One of the hottest gadgets of this holiday season, the Transformer Prime (see our preview and review), is scheduled to be released the week of December 19th - that would be any day now starting today. In anticipation of the launch, Amazon re-launched pre-orders for all four color/size combinations after they went dark, disappeared completely, and even got cancelled in some cases shortly after the first wave was sold out.
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)?
Update 12/18/11: It's back again - all other variants are still showing the "sign up for availability alerts" message.
Looks like Amazon may be gearing up to start (re)taking pre-orders for the Transformer Prime, with the 64GB version in champagne being the first one to make its way back to the site. As you may already know, Amazon started taking pre-orders several weeks ago, but abruptly stopped (no reason has really been made clear as to why) and ultimately ended up cancelling many users' orders.
Another day, another awesome giveaway. Once again, our truly amazing pals at NVIDIA are providing the Tegra-powered tablet goodies. Today, we're giving away four tablets: 2 Sony Tablet S's, and 2 ASUS Transformers (the Transformers also come with the truly great keyboard docks) - and every winner will also receive a $25 AMEX gift card to purchase some of those sweet Tegra Zone games the day their prize arrives. This is an international contest.
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.