ASUS Transformer Prime: The Android tablet to rule them all

Summary:The ASUS Transformer Prime will be available in just a week or two, and definitely looks like the tablet to beat.

This tablet obsession is a sickness, I admit it. The thinner the slate, the lighter the weight makes for an outstanding tablet in its own right. Top it off with great hardware specifications and special accessories and you may have the best tablet ever produced. The ASUS Transformer Prime is coming to market in just a few weeks, and it is looking like the best Android tablet of the lot.

The list of specifications on the Transformer Prime is as good as it gets:

  • Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor
  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (ships with Honeycomb, first tablet to get upgraded)
  • Super IPS+ display (1280x800) with Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 8MP rear camera (F2.4 aperture), 1.2MP front camera
  • 1 GB memory; 32/64 GB storage; microSD slot; microHDMI port
  • 12 hour battery life
  • Dimensions: 263 x 180.8 x 8.3 mm; 586 g (10.35 x 7.11 x 0.32 inches; 1.29 lbs.)

These specifications make the Transformer Prime the most powerful tablet, encased in the thinnest and lightest package. Throw in the ASUS claim that this will get Ice Cream Sandwich this year and you have a winner.

The Transformer Prime is the tablet to get for anyone in the market for an Android tablet based on what we have covered so far. What sets it even further ahead of the pack is the keyboard dock that turns the Prime into a full laptop replacement. Many consumers aren't willing to give up the keyboard, and this solution is as good as any.

The mobile dock for the Transformer Prime is as feature rich as the tablet that pops into it:

  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Large trackpad
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Full SD slot
  • Second battery
  • 1123 g, 2.47 lbs both tablet and laptop dock

The Transformer Prime tablet snaps into the laptop dock for transport just like a thin notebook. The "lid" opens to expose the two pieces working as one, not much thicker than the ASUS Zenbook it resembles. The chiclet keys look as good as that on many laptops, and include special keys to control the Transformer Prime without lifting hands off the keyboard.

The USB port and SD card slot aren't the only benefits added by the laptop dock. There is a second battery that not only extends the tablet battery life to 18 hours, it also charges the tablet while docked. This arrangement is finally thin and light enough to make it a viable option for my work. I could use the tablet most of the time and pop it into the dock when I need to do some serious writing.

The ASUS Transformer Prime will retail for $499/$599 (32GB/64GB), and the laptop dock an extra $149. This is not cheap but is competitive with the iPad 2. I can't wait to get my hands on one for a full review, along with the laptop dock. Hear that, ASUS?

To appreciate the value of the ASUS Transformer Prime and dock, take a look at this video from Ritchie's Room.

See also:

Topics: Hardware, Android, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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