• Pros:
  • Long lasting batteries
  • Excellent performance
  • Smooth interface
  • Cons:
  • One less USB port
  • Shallow keyboard travel

A Prime Contender

Teased to the masses via online leaks throughout the last third of 2011, ASUS’ latest tablet device, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime is hailed as the successor to the company’s very own critically acclaimed pioneer venture into the slate market, the Eee Pad Transformer. Finally hitting the local markets not too long ago, we take a look at the much sought after device in this review.

The Transformer Prime is a peculiar device. Sharing the same 10.1 inch display real-estate as its predecessor, the Transformer Prime also shares the same number of ports, which include a microSD card slot, a micro HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack. The keyboard dock meanwhile houses one less USB 2.0 port, an SD card reader and a 22Wh battery that increases the Transformer Prime’s lifetime to a whopping 18 hours with just the tablet.

What sets the Transformer Prime apart from its predecessor is its overall more polished looks and svelte lines that is reminiscent of ASUS’ very own ZENBOOK line of Ultrabooks. Whilst it does add more sheen, this choice in aesthetics is not without fault. The entire device is prone to picking up smudges very easily, especially notable on the reflective IPS+ screen. We’re quite sure that ASUS is aware of this as they’ve also bundled a cleaning cloth together.

Powered by nVidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of R

AM, the Transformer Prime is nothing short of amazing. It plays 720p videos like butter, navigating through the home screen and menu felt silky smooth, and running multiple apps doesn’t hamper the performance of the device at all.
Where we do have some slight reservations ,however, is with the keyboard; the travel feels very shallow and rather uncomfortable to type with.

The Transformer Prime comes installed with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, which will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich within the next few months. There is currently only the 32GB WiFi-only model available, so if you’re looking for one with 3G, you will be disappointed.

CHIP CONCLUDE : With fantastic battery life, a powerful quad-core CPU and a UI that works very well, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is currently THE Android tablet of Android tablets out there. This is definitely the tablet to beat.

(previously published on issue February 2012)