Up until now, we’ve only had speculation on the details of ASUS’s next big product, the successor to the original Eee Pad Transformer. But ASUS has just broken the tension with the final specs of the device, and it doesn’t disappoint. The first device on the market with NVIDIA’s brand-new Tegra 3 SOC, the quad-core Transformer Prime should be the fastest and most powerful tablet available when it lands in December of this year.
In addition to the landmark chip, the $499 tablet will provide 32GB of storage, a 1280×800 10.1″ Super IPS+ Gorilla Glass display with a nearly-horizontal 178-degree viewing angle, 1GB of RAM, a gyroscope, GPS, and a pair of cameras–1.2MP on the front and an auto-focusing 8MP with an illuminated CMOS sensor on the back. An extra $100 gets you twice the storage–64GB. The Transformer Prime also bears ASUS’s own SonicMaster technology, promising excellent audio. Like the original Eee Pad Transformer, the Prime’s main accessory is a $149 keyboard dock which doubles as a battery, extending the tablet’s 12-hour usable life by a full 6 hours, more than enough to last a hard day’s use. Unfortunately, the difference in dimensions between the Transformer and the Transformer Prime mean that the dock won’t be backward (or forward) compatible.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime ships with Android 3.2, although we’re told to look out for new about an inevitable ICS update in “early December.”
In terms of size, the Prime is a tiny bit thinner and a tiny bit lighter than an iPad 2, measuring 8.3mm (0.33″) thick and weighing in at 586g (1.29lb). Of course, both thickness and mass will increase if you decide to spring for the optional keyboard dock, but that brings it out of tablet territory to compete with ultralight notebooks.
For full details on the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the press release is below.
ASUS Announces the Eee Pad Transformer Prime
Featuring the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-Core Processor the Transformer Prime is designed to greatly enhance the mobile computing experience
Fremont, CA (November 8, 2011) – ASUS officially announces the world’s first tablet with the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor – the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is ultra-thin at 8.3mm (0.33″) and lightweight at 586g (1.29lbs) while featuring a stylish metallic swirl design with class leading enhancements including ASUS SonicMaster audio technology, an HD 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash and battery life rated for up to 18 hours* when combined with the optional mobile dock. Pricing will range from $499** (32GB) to $599** (64GB), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149**.
Incredibly Slim yet Incredibly Powerful
Featuring an ultra-slim form factor, the Transformer Prime is only 8.3mm (0.33″) thin and weighs in at a mere 586g (1.29lbs without dock). This makes watching movies, surfing the web, playing games, taking photos, finishing up homework or video chatting with friends or family so easy and natural that you’ll wonder if the Transformer Prime was designed specifically with you in mind. Its innovative metallic swirl design is made of aluminum for a secure yet extremely comfortable grip that comes in two gorgeous colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.
The Transformer Prime is the world’s first tablet to feature NVIDIA’s next-generation quad-core Tegra® 3 processor. With the quad-core CPU, 12-core GeForce® GPU and vSMP technology, the Transformer Prime delivers an optimum user experience featuring smooth multitasking capabilities, lightning fast app loading, a rich and fluid web experience, full 1080P HD video for realistic media playback or recording and of course, incredible gaming performance that allows you to experience games in an entirely new way.
Fantastic Battery Life
While the Transformer Prime is extremely slim and light, ASUS did not forget about battery life. Thanks to the advanced power management features of the Tegra® 3 processor and ASUS optimizations the Transformer Prime has a battery life of up to 12 hours*, but when combined with the mobile dock, it lasts up to an incredible 18 hours*, the longest battery life of any current tablet. That’s enough battery life for a trans-ocean flight, all-night game session, viewing several movies on a long road trip or even video recording, editing, and then playing back your child’s school play all in 1080P HD clarity.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime boasts a wide 178° viewing angle IPS display, protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass, which features new ASUS technology to enhance the brightness of the screen for a better outdoor reading experience while still offering a remarkably vivid and brilliant viewing experience of photos, books, videos, movies and web pages indoors. Thanks to Multi-Touch technology, you can use your fingers to do everything from swiping through photos, surfing the web, playing the latest games, typing emails, instant messaging, reading books or magazines, and starting your favorite movie.
A 1.2MP front camera allows for instant photos or high-quality video conferencing with friends, family or coworkers while an 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash takes brilliant photos or video thanks to a large F2.4 aperture, back illuminated CMOS sensor, touch-to-focus depth of field and low-light noise reduction to provide the clearest and sharpest photos or even 1080P HD videos.
The Transformer Prime offers impressive audio capabilities in a tablet, powered by ASUS exclusive SonicMaster technology, renowned for crisp and acoustically accurate audio. It produces crystal clear sound with a wide sound stage, increased audio fidelity, and distinct vocal enhancements for an immersive audio experience with your favorite music track, video, or movie.
The Transformer Prime is offered with either 32GB or 64B flash storage options for quick, efficient and reliable access to your applications. Both models feature a micro SD card slot, 3.5mm combo audio jack and micro HDMI port so sharing both what’s inside and on-screen is quick and easy. However, the function that gives the Transformer Prime its namesake is the mobile dock, which gives new meaning to the term versatility. This innovative and convenient design seamlessly provides the user with a keyboard and touchpad, along with limitless expandability options via the USB port and SD card slot.
ASUS will include several innovative applications like SuperNote that is fantastic for its ability to take, draw or record notes and Polaris® Office which is great for staying productive with the ability to read, edit or create Word, Excel and PowerPoint (MS Office 97-2007) compatible files. Thousands of top rated applications and games are also available at Android Market that fully takes advantage of the Transformer Prime’s amazing features and power.
*Battery life will vary based on usage patterns and options.
**Pricing will vary by country and SKU. North American MSRP pricing listed.