Although we heard rumblings that the Prime would be delayed, some lucky customers have already received their Asus Transformer Primes, and it was briefly available (again) on Amazon before quickly selling out (again). Based on the universally glowing reviews (including my own), you're probably well aware by now that the Prime is a truly excellent piece of tech. But how does it compare to its older brother, the Transformer (TF101)?
With a phone as highly anticipated as the Galaxy Nexus, it's understandable that people are (very, very) frustrated with the many rumored release datespassing with nothing to show and no official word, especially when stock of the phone is sitting in store rooms at retailers around the countries. Worse, many theories are that it's basically motivated by greed on the part of Verizon. No surprise, then, that even retailers are hopping on board the Verizon-sucks bandwagon:
If you'd like to purchase an unlocked US Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GSM), you can get one for $730.50 at Negri Electronics.
Amazon has just launched the Amazon Student app for Android, providing students with an easy way to shop for textbooks, electronics, apparel, and all the other gear they need to survive their college year.
In addition to browsing and buying stuff, the app also features a barcode scanner that gives students a chance to compare prices on anything they intend to buy from a brick and mortar store. The scanner also allows students to scan their old textbooks, games, DVDs, and a million other eligible products to see their current trade-in value.
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?
The Asus Transformer Prime: the first Android device to ship with a quad-core chip, courtesy of NVIDIA's brand new Tegra 3 (Kal-El) CPU. But there's more of a hook here than power alone - Asus has gone back to the drawing board for the Prime (model number TF201) and revamped the device from nearly head to toe compared to its predecessor, the TF101. It's substantially thinner, lighter, and more attractive than the rather portly 101, while packing a much more powerful CPU, better display, and reportedly better battery life.
Around midday yesterday, I received my review kit for the Transformer Prime, complete with dock, wireless gamepad, and HDMI cable - meaning I'm well equipped to take a deep dive into the hottest new tablet to hit stores. But to be completely honest, an in-depth review on a product this brand-spanking-new requires more hands-on time than can be had in two days. The full review will be up on Friday, but in the interim, enjoy the initial impressions and gadget porn below.
One of the most prominent new features on the Galaxy Nexus, and Ice Cream Sandwich, is that the soft-keys are displayed right on the screen. While the notion is a sound one, there will always be those who miss some of the legacy features left behind. In this case, those would be the Menu and Search keys, stalwarts of Android's interface paradigm since its release with the G1. What was once four buttons - Home, Menu, Back, Search* - has been whittled down to just Home and Back, along with the introduction of the new multitasking-purposed App Switcher button.
Update: Things have gone from "Looks like a weird software bug" to "Damn, this could well be a serious hardware issue". As some users had been suggesting, the problem does indeed link to use of 2G. However, it turns out that the issue can be replicated by the use of 2G even on another, proximate phone. As you can see in the video demonstration by kongzs7 below, the volume rocker keys' sensors are set off even when the phone is only at the bootloader.