The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime feels like the first laptop-class Android tablet, with its quad-core 1.4GHz processor, clever add-on keyboard dock, and its support for USB storage and console gamepads. This is easily the most impressive Android tablet ever. But with such startling specs, it's outstripping the weak app selection available for Google's Android Honeycomb OS. Although there are a few standout apps for the platform, the lack of a thriving Android tablet app community makes the Transformer Prime a less sure choice than it should be. Read on for our full review of the Transformer Prime to see if it's worth your attention (or money.)
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.
Nvidia has officially launched the Tegra 3 quad-core mobile chipset. It will be the first quad-core ARM-based chipset to appear in shipping products when it comes to market in the Asus EEE Pad Transformer Prime tablet.
Nvidia marked the official announcement by releasing a bunch of screen shots and performance details showing how Tegra 3 improves Web browsing, battery life, and—most importantly for Nvidia—gaming.
"Tegra 3 is about five times the performance of Tegra 2," said Matt Wuebbling, Nvidia Tegra's director of product marketing.
The gaming improvements are striking, and Nvidia spent a lot of time showing them off. You get more realism and more special effects on Tegra 3: much more realistic water simulations, blur effects, smoke, damage, textures and dynamic lighting. That comes in part from the chipset's new 12-core GPU, with triple the performance of Tegra 2's unit, Wuebbling said.
Hey, It looks like the first real, formidable iPad competitor to hit the market is shipping from Newegg as we speak! The ASUS EEE Pad Transformer rocks an IPS display and Tegra 2 processor, and ships with Android 3.1 Honeycomb (the latest update.) We've tried other Android tablets and were left underwhelmed, but this one is hotness! You can get the 32GB model from Newegg for $499, which is $100 less than the 32GB iPad, y'all!
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