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Asus Transformer Prime review

Tegra 3 and ICS tablet is a winner
Fri Feb 10 2012, 17:42
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Product Asus Transformer Prime TF201
Specifications 10.1in Super IPS+ WXGA Gorilla Glass 1280x800 screen, Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android Honeycomb 3.0 upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 802.11a/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x microHDMI, 1 x microSD, 1 x 2-in-1 audio jack, 1 x SD card reader, 2 x proprietory charging ports, 8MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera, up to 18 hours battery with keyboard dock
Price £499

TAIWANESE HARDWARE MAKER Asus had a surprise hit with the Eee Pad Transformer in mid-2010, outdoing manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola when it came to making an Android tablet.

The sequel to the critically-acclaimed hybrid tablet has been highly anticipated ever since Asus announced that it would have an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a Super IPS+ 10.1in Gorilla Glass display, an 8MP camera and 18-hour battery life.

The Transformer Prime is definitely one of the most beautiful and well-crafted hybrid devices that we have seen. Both the tablet and dock have a machined-aluminium casing that provides protection and gives them a premium feel.

Asus Transformer Prime tablet

In its standalone form, the Transformer Prime looks similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. There are no buttons on the front of the device, with the webcam being the only noticeable feature on the bezel. The back is similar, with only the 8MP rear camera taking up space.

At 8.3mm thick and a weight of 586g, the Transformer Prime is comfortable to grip and lightweight enough to hold with one hand. The total weight of the device is bumped up to just over 1.1kg when docked with the keyboard. This is in line with most other 11in laptops such as the Apple MacBook Air and Asus Zenbook UX21E. However, the thickness and weight of the Transformer Prime is all the more impressive when you consider that the screen and keyboard dock both house individual batteries.

Asus Transformer Prime tablet side on

When slotting the tablet into the dock, it locks into place with a satisfying click and feels very secure, especially when compared to other hybrid devices such as the Acer Iconia Tab W500. The hinge has a reasonable amount of flexibility, although it doesn't quite tilt back as far as we would have liked.

Superb IPS+ display
The 10.1in Super IPS+ display has 1280x800 resolution. This is the same resolution as is found in competing tablets such as the Motorola Xoom 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

We found that text and images were reproduced superbly on the Transformer Prime. Colours pop out of the screen and video playback is one of the outstanding features. Brightness is excellent when turned up to full, and there is an Outdoor mode that cranks this up even further to minimise the impact of sunlight.

Asus Transformer Prime tablet display quality

Having handled all of the high-profile tablets that are available, we found the Transformer Prime has the best tablet display on the market at the moment, including the Ipad 2.



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