Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime detailed, launching in December

By on November 9, 2011, 10:30 AM

Asus has announced that their Eee Pad Transformer Prime 'hybrid' tablet will be available for purchase worldwide in December. The tablet will be the first to launch with Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor, codenamed Kal-El.

We had our first glance at the Transformer Prime last month when Asus chairman Jonney Shih briefly showed the tablet during an interview at conference AsiaD. Specifications at that time were limited but we now know all of the juicy details.

Nvidia’s quad-core (technically it has five cores) Tegra 3 SoC will indeed power the unit, a chip that Nvidia says is five times faster than their Tegra 2 overall. More specifically, web browsing will be four times faster and graphics will perform three times better than its predecessor.

Additional specs include a thin 8.3mm (0.33-inch) body that weighs only 586g (1.29lbs). The 8MP rear camera features an LED flash, F/2.4 aperture and a back illuminated CMOS sensor with low-light noise reduction. A 1.2MP shooter can be found on the front and a 1280 x 800 resolution Super IPS+ display coated with Corning Gorilla Glass features a max brightness of 600 nits.

The Transformer Prime will ship with either 32GB or 64GB of internal flash storage and both feature a micro SD card slot for expansion and easy file transfers. Other standard features across all models include 1Gb of system memory, a 3.5mm combo audio jack and a micro HDMI port . Battery life is rated at a full 12 hours on the tablet and 18 hours when using the optional dock.

Pricing will range from $499 for the 32GB model to $599 for the 64GB version while the optional mobile dock accessory will set you back another $149. The tablet will initially ship with Android 3.2 although we suspect an Ice Cream Sandwich update won't be too far off.




User Comments: 14

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gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oooh, oooh, Christmas present!

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think I might just sell my Transformer to get this. Time to make a fs thread

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

They had me at Gorilla Glass.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I love everything about this except for the price tag. I just can't justify spending $500 on a tablet, let alone $650 for both the tablet and dock.

Here's to hoping some rebates/coupons popup before Christmas, because I really want it!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The tablet will initially ship with Android 3.2 although we suspect an Ice Cream Sandwich update won't be too far off.

Woah, was it only me? I thought the Prime was going to ship with ICS. Or they meant it would get it after launch?

Guest said:

These toys should be priced around $200 ($300 tops). Compare laptops &netbooks with these and its hard to justify spending $500 on a device which does not have a half of productivity, compatibility, port access. I better get a decent laptop for that price.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

lawfer said:

The tablet will initially ship with Android 3.2 although we suspect an Ice Cream Sandwich update won't be too far off.

Woah, was it only me? I thought the Prime was going to ship with ICS. Or they meant it would get it after launch?

It'll be an update after launch. ICS isn't quite ready for Prime time yet, and the Transformers need to ship soon to hit all the stores and sellers.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

These toys should be priced around $200 ($300 tops). Compare laptops &netbooks with these and its hard to justify spending $500 on a device which does not have a half of productivity, compatibility, port access. I better get a decent laptop for that price.

I have found that in the last month of owning my Transformer, I have found many more practical uses for it than my laptop. It's true that these have a lot of entertainment value to them, but I have found they are also GREAT for business. I use mine for business every day, and it hasn't disappointed. Before calling these tablets "toys" I recommend using one for more than 5 minutes first. Playing with the tablets at Best Buy doesn't count.

Guest said:

I wonder if the dock is the same original one? If so, you could just buy the new tablet to use with your original dock. I have the Transformer 32gb and love it! I use it daily.

Guest said:

"The tablet will initially ship with Android 3.2 although we suspect an Ice Cream Sandwich update won't be too far off."

And what would lead you to suspect anything of the kind?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wonder if the dock is the same original one? If so, you could just buy the new tablet to use with your original dock. I have the Transformer 32gb and love it! I use it daily.

You cannot use the original dock, as the new TF Prime is much thinner than the original.

Guest said:

Yes, I'm sure one can utilize these for business too, however, I don't see any advantage (maybe you can name it for me) of a $500 tablet vs. $500 laptop other than a form factor and quality of tablet's screens (how much you would prefer that vs. a larger screen is a different matter I guess). Once again, productivity wise (check the specs - cpu, ram, storage, OS stability, compatibility with well developed business softwhare, etc, etc) I do not see how a spending of $500 on an iferior device can be justified (other than if you, again, need a much smaller device, do not care about specs much, etc). Utilization wise tablets are somewhere in between modern smartphones and entry level netbooks/laptops, so their affordability should be adequate.

I am not saying these are useless, its just their pricing needs to mature to a more realistic level.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am not saying these are useless, its just their pricing needs to mature to a more realistic level.

I think it all depends on what you are putting them up against in comparison. If you are comparing the Transformer with, say, the iPad, then pricing vs functionality tends to favor the Transformer - if you add the keyboard, and have a heavy emphasis on functionality, the scales tilt even more towards the Transformer.

But, if you are looking at it from a more pragmatic, real-world viewpoint (which I assume based on my interpretation of your comment), then you need to put it up against its direct competition. So, if I am a frequent traveler, I might be looking at lugging around an e-reader, portable gaming system, media player, etc. Add up what you might drop on all of that hardware and see how it adds up in comparison to a Transformer tablet. Then consider things like aesthetics, savings in bulk/weight, etc. Plus, if I want to do some quick surfing, I either have to whip out my laptop/netbook or squint at a smartphone screen, but could accomplish this with a tablet...

It's just all about what you need and what you want. For some, the Transformer is too much. For others, it fits a price vs convenience niche very nicely. Would it be great to have it lower priced? Sure would! But, keep in mind that companies like ASUS want to put out quality products AND make a profit - they can't compete on a price point with something like, say, the Kindle Fire, which Amazon can sell at a loss and still make a profit down the line through content. And, just because there ARE cheaper tablets out there, that doesn't mean those cheapies match up to the Tranformer in terms of power and quality.

All of this will probably become a moot point anyhow, once Windows 8 hits the tablet scene. I could see something like the Prime running Win8 and basically nullifying most of your arguments about the tablet cost/functionality comparison.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yes, I'm sure one can utilize these for business too, however, I don't see any advantage (maybe you can name it for me) of a $500 tablet vs. $500 laptop other than a form factor and quality of tablet's screens (how much you would prefer that vs. a larger screen is a different matter I guess). Once again, productivity wise (check the specs - cpu, ram, storage, OS stability, compatibility with well developed business softwhare, etc, etc) I do not see how a spending of $500 on an iferior device can be justified (other than if you, again, need a much smaller device, do not care about specs much, etc). Utilization wise tablets are somewhere in between modern smartphones and entry level netbooks/laptops, so their affordability should be adequate.

I am not saying these are useless, its just their pricing needs to mature to a more realistic level.

The reason you don't see an advantage, is that you're thinking small. You obviously don't have any real time working with a tablet, so you can't see the many benefits. I understand that. I was the same way when I bought my Transformer (which I originally bought just for entertainment purposes). After a few days, I realized just how powerful a tool it could be, and I decided to use it for work. I've become so dependent the many apps that help increase my productivity, that upgrading to the Transformer Prime just makes sense. Anything a laptop can do (business wise), this can do, and usually better.

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