The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is ready for its close-up and under the hood it sports Nvidia's next-generation Tegra 3 mobile processor. That makes the Transformer Prime the first tablet to feature the quad-core System-on-a-Chip (SoC), which Nvida says provides three times the graphics performance of its current Tegra 2 chip while soaking up 61 percent less power.
The 10.1-inch Transformer Prime is nice and thin at 0.33 inches and weighs in at 1.29 pounds, Asus said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. Thanks to the Tegra 3's improved power consumption, the tablet's battery life is rated for up to 18 hours, although that's when you combine it with the optional mobile dock and keyboard which Asus is also offering, naturally, as part of the Transformer Prime package.
Without the accessory, you're still getting up to 12 hours of battery life, which Asus was happy to point out is enough 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."
The Tegra 3 chip, the first quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU, significantly boosts 3D gaming and Internet browsing on tablets like the Transformer Prime, thanks to a 12-core GeForce GPU that's also part of the next-gen SoC, according to Nvidia.
Samsung's big hardware upgrade to its first-ever tablet, the 7-inch Galaxy Tab, had a name as of the device's announcement late last month. And Samsung has now finally gotten around to announcing a release date and price for the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. According to the company, the upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab will start selling in the U.S. on November 13 for $399.99 – all of $100 less expensive than the starting price for tablets from Samsung's chief rival as of late, Apple (it's also much smaller than the iPad as well.)
So what are some of the big improvements arriving on this 7-inch tablet refresh? For starters, the 7.0 Plus is taking a leap from Android 2.2 to Android 3.2 – that's a move from the Froyo iteration of Google's operating system to Honeycomb. Samsung's still slapping its Touchwiz interface on top of Honeycomb, which includes new resizable widgets and a sticky "mini app" tray that can be pulled up from any screen on the device and used to load a variety of preset apps on the device.