The Asus Transformer Prime: Raw Tegra 3 quad-core processing power

For the sake of absolute transparency, I’ll openly admit that I want this tablet, so yes my opinion is biased.  Nonetheless, I will try my hardest to present everything that follows as objectively as I can, to ensure you are fairly informed.

By all accounts, the Asus Transformer Prime will be the all conquering champion that Android has been waiting for in it’s battle against the iPad.  Well, that at least is the account you’ll get when you read articles of those from the Google Android camp, of course, Apple advocates will more than likely tell you a different story.  I think it’s fair to say, that those who have an interest in the tablet format but are neutral  towards a manufacturer or operating system, are a little bit excited by the prospect of what the Asus Transformer Prime has to offer.  So let’s get straight into the good stuff.

Design - Sleek elegance

The basic tablet format, for the most part, is fixed.  The main variations are in the dimensions, casing and docking/port options.  The Asus Prime will have a 10.1″ Super IPS+ display with the tech screen of choice, the Corning Gorilla Glass.  You’ll see mention of the Super IPS+ display, which is an acronym for In-Plane Switching, a technique developed to improve viewing angles by allowing the crystal of a display to move parallel to the panel plane instead of perpendicular to it.  This difference allows a reduced amount of light scattering and in turn gives wide viewing angles and good colour reproduction.  The ‘+’ is Asus’s indication that there has been improvements over the previous variant that was present in the predecessor.  The back casing would appear to be a lightweight, brushed metal alloy.  All this is a strong statement of intent and encouragement that the user experience will be of a high quality.

Hardware - Power and grunt

Perhaps the standout feature of the hardware of the Transformer Prime, is the Tegra 3 quad core processor.  Upon release, it will be the first tablet to sport this new configuration which also has a dedicated ultra low voltage fifth-core for handling non-CPU intensive tasks.  The biggest benefit of this is the improvement in battery life which is an approximate total of 12-hours, which is boosted to 18 hours when docked.  Other features include what Asus are calling SonicMaster Technology, which in everyday terms translates as great speaker.  Sound quality is perhaps not the biggest consideration for most guys purchasing a new tablet, but if you’re at home or in a public place and want to watch a video clip, you’ll really appreciate the different in audio quality.  The final hardware point I’ll highlight, is the improvements made to the touch responsiveness, with Asus claim to have halved the normal response time form when the device detects your finger movement and follows along.  It’s an issue that most would generally consider to be a matter of software but this attention to detail, will ensure that Asus as a manufacturer will be held in high regard and compete closely with the likes of Samsung and Motorola.

Software - Android Ice Cream dessert

Currently, what the guys over at Asus have running on the Prime is Android’s Honeycomb OS, not a bad OS but not the latest.  What has already been stated, is that it won’t be long before the Prime will be running Ice Cream Sandwich, the unification OS that will be on both Android tablets and mobile phones.  Clearly, much like the approach taken by Apple with their iOS operating system, having one OS that runs one both mobile phone and tablet is great for app developers and should further help the proliferation of app production and the overall standard of apps available to your Android device.  There has been a lot already said about Ice Cream Sandwich, and perhaps it isn’t the huge leap that everyone wanted to see from Android but even this reiteration of the Android system comes with much welcomed improvements and is the most polished version of Android yet.

So there a brief run through of some of the highlights of the Asus Transformer Prime, there is in fact a bunch of stuff that I haven’t mentioned, such as the hydro-oleophobic coating on the screen or the 8MP camera with an auto-focusing f/2.4 lens and a back-illuminated CMOS sensor capturing 1080p video.  But, I think I covered enough to intrigue you enough to do a bit more digging of your own, and really, that’s where you’re really going to find out what’s interesting to you.  When you find that interesting point, whether it be positive or negative, please share in the comments below.

Below is an early video of the Asus Transformer Prime running the hardware intensive game, Glowball, to demonstrate its capabilities.

Not sure I was entirely objective in this post. :-P

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