Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
• Incredible gaming processor
• Large amount of battery life
• Thin & light design
• Ice Cream Sandwich OS
• Bright colourful screen
• Keyboard isn’t great
• Stale app selection
• Display not as good as Tab 10.1
Asus has a brilliant habit of providing the most powerful and capable products on the market, and they’ve done the same with this tablet. With a processor to take on the iPad 3’s, a thin and sleek design, responsive browsing and many new OS features, this is one of the major contenders for the best tablet.
It seems everyone is throwing their hat in for a chance at some of the tablet users, we can see why as well, tablets are a growing commodity and a lot of different sort of people want one – Asus is appealing to the ones that want a powerful and great tablet, one that will survive a few winters.
The Transformers display is very nice indeed, the tablet has a good amount of colour density and images do look sharp and bright, but the display isn’t the best you’ll find on the market – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 slightly beats it, with more crisp images.
Videos, again, are okay, but when put against the Tab 10.1; they become slightly duller and don’t look as good as they do on the Samsung tablet.
There is a good amount of brightness on the tablet and you can read text very clearly, without having to look closely at the words.
Asus have, this time, gone for a more premium build, with a spun metal case, it has moved away from Android’s default cheap plastic design. The design has enough space to have a MicroSD holder, which many tablets haven’t placed on.
The keyboard dock is very lightweight and gives you a better way to type up letters or documents; it does give the tablet a lot more netbook feel though, so you do question the price.
Weight is always an issue with tablet models going for the metal exterior, even though the Transformer Prime isn’t the lightest tablet on the market, it doesn’t feel like a hefty chunk of metal.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime was the first tablet to be promoted to the new Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, a move that was applauded by the tech community. Even though the overall feel of the interface hasn’t changed, there are some new features.
Cloud storage seems to be getting bigger every day, with more and more people switching to applications that will do this, rather than USB file moving. Asus have noticed this, and gave all users a free 8GB on their version of the cloud storage app. It works very well and 8GB’s is more than most cloud storage providers are willing to give out for free.
Another fun feature is CPU battery usage, this is one of the first tablets to implement this feature, and you can change how much the CPU can use. There are three different choices: normal, balanced and power-saving.
The operating system comes fitted with a good amount of fun and productive applications, which most users find to be quite welcoming. You have a lot of freedom with applications and the user interface, which is another plus, we all hate devices that gives you no freedom.
The Android Market isn’t as substantial as the iPad Apps Store, but it does have most of the big applications, Dropbox, Evernote and Angry Birds.
Applications work very well on the Asus tablet and there are is near to no hiccups, even when you are using multi-apps.
Playing games on the Transformer Prime is one of the most outstanding things I’ve seen, not only are games on the tablet beautiful, they are at the quality you would expect an Xbox Arcade game to be. Water features, action scenes and high speed chases all feel realistic.
The Asus tablet comes featured with the Tegra 3 quad-core graphic processor, which makes playing games and using applications feel absolutely incredible. The loading pace is on par with the iPad 3, and game quality is on a whole different level to any tablet we’ve ever used.
Like I said previously, this is the first tablet to have the ICS update, while others have started implementing their version of ICS with their skin, Asus were the first.
This tablet has a MicroSD card as well as an inbuilt cloud storage application, so you will never have to worry about being over-encumbered by apps or music.
There is no 4G on this tablet, but we did expect this, given that when the tablet was released 4G was only just starting to be deployed in areas of the US.
The 3G connection should suffice your needs though, with good speeds on the internet. Setting up Wi-Fi connections on this tablet is easy.
We do find that tablet camera, no matter how big, are awful – whether it’s the size of the tablet or just trying to get it right for the image, we haven’t met one yet that is up to scratch with last year’s editions of smartphones.
This Asus tablet has a rear 8-megapixel camera, one of the largest on a tablet, so we did give it a few shots to see if it was up to any type of standard.
The tablet also comes with a 1.2-megapixel front camera, for Skype chats and front photos, it is okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it for photos.
There is a lot of compelling features on the Asus tablets camera and it does do a good job of taking images. Auto-focus and brightness work relatively well, although still nothing on most smartphone standard.
While we still do not believe that using a tablet camera is a good option, this is one of the better options if you want to do that.
The battery life on the Asus Transformer Prime is already very good, with 12 hours of battery life. This is an incredible step, especially since the Prime holds one of the most powerful CPU’s for tablets, ever.
With the keyboard dock, you get an extra 8 hours of battery life, so probably enough to keep you going two days on the tablet.
There is no USB charging for the tablet, though, so once you’ve run out of juice, the mains is the only way to charge the tablet.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is definitely one of the most powerful tablets that we’ve reviewed, whether it is as powerful as the new iPad 3 we doubt, but certainly has one of the best graphic processors on any tablet, and the battery life is splendid.
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