04
Dec
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This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see What Is Your Ideal Tablet Screen Size?

In light of the slew of Asus Transformer Prime (the first tablet to pack NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 CPU) reviews and the pending release of said device, we are curious to know: would you still buy a dual-core tablet? Perhaps you would, but only for a secondary/budget tablet? Or only if it were smaller? Sound off in the poll below, and head down to the comments to share your thoughts.

Now That The First Quad-Core Tablet Has Landed, Would You Still Buy A Dual-Core Tablet?

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Myth

    no way! the prime, for instance, has not only more cores, but they are more efficcient so, more battery live, better screen, lighter, more appealing, better camera and yet the same price as the sony tablet S for example...

  • gunnar

    no way, and I am still waiting on a 3G version of the prime!! 3G is the biggest dealbreaker.

    • Lorenzo in a Benzo

      Its called tethering man

    • JimmyC

      Mine tethers nicely with my 3G Virgin Moble LG phone. Unlimited data, 300 minute talk for $25/mo. Hope that doesn't sound like a commercial but that's cheap man.

    • Zomby2D

      I wouldn't want a 3G tablet. Costs more, and would need a second data plan for a feature I'd only use once in a while. Tethering is the way to go for the rare trip where I'm not around a Wi-Fi access point. (Using bluetooth so it doesn't drain the phone's battery)

  • T Beiber

    I dont think the number of cores really matter. Its basically just an expensive toy anyway. Besides listening to music and surfing the net what else am i going to do with it. Better yet i'll just wait for the iPad3.

    • IDM

      For those of us that don't just sit back and wait for apple to tell us what to buy, we can find many uses for these devices. I wouldn't assume that an ipad user would realize that they are anything more than toys however since that is all you've been exposed to. My Android tablet is a multimedia powerhouse, not only for on the go, but controlling everything from xbmc to youtube remote to vlc remote. Estrongs allows file management between my local files, my nases, ftp sites and online storeage. Other than having a different.set of games, there is nothing I really pull out my laptop for anymore.

      • NYC_Dude

        Yes, but at the end of the day, it's still an expensive toy we all justify some use out of, let's not kid ourselves. You certainly lived well and good without a $500 toy to control "everything from xbmc to youtube remote to vlc remote".

        • Honu

          People needs more.... the world is like this, we were also living well whithout TV.. mmm perhaps better, many people stay at home nowadays, playing with their toys... yes .. girls too .. ;-)

    • Baris Bicer

      Hang on, did you just call the tablet an expensive toy and then say you wanted an iPad3?

  • Darkmyth

    No prime for me, i need a full sized usb port a full sized HDMI a card slot reader and 3 or 4g on the tablet if i wanted a keyboard i would buy a portable pc

    • Spydie

      You haven't been paying attention. It has a full sized USB port in the keyboard and why do you need a full-size HDMI when there are cables for the mini-HDMI available everywhere? And it has a card slot (called SD expansion port). Try reading before replying.

  • me

    I don't really see where the extra cores are going to enable me to do something that a dial core can't do. Its not like Android is going to have games that will require a quad core processor for a long time. Heck most computer games only require a dual core.

    • NuMoo

      You got that right!

      Most of the reviews show that the majority of the Cores are not active in average use. In other words you are paying for something you don't often use. So unless it is the same price as the current Tab/iPad I doubt that they will be a big hit, except for those small minded techno Geeeeeks who need to brag about Specs.

      • fonseca898

        You may not use all four cores now, but give it a year, and there will be apps/games that will be able to utilize this tablet's power. So by purchasing this you're future-proofing yourself somewhat. And the extra cores will allow you to do more at once without noticeable slowdown.

        That said, I'm probably going to get myself a dual-core tablet for Xmas. The Prime looks great, but if the Kindle Fire can be had for under $150, that (hopefully running CM soon!) will tide me over for a year or two.

        • drop

          which type of application do you expect to require 4 cores? Blueray transcoding? lol.

          Let us be honest (for once), those 4 cores are totally useless. In nVidia's OWN demo video, the 3rd core is rarely activated, and the 4th is always sleeping.

          Additionally, remember that the frequency is falling to 1.3Mhz when more than ONE core is switched on.

        • NYC_Dude

          Give it a year? Won't there be the Transformer Prime Excellente by then touting hexacores and trying to convince you that 6 cores is now the new cheese? Right now, Android is barely optimized for 4 cores, if at all, and i think that should be the focus. Optimizing the software vs just throwing more cores around.
          Saw a review of the Prime that mentioned a bit of lag and stuttering here and there. On a 4 core device at 1.3GHZ per core???

        • drksilenc

          playback of video that wasnt resampled to 720p because i dont want to resample several terrabyes of videos

    • Rich

      The allure to me here of the "four cores" is actually that little fifth core, which will hopefully help the Prime sip battery right out of the box. If it doesn't, then I guarantee you the modding community will figure out a way to utilize it. This tablet will have a very large community built up around it, no doubt about it.

    • Spydie

      Developers are already jumping on the bandwagon and making lots of games that require the quad core. You need to pay attention!

  • Jaz

    I would buy a dual core if it was under $200. Like the Samsung 10.1.

    • NuMoo

      Keep Dreaming!

      Better start your Attack plan for the Next Black Friday line you want to be the 1st few on line for!!

  • me

    I don't really see where the extra cores are going to enable me to do something that a dual core can't do. Its not like Android is going to have games that will require a quad core processor for a long time. Heck most computer games only require a dual core.

  • me

    I don't really see where the extra cores are going to enable me to do something that a dual core can't do. Its not like Android is going to have games that will require a quad core processor for a long time.

  • From the basement of the Science Building

    no, it still won't run iTunes.

    • NuMoo

      LOMAF!!!

      You got that right. But here's hoping!

    • Darkmyth

      yes it does, search for it

      • Spydie

        you're nuts. Android has never played itunes.

        • Rob

          Android doesn't RUN iTunes, but you CAN sync Android with iTunes via iSyncr. I believe that might be what Darkmyth was referring to. I used it on my TF101, and it worked flawlessly.

          I don't like iTunes, but I have a huge library from when I had my ipod, and I don't plan on letting my $1000+ investment in the music I purchased on it go that easily.

    • Spydie

      thank God. I hope android stays away from itunes forever.

      • GraveUypo

        yep, that's the worst thing about iphone and ipad, a complete deal breaker (for me anyways), and people actually WANT it?
        seriously.

  • me

    I don't see where the extra cores are going to enable me to do something that a dual core can't do. Its not like Android has games that require a quad core processor for a long time.

  • me

    I don't see where the extra cores are going to enable me to do something that a dual core can't do. Its not like Android has games that require a quad core processor.

    • me

      You know. When the site says it failed to post....... should it actually fail to post? Sorry for the repeats.

      • juniorsgv

        lol i was like. this guy really loves apple.

    • NuMoo

      Android Needs all the HELP it can get to topple iPad!
      We just lost Flash Support!
      Mind as well brag that it has more cores than any iPad.
      LOL

      • Spydie

        You didn't lose flash support. Honeycomb supports it and ICS will shortly after launch.

        • Rob

          Yes, however Adobe won't continue to support it for mobile devices, as they are now focusing on HTML5. That doesn't mean it won't still work on ICS or Honeycomb, but you're SOL if you think there will be future updates past Flash v11.1.

          In a sense, flash is dead.

        • drop

          Flash is like bink and realvideo : it is a technology of the past, it should have been killed long ago.

  • http://www.dogphilosophy.net Epicanis

    Still no GPS - If I can't also use it for mapping, I'm not going to bother with a tablet, no matter how many cores it has.

    I must admit it's somewhat tempting at that price point, but no GPS still breaks the deal for me.

    • ZRod

      Transformer Prime has GPS

      • NuMoo

        Dell's got GPS!

    • JimmyC

      Transformer has gps and Android Navigation. I use it for traveling. I have the first gen. I'm sure Prime has it also.

    • Rob

      Prime not only HAS a GPS, but it also has an e-compass, just like the original Transformer. Troll harder :D

    • Cameron Summerson

      Actually, I can't say that I've used a tablet yet that doesn't have GPS.

      • jake

        I think the Viewsonic gTablet doesn't have it.

        • Chris

          don't remind me :(

  • http://www.mountaintrainingschool.com Ben

    It has been shown time and again that the most important things are user interface and price, not processor speed, storage space, or otherwise. This is why the ipad and kindle fire are the hot market items right now, and no one cares about anything else.

    • NuMoo

      Well stated Ben!

      But unfortunately...the manufactures are getting into that stupid Specification game again because they have little else to distinguish one android from another Droid Tab! So to hide poor UI/Function/expectations the will try to say "me,me,me...." with spec's

    • Spydie

      Kindle fire isn't hot. It was on preorder, but most of them have been returned (I returned mine). You're smoking funny weed..processor speed, storage space and other things are what sells new iphone and tablets. Ipad is boring and old school (I just sold my ipad 2 to get a Prime). Only dummies that can't run android stick with apple.

      • NYC_Dude

        I concur with you on the Kindle Fire, biggest overhyped hype in the world. Better things to spend 200 bucks on. Back it went.

    • Aaron

      "no one cares about anything else" no one except all the people who preordered the prime so much that it became out of stock at several places even before its release....

    • jake

      By that logic nobody buys new top of the line phones either. Yeah, that's totally the case.

  • juniorsgv

    should've also included 'would you buy a netbook?'. lol. as much as i love my xoom tablet. i still prefer an actual keyboard, and dedicated word processor. they serve different needs. now with asus dropping to 299 and dock 129. you can have tablet combo w/ keyboard for same price of an i5 second generation laptop which to me would be the better investment while android figures itself out.

    • NuMoo

      $600-700 for a Tab with a keyboard is not worth it. 3rd party keyboards for $30 are available.

      What I don't understand is how any Android Tab manufacturer feels that they can compete with iPad for the same price!

      They got an OS for free, did not spend Billions on R&D like Apple but feel that their HALF BAKED product justifie the same or more money from the consumer.
      Props to Amazon for sell a low cost half baked product!!
      All the others need to drop the price at least by $100-150 on their product, as it is they are just sitting in the shelves of retailers.

      Learn from the mistakes from Palm and BB...

      We consumers aren't foolish. We go to the retailers and actually do test them out... and.....not that impressed with the Samsung 10.1 UI either.

      Flash was so bad and choppy.
      A 3rd party, iSwifter, now makes a work around for flash for Android Tabs and iPads also. So I guess flash wont be a selling point anymore.

      • Rob

        "We consumers aren't foolish"

        I distinctly remember from years past people spending well over $1000 for a "tickle me elmo" doll or "furby" to put under the tree. If it is shiny, new, and someone wants it enough they will pay anything for it. Especially when it is released at Christmas time in limited quantities.

    • Spydie

      You can get the same thing with an Atrix phone and a $50 dockpad for it. All for $50.01 at ATT. The dockpad dropped from $500 to $50 last night and the Atrix 1 dropped to .01 for a refurb.

      • fonseca898

        LOL! Try using it for a few minutes and then tell me it's the same thing. Slowest surfing ever.

        • jake

          Yeah, it's laggy and not pleasant to use, imo.

  • ZRod

    I was at a Best Buy to exchange something and afterwards asked a question about getting a 64 GB Transformer Prime. He then tried to sell me the original Transformer. I was slightly offended, I'm not an average customer. Aw, #firstworldproblems

    • djembeman

      I bet he doesn't even know anything about the new devices that are coming out. He's just trying to sell what he can so he doesn't get fired for poor sales.

      • jake

        It's easier to sell something in stock than sell something that hasnt' come out yet.

    • NYC_Dude

      Two things:
      either he/she didn't know anything else outside BestBuy inventory world (no surprise)

      or

      was applying the SWAN principle, Sell What's Available Now.

  • Kyle

    Well I've already have a dual core Tablet and I'm pretty happy with it. I do like to stay up to date with the latest tech, but I'll wait till Samsung comes out with their new set of Tablets with their new processors to even considering updating.

  • paladn

    And that is why Apple dominates the market! Companies have to understand that the times when you could sell a tech gadget based on more cores, more MHz, or more memory are over.
    Look into recent history. Usability is what sells, i.e. the software needs to be a perfect fit to the hardware. The average customer couldn't care less about the # of cores

    • GSLeon3

      Ummm... Why does Apple sell more you ask? Because of all the "artistic" baristas out there.

  • NuMoo

    If the Spec race is on....I want a slot to expand memory which runs of a Micro SD which I can get on the cheap....instead of being ripped off for a $100 just to go from 16Gb to 32Gb by the manufacturer like Apple does!

    I doubt the 4 cores are going to help me much!

    Think out side the box....Yeah!

  • Jsmith

    Check the performance reviews of transformer prime at Anand tech. With four cores and a full 30% faster than iPad2, it barely matches the performance of ipad2 which was designed a full year back.

    It means either of two things: 1) Asus screwed it up or 2) Android is a bloated OS that reduces performance of underlying software STUNNINGLY.

    Since I love Android, I think the problem is with Asus. They created a poor piece of hardware.

  • Jsmith

    Check the performance reviews of transformer prime at Anand tech. With four cores and a full 30% faster than iPad2, it barely matches the performance of ipad2 which was designed a full year back.

    It means either of two things: 1) Asus didnt do a good jobit 2) Android is a bloated OS that reduces performance of underlying software STUNNINGLY.

    Since I love Android, I think the problem is with Asus. They created a poor piece of hardware.

    • ZRod

      i for one am looking forward to seeing how much ics will improve performance .

    • CoolCustomer

      "it barely matches the performance of ipad2 which was designed a full year back."
      I'm not sure what benchmarks your looking at (probably only the GLBenchmark by far my least favorite) but time after time the prime exceeds the iPad2 and leaves its predecessor in the dust. More importantly it's fresh on the market, costs the same as the iPad2 and has more memory, more slots, better battery life, and is thinner and lighter. If you like the android platform there is no comparison, if you are impartial to the platform you are on there is no comparison, if you like the iOS platform you'll get the iPad(#) regardless but there still is no comparison.

    • dalingrin

      OR, there's more to performance than CPU clock rate and the number of cores.

      Tegra 3, unless the board uses DDR3, has crap memory bandwidth in comparison to A5..and pretty much every other SoC on the market today.

      On the GPU side the SGX543MP2 is likely faster than Tegra 3's GPU and the limited memory bandwidth mentioned above can have a big impact here too.

      • Interest

        Well said!

        Not all cores are built equally.

        Why don't I trade you my dual-core Atom notebook for you dual-core i5?

  • DKqwerty

    This question reeks of lack of empathy for people's individual economic situations. For most people, buying a tablet isn't about buying every feature they want, but about balancing features and price. This question assumes unlimited capital for all end users, a ridiculous and bigoted assumption to be sure.

  • Vorathe

    It hasn't landed yet...

  • http://bradhicks.livejournal.com/ J. Brad Hicks

    Not only would, did. Bought the 16 GB original Transformer and keyboard dock knowing that the Prime is coming out in a matter of days ... specifically because it was half price. A tablet is, by definition, a secondary/spare device for me; no way I could justify spending $700 on one, but no way I could turn down one that was only 20% slower for $350 counting the keyboard.

  • mike

    For web browsing, music, word processing, and video... you wont see huge practical performance bumps off from this... and who does serious gaming on these tablets? It's complete overkill. Not saying I wouldnt want one, just saying there's no reason to have 4 cores. Give me more than a couple gigs of ram and I'd be happier.

    • Tom

      What do you need a couple of gigs of RAM for if all you're doing is word processing, music, browsing and video? You realize you haven't named anything that requires more RAM than the device has yet you're acting like that's more of a restriction than the processor?

  • mcavic

    You want to buy a phone or a tablet based on features, not raw power. Different mobile OS's and even different versions offer vastly different software choices.

  • joee

    This is a defective poll folks. There's no mention of price. If quad core is an extra few dollars, absolutely. If quad core is an extra $200-$300, no way. Try your poll again and factor in cost. Toss this poll in the trash.

  • dalingrin

    Everyone saying no to dual cores will likely change their mind when MSM8960 comes out in a month or so.
    Same goes for Cortex-a15 but its further away.

    • Tyler

      Finally, I had to scroll to the bottom of the comments to see this!! When both Krait and A15 dual-core processors start showing up, hopefully, next year; people will realize that it's not all about core counts. They will be more efficient, smaller, and a lot more powerful than the A9's in the Tegra 3. The smartphone and tablet sector is advancing ridiculously fast right now!!

      • Joshua

        I was glad to see this pointed out somewhere other than my own comment. The expected performance increases from A15 cores are exceptional, and Samsung's newest Exynos will probably pair it with a far more favorable GPU (hopefully a multiple pipe PowerVR SGX), and it will demolish the GPU benchmarks.

        I do think battery life will be better on the Tegra 3, and especially on the Prime.

  • Tom

    Bad options in the poll, should've left a choice of "if it was cheap enough and I felt it had more value." If I was lucky enough to get a Touchpad for $99 when they had them on sale, it'd be hard to justify a Prime for $499, regardless of the number of cores. That being said, unless dual core tablets get REAL cheap, real fast, I'd grab the Prime right now.

  • Tyler C

    I was considering getting the 64GB Transformer Prime, but upon further consideration, I may shoot for the 32GB because between my phone and my would-be Transformer Prime, I would have over 64GB of storage anyway. Plus there is dropbox and box.net.
    My reason for getting the Prime though would be due to it being one of the first, if not THE first tablet that will receive the ICS update. Sure I have my Thunderbolt rooted and am familiar with the developer community, but if I have the option to get official releases without having to wait on the dev community to make an ICS rom for the Prime, then yeah, I am definitely going to do that. I am still waiting in eager anticipation of whether or not my Thunderbolt will have a successful and bug free ICS ROM anytime soon.
    And seeing as how I would be dropping $500 on this device, I would want it to be as future proof as possible, especially since my intentions with it are to have a device that effectively replaces my laptop.
    I haven't bothered getting any tablets up until now for that very reason. Realize that I have a 6-core gaming desktop I use 90% of the time, and a small 1.6GHz SINGLE-CORE ultraportable laptop that gets about 3hrs of battery life.
    So for me, quad-core + 12-18 hours of battery life, and immediate Android 4.0 are the main selling points. There are enough software options for Android to be able to take it to class, take notes on it, and have everything synced etc. That is the only purpose my laptop currently serves at the moment, schoolwork and web browsing.
    Not to mention I would have a substantially better screen, and greater portability, + the convenience of using a GPS on a 10" screen. My 12.1" laptop also doesn't even have bluetooth without having my USB bluetooth adapter plugged in, so all in all, if I sell my laptop, the Transformer Prime would actually be a substantial upgrade for me despite not running Windows 7.

  • Dan

    I think i will wait to buy a tablet. Maybe since technology is advancing so quick i will wait to buy a tablet with tegra 5, higher resolution screen and with a new battery i have read about with 10x battery life that should come out within 3 years. Why buy now, android would have fully matured by then.

    • GraveUypo

      that's... failed logic.

      don't think so much ahead. think more on the right now. do you need or really want a tablet? clearly not. then pass it until you do. don't plan your purchase of something you don't even really want.

      if you want to wait "until it's fully matured", or "the next wave of devices comes around the corner", you'll be stuck in an infinite loop, and end up never making a move or always regretting your purchase.

  • Glen

    Wow, some people get awfully angry in here over this thought of 4+ cores. Maybe your just too poor to afford these neat gadgets? I've pre-ordered my PRIME. My reason for doing so... great battery life, thinnest/lightest, best screen and oh yeah 4 cores (+1) which ICS has full support for. Page rendering will be instant and the interface all-in-all will just scream. It will be my first tablet, glad I waited past all the first few, iPad included. I'll have the first Quad Core device to continue my Android development on :P

  • Observer

    1. The Prime will be wifi only, according to Asus Germany.
    2. Tethering will eat up and spit out your battery life.
    3. The 10 inch tabs are big to carry around constantly.

    All the news seems focussed on quad core ten inch tabs. I am looking forward to the in between sizes, like the sgt 7.7, 8.9 and the motorola media edition. None of these will be quad core in the near future. But the sgt 10.1 i currently have is a bit big for mobile use.

  • flemlion

    If that Samsung 2GHz A15 dualcore was available right now, then the choice would be more difficult.
    As things stand, it's catch-up for the competition

  • Joshua

    I think the number of cores isn't Android's issue on tablets. I would happily buy an Android tablet that was a dual Cortex A15 with a more powerful GPU like the SGX543MP2. Perhaps we will see a contender come to the market with the MP4 that is being used in the PS Vita?

    I use a Tegra 2 tablet and an iPad 2 regularly and almost never had CPU processing issues on my Tegra 2 device. NEON would be nice, but I don't see a need for anything else other than a GPU that can hold itself up.

  • Interest

    Where's the answer for:

    "Yes, so long as those 2 cores aren't weak like Tegra 2"

    A speedy Exynos tablet would fly fast enough for me!

  • http://lolomfg.com jpswain

    3rd quarter 2012 Tegra4 is due to hit the retail market with 8 cores . Do I need it? No, I'll want it.
    I want a quad core tablet phone so that I only have one device to carry around.
    Say, 5 to 7 inches

  • Jake

    Okay, so here's the thing, do people still buy dual core laptops? The answer is of course yes. So long as the dual core tablets can provide not only price cuts, but design improvements and intuitive UX's. I hope that companies can further develop their dual core tablets and make them even better. I personally love my Xoom and feel that ICS will make it complete.

  • Athsuran

    I would like a 4 cores tablet, but not more than this. I think 2 cores are few for running perfectly honeycomb for example. But with 4 cores it would just works perfectly! But, i don't think o would need it for gaming or something like that, because there are no games wich need such power to run.

    I would buy a 4 cores tablet now, i'm gonna wait for google to launch it's nexus tablet in february, than i will buy it, but after that i won't need another tablet.

  • http://www.androidauthority.com Brandon

    was dissapointed with tegra 2 performance till i overclocked it, no complaints now. would love a prime but not worth the upgrade now that my xoom is at 1.5 or 1.7

  • Kaskade

    Doesn't have to be a quad-core, Qualcomm's dual-core Krait chip is nearly as powerful. Quads are just a marketing hype.

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