Asus's Transformer tablet -- which converts quickly between a slim 10-inch Android tablet and a netbook -- has been quietly successful, and the Taiwanese company is preparing a more advanced version called Transformer Prime. This will be the first tablet to use Nvidia's impressive quad-core Tegra 3 processor, code-named Kal-El. It may also be the first to run Android 4, which is known by its lumbering code-name Ice Cream Sandwich, though it will initially ship with the Honeycomb version.
Jonney Shih, Asus's co-founder and chairman, gave a sneak preview of the Transformer Prime when he was interviewed on stage during All Things D's AsiaD conference in Hong Kong this week. The official launch is expected on November 9, though it is not known how widely it will be available, or the price.
The Transformer Prime continues the tradition of the original, reviewed here on May 19, but sports a brushed metal finish similar to Asus's attractive Zenbook models, which were unveiled on October 12. It will also have mini-HDMI and other ports, plus an SD card slot.
Having batteries in both the tablet (screen) and keyboard (netbook) segments, the Prime will offer a battery life of about 14.5 hours.
The Transformer is well named, because it transforms from a tablet into a netbook, or vice versa. Calling the follow-up the Transformer Prime sounds reasonable, because it will be a premium version of the current model. However, Transformer Prime may also evoke thoughts of Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots in a cartoon war against the Decepticons. Whether this is a good or bad thing remains to be seen.
ASUS - The next Transformation (teaser) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp6MZupUq78