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

By Sidney Wong - 3 Feb 2012

Features - Part 2: Operating System

First Android 4.0 Tablet in the Mass Market

When Google first released the source code for Android 4.0, we thought ASUS would be the first tablet to sport the new OS in a tablet form factor. Little did we know that a Chinese manufacturer managed to sneak past ASUS in coming up with the world's first Android 4.0 tablet. Despite that, it is comforting to know that the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime can easily blow this tablet out of the water with its hardware prowess.

Meanwhile, ASUS can safely claim another title for bringing the first Android 4.0 tablet to the mass market. Although the review unit featured in this article runs on Android Honeycomb 3.2, ASUS Singapore confirmed that the Eee Pad Transformer Prime will run on Android 4.0 out of the box when it is available in early January 2012. If you want to see Android 4.0 in action on the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, you can watch a video released by NVIDIA showcasing an early build of Android 4.0 on the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer here.

For now, we have to stick with Android 3.2 on the review unit of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. When it is available in early January 2012, it will be powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The familiar Honeycomb user interface greets you when browsing through the tablet.

Although the Eee Pad Transformer Prime runs on Android 3.2, ASUS did made some changes to the user interface to pump up its usability. Among the few changes we saw on the tablet are: 

You can now toggle additional the following shortcuts - Bluetooth, Silent Mode, Auto-Sync, GPS, Super IPS+ control and the three different power modes in the Notifications Panel.

ASUS throws in a set of its own customization settings where you can activate Super IPS+, a setting which sets the screen brightness to a high level for outdoor usage. You also can enable or disable screenshot. Featured only in the Transformer Prime is the Performance section, where you toggle between three  power modes (Balanced Mode, Normal Mode and Power Saving Mode). We will explain these modes in detail in the Battery Performance section.

Similar to Lenovo's implementation on its K1 and ThinkPad Tablet, you can now close and quit apps from the multitasking menu. A handy feature that is missing on most Honeycomb tablets.

ASUS adds yet another useful app called SuperNote. It is a fingertip note taker that allows you to scribble notes using your fingers.

You can insert photos, videos or text on a document in SuperNote. If you prefer your notes to be neat and tidy, you can opt to type your notes in via the physical keyboard. In general, SuperNote is an useful app for those who want to take notes on the go.