ASUS Ups Tablet Performance with the Transformer Prime

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Showing an aptitude for instantly converting from tablet to notebook via an optional snap-on keyboard docking station, the original ASUS Eee Pad Transformer was a surprise hit in 2011 among users who refused to compromise between the freedom of a tablet and the productivity of a notebook. With the next version, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, ASUS is raising performance by incorporating a more powerful central processor, the NVIDIA Tegra 3. ASUS describes the Prime as the world’s first quad-core tablet.  

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime features a 10.1-inch Super IPS+ display made from durable and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, which is viewable at angles up to 178° and produces a crisp and accurate color range. Available in capacities of 32- or 64GB of solid-state memory, the Transformer Prime is just a third-inch thick and weighs 1.29 pounds. The Prime comes in a champagne or amethyst-gray finish, colors that match your choice of TF201 Keyboard Docks.

Even without the dock, the Transformer Prime contains a micro-HDMI port for connecting to a Full HD display with super-smooth playback. The Prime essentially becomes a mobile home theater that includes SonicMaster audio technology. The Prime also provides access to your computer and media files with MyCloud and MyNet. MyCloud provides you with access to digital content such as music, photos and videos from the Cloud. MyCloud also lets you remotely access both PC and Mac computers with your Transformer Prime. MyNet makes it easy to stream digital media wirelessly from your Prime to other devices such as an HDTV or a desktop computer using your home network. The Prime runs the Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS with Adobe Flash support and is upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Each tablet contains a 1.2MP front and 8MP rear camera.

More than a multimedia player, the Prime includes several productivity apps. Polaris Office 3.0 lets you read and edit work files and is also compatible with Microsoft Word (.doc), Excel (.xls) and PowerPoint (.ppt) files. There’s also a built-in PDF reader. SuperNote lets you take and integrate notes via keyboard, finger input, photo and video capture or audio notes. You’ll also have access to more than 500,000 apps through the Android Market.

Add one of the TF201 Keyboard Docks, and you’ll not only get a physical QWERTY keyboard with trackpad, but also a USB 2.0 port and SD card slot. The dock contains a rechargeable battery, adding six hours of power for tablet use. Combined with the Prime’s embedded battery, the tablet can operate for up to 18 hours.

To protect the tablet’s screen as you carry it about, ASUS is offering the Transformer Cover for TF201 in gray, green, black or pink. The folding cover doubles as a stand.

Eee Pad Transformer Prime
Display 10.1" LED backlit screen (1280 x 800) 10 finger multi-touch Super IPS+ Panel
OS Android 3.2 Gingerbread, upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
CPU NVIDIATegra3 Quad-core
Memory 1GB
Storage 32- or 64GB
Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Cameras 1.2MP (front), 8MP Auto focus (rear) with flash / F2.4 large aperture
Ports 40-pin connector to PC or optional dock, MicroSD, Mini HDMI, headphone out/mic in
Sensors G-Sensor, ambient light, gyroscope, E-Compass, GPS
Battery 12 hrs; 18 with optional dock
Dimensions 10.35 x 7.12 x 0.33"
Weight 1.29 lb
   
TF201 Keyboard Dock
Keyboard 83 keys and touchpad
Ports 40-pin connector, USB 2.0, SD card slot
Battery Adds 6 hrs to tablet
Dimensions 10.35 x 7.12 x 0.35"
Weight 1.2 lb