Avid Android devotees have been sitting on pins and needles for nearly 3 weeks. They are in rabid anticipation of the Transformer tablet, that ASUS chairman Jonney Shih gave a sneak preview of at the AsiaD conference last month. Granted, it was only a sneak peek, but he rattled off a list that got the salivary gland juicing up: 8.3mm thick, 10.1-inch screen, microSD slot and mini-HDMI out, plus an Ice Cream update before year’s end. And this will be the first quad-core tablet, with NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 SoC. I bet that got your attention.
The going price for the tablet, beginning in December, will be a mere $499 at 32G storage and $599 at 64G. The additional docking with keyboard will run you $149. There is more to the specs on this baby, too. The screen is a Super IPS+ display, composed of Gorilla Glass, at 1280×800 resolution. ASUS included its own technology to brighten the screen for outdoor viewing. It boasts a 600 nits brightness and 178-degree viewing angle.
Transformer Prime gets more enticing with the 1G RAM, gyroscope, GPS, and SonicMaster audio. The audio is exclusive to ASUS, providing acoustically accurate and crisp audio. The crystal clear experience reflects a wide staging of improved vocal reproductions and truer sound, all around.
The cameras on-board include a 1.2MP front-facing and an 8MP rear with auto-focus supported by a f/2.4 lens. The back-illuminated CMOS is capable of 1080p video, too. There is a 30% increase in color enhancement, beating out the competitors tablets, and the additional features of touch-to-focus depth of field and reduction of noise in low-light conditions.
The original claims were that the tablet could hold out 14.5 hours, but now the company reports that the tablet, by itself, can last 12 hours on the 22W battery. When you attach the dock, the lifespan jumps an additional 6 hours. This is the longest battery lifespan of any tablet on the market. It will last you the entire length of a trans-Atlantic flight.
The dock is onoly 1.2 pounds and the benefits can be significant. Consider the full-sized SD slot, the touchpad, and the USB 2.0 port. As far as software is concerned, the unit comes equipped with SuperNote, Polaris Office, and Android 3.2.
The aluminum casing is akin to the Zenbooks, but in two colors. This gives it a classy design that is unparalleled in tablets. The weight, at 1.29 pounds (586 grams), and the thickness, at 0.33 inches (8.3mm), brings it in at an even thinner size than either the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or the iPad 2. Don’t count on your old Transformer dock making the leap to the new tablet. The thinness might have been a give away for that.
The whole machine is wrapped in a hydro-oleophobic material. This leaves no fingerprints behind, not exactly a deterrent to thieves and murderers who might touch the laptop. Asus Eee Pad Transformer imparts an impression that you are touching a revolutionary tablet design. You might buy it just to feel more important about yourself.