Tablets Guide

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime review

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime - Ultra Thin, Ultra Powerful (Updated!)

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Overview and Design

** Updated on 3rd  February 2012 **

The original article published on 26th December 2011 has been updated with performance results from an updated Android 4.0 equipped ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Price. If you've read this article previously, head straight to the updated performance and battery life sections.

ASUS' Prime Time

The first mention of quad-core Android tablets arriving by end of the year was made by NVIDIA's CEO and President Jen-Hsun Huang during an interview in September. While he prided the company for being the first chipset maker to deliver a mobile quad-core processor, he kept everybody guessing as to which Android vendor would be the first to bring a quad-core tablet to the market. 

ASUS came on the radar scope when Lambda Tek Component Shop revealed an unnamed device with the model number TF201-1I020A on its listing. It was reported to have a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage capacity and a 10.1-inch display. Weeks later, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled the Eee Pad Transformer Prime at the AsiaD Conference, where he proudly showed off a refined design that boasts an ultra thin 8.3mm thin profile. With Acer and Lenovo launching their quad-core tablets in early 2012, ASUS has an early head start in the market with the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Read on to find out what ASUS has packed in its new tablet: - 

 ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Wi-Fi)

  Key highlights of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Wi-Fi)

  • Google Android Honeycomb 3.2 (will come with Android 4.0 out of the box when it is available)
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor 
  • 10.1-inch LED backlit screen with Super IPS+ / 1280 x 800 pixels 
  • 1GB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  •  Bluetooth V2.1 + EDR
  • 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with flash + F2.4 aperture / 1.2-megapixel front camera
  • 32GB/64GB internal storage 
  • microSD card reader 
  • 3300mAh battery
  • 586g (without keyboard dock)
  • 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm (without keyboard dock)
     
  • Price and Availability: Available in early January 2012


Design Aspects

Primed to be a worthy sequel to the original Transformer, the Transformer Prime needs more than a processor upgrade to make its debut. It would be an understatement to claim that ASUS "merely" redesigned the slate. It seems that ASUS gave the Transformer Prime a complete design overhaul to stay fresh, and more importantly, a step or two ahead of the competition.

The Transformer Prime may sport the same display size (10.1-inch) as its predecessor, but under the hood, it comes with new features that will blow the competition away.

Notice the differences in dimensions of the two Transformers. The Transformer Prime measures 263 x 180.8mm while the Transformer measures 271 x 177mm

ASUS managed to shave off more than 4mm of thickness on the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The difference is apparent when you hold the 8.3mm thin Transformer Prime in one hand and the 12.98mm thick Transformer on the other.

From left to right: The volume controls, micro HDMI port and microSD card reader.

On the top left hand corner of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the Power button. There is more than enough space available for ASUS to design a larger button but unfortunately it wasn't made us such. There is also a tiny LED indicator on the button itself which lights up when you charge the tablet.

The 3.5mm audio output jack is situated on the right side of the ASUS Eee pad Transformer Prime. 

You will find the two latches flanking the proprietary connector at the bottom. As there is no microUSB port present, you can only charge the tablet via the proprietary cable or via its optional keyboard dock station which doubles as an external battery pack. The two latches secure the Transformer Prime to the keyboard docking station, which we will share more in the following page.

Similar to its Zenbook, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime comes with a metallic spun finish on its back that is aesthetically pleasing. In contrast to the plastic shells of some tablets, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime is very well-built.The use of aluminium gives the slate a very solid feel in the hands. It also minimizes the issue of fingerprints and smudges that plagues some tablets.

Overall, ASUS did a great job with the design of the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The choice of using aluminum not only makes the Transformer Prime lighter (586g), it also gives the device a very solid feel. Although the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the lightest (565g) among the 10.1-inch tablets, we are willingly to overlook the extra bulk and opt for a better designed tablet like the Transformer Prime. Having said that, you will feel right at home using the Transformer Prime in one hand although two-handed operation will obviously be more comfortable. 

The major gripe we had with the Transformer Prime is its glossy display which is a fingerprint and smudge magnet. We found ourselves taking a cleaning cloth to wipe the display after a few minutes of usage. You may want to consider getting a screen protector to minimize the problem.