that price.

I am glad for the $200 kindle fire. Not that I will buy one, but it will drive prices down. This time next year we will see $300 for high end tablets like this.

RE: $$$
By SPOOFE on 11/10/2011 9:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you do not already have a laptop, and you think you'll get more out of one, by all means go get one.

A laptop itself is a series of compromises, all of which make sense. It's harder to use a laptop while standing around, for instance. Screens tend to be of poorer quality, especially for the budget laptops (lower color gamut, weird shifts when viewed at an angle). Battery life's probably not as good (though 3-4 hours, claimed, in some models is still much better than just a couple years ago). Not that these compromises are deal-breakers, at least not for me. But like I said, I already have a laptop.

But I want a super-portable tablet that weighs significantly less than five pounds, that I can easily use standing up, with a great screen with huge viewing angles with minimal distortion, with battery life up the ass.

You probably do, too, and I get it: Five hundred's not worth it to you. So it's just a matter of price, so I get it. Me, I'm just looking at it from the POV of the existing ecosystem, and for the same price as most of the big-name vendors, the Prime is simply much more power and utility per dollar. It's true I'm probably going to waste a lot of time playing Angry Durrds or whatever the kids are playing these days, but yeah, that's what I want. :)

RE: $$$
By publicspace on 11/9/2011 10:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
See now what I'm going to do is buy this tablet here and use it to type up notes at school and read the news on my couch and without lunking my 13" around with its crummy 4 hour battery life.

And THEN, I'm going to get a custom Shuttle PC from avadirect and buy a monitor so I can have a way better screen to watch things when I'm at home. All together will cost me less than $2000 and I have two devices that I can move around comfortably and not have to worry about performance loss, instead of spending $1300-$1600 on an oversized heavy laptop that doesn't travel with me.

As far as I'm concerned this will begin the rebirth of the home pc. If you get everything on a cloud you'll have a tablet with a dock, and then a PC that you do your heavier duty things for. (for my demographic anyways, engineers still need laptops.)

RE: $$$
By retrospooty on 11/10/2011 8:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
"$1300-$1600 on an oversized heavy laptop"

Well, buy whatever suits you, but never pay that much for a laptop. You can get a good laptop for $500.

RE: $$$
By publicspace on 11/10/2011 8:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
I usually buy desktop killers for my laptops, lately though with only core increases but not substantial processing power increases it just doesn't have that same umph, like when I upgraded my 1.2 ghz windows ME comp with a 2.4 ghz Windows XP, When I could turn my computer on and it would only take 2 minutes to fully load compared to a previous 5, it was a similar feeling to the first time I did an aqualung or hit my first beer bong.

RE: $$$
By therealnickdanger on 11/9/2011 11:14:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're totally correct about battery life and portability, especially at the $500 price point, but horrendous GPU performance? SNB i3 is pretty good, depending on resolution and settings. A good deal better than current phone/tablet GPUs, I wager, especially considering you're playing full PC games, not simple touch games.

When your display is native 720p or 768p, it's not much of a challenge even for "weak" IGPs.

RE: $$$
By quiksilvr on 11/9/2011 2:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
Horrendous in comparison to Tegra 3, sorry I didn't specify. IGPs take on the video playback job well, but gaming performance is quite lacking.

RE: $$$
By SPOOFE on 11/9/2011 6:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
A good deal better than current phone/tablet GPUs, I wager

Per watt?

RE: $$$
By retrospooty on 11/10/2011 8:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Don't you mean less than 1/2 the battery life, horrendous GPU performance and very little portability?"

I dont see that. To me, I have 2 classes of mobile computing.
1. The kind that fits in my pocket. 2. The kind I need a case for/have to carry. A smartphone fits in my pocket. A laptop and a tablet are equally portable to me. Both are light, but need to be carried. Since I need to carry something, may as well be a fully operational laptop, so I can get more done.

If I were a chick, that might change, cuz I'd already carry a purse. Maybe get a slightly larger purse witha side pocket to fit a tablet (amongst other benefits) =)

RE: $$$
By PitViper007 on 11/10/2011 10:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
Funny you should mention the purse thing. My wife is constantly losing cards (the latest was her ATM card, sighs) because she refused to carry a purse and keep them in it. Well, I bought her a cheap tablet, mainly for use as an e-reader, and lo and behold! She now will carry her purse, just so she can easily carry her tablet!! Win win. :)

RE: $$$
By retrospooty on 11/10/2011 10:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... Hey, I'd carry one of those man-purses too if it werent something that all my friends would make fun of ;)

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