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.
Adding to the heap of Transformer Prime mania, ASUS has revealed to us the official release date for one of the most hotly anticipated Android tablets to date.
ASUS tells us that the Transformer Prime, (the world's first Tegra 3 tablet), should be available starting December 19th in North America (the previous estimate of December 12th has been ruled out, in an update from ASUS), with a rumored December 1st release date in Taiwan.
Giving would-be Transformer Prime owners one more thing to drool over, the first Tegra 3 tablet has made an appearance on Nenamark's site, alongside just about every other Android device in existence. For those not in the know, Nenamark is a graphics performance benchmark for Android, and maintains a great reputation for accuracy.
As you can see, the Transformer Prime's nearest tablet competitor is Samsung's GT-P6210, aka the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus.
While we have basically all of the info about the ASUS Transformer Prime, we are missing one of the most important details of all: the release date. ASUS has yet to unveil this last detail, but Newegg is pegging the Prime for a December 8th release date on its pre-order page.
While Newegg is usually a pretty reliable source that isn't quick to just slap a random date on device pre-orders, I would still take this with a grain of salt until ASUS makes the announcement itself.
Announced earlier this month, the ASUS Transformer Prime is the world's first quad-core Tegra 3 device and it is truly a beast. But don't take our word for it, check out NVIDIA's demo of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich running on the device.
The US product page of the device went live a few days ago, and developers and other enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the official source code and user manual for the Transformer Prime are now also available via the "download" section.
It seems like Asus' Transformer Prime has been constantly making headlines since before it was announced. Giving those looking forward to the tablet/netbook hybrid another bit of news to drool over, the first hands-on video of the Prime has surfaced on YouTube.
It's worth noting that the tablet featured in this video is pre-production – it's running Android 3.2.1., and using hardware that may not be finalized for production or sale.
We've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now and have even seen some nice hands-on action and a video, but, finally, the official site went live for for the ASUS Transformer Prime last night. In case your memory is failing you, here's a quick refresher on this sexy beast of a tablet:
- 8.3mm thick
- Weighs 86g
- NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-core CPU
- Android™ 3.2 Honeycomb (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Upgradable)
- Full QWERTY keyboard with touchpad and USB port, while also extending the battery to 18 hours when combined with the mobile dock
- Ultra-wide 178⁰ viewing angle and ultra bright Super IPS+ panel protected by scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass
- MicroSD Card Reader
- Micro HDMI port
- 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash and back-illuminated CMOS sensor
And here is that video of it running Ice Cream Sandwich:
You can check the official site for the full workup of in-depth features and specs, of which there are a lot, as well as check out some sexy pictures of the new tablet.
You know what you need on a Tuesday morning? Some news about three of the most anticipated things coming out before the end of the year all wrapped into one video: the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Tegra 3 processor, and Ice Cream Sandwich.
After the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich source code, the guys at NVIDIA got together with the Prime crew from ASUS to get a build working on the Prime as quickly as possible.
It looks like those of us who are getting amped up for the release of ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime have one more thing to look forward to – an awesome magnetic folding cover which will attach to the Prime's aluminum frame and fold up to hold the tablet in portrait or landscape orientation, at a variety of angles.
This cover is, no doubt, inspired by the popular cover Apple introduced with the iPad 2, but puts an interesting twist on the concept, adding a few folds, and giving the case the overall appearance of an origami sculpture.