Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

Summary: The best Android tablet of 2011 -- the quad-core Asus Transformer Prime -- may roll-out just in time for Christmas after all.

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Reviews of the world's first quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 tablet, the Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime, are in: This is the Android to get this holiday. But before you finalize your pre-order for a Transformer Prime Wi-Fi, you should know that there is currently no clear roll-out date for the U.S. yet, which may affect your gift giving plans.

While both CNET and The Verge are reporting that the Transformer Prime will be available online on December 12 then in stores on December 19, Engadget is saying December 19 online and retail the following week (December 26), SlashGear cites this from an Asus source: "“We expect availability to start the week of 12/19 based on the pre-orders and inbound shipment schedules.” Confused? If you've already pre-ordered your Transformer Prime, it sounds like the tablet should be able to ship by the 19th but there is no guarantee so you may need a backup gift or should prepare your recipient. Those hoping to try one out in person before buying will have to wait to see which retailers will be carrying this tablet, which hasn't been announced just yet. (I've also asked my Asus contact for clarification and will update as soon as I hear back.)

Available in either Amethyst Gray or Champagne Gold (pictured above), the 32GB model starts at $499 with the 64GB going for $599. To get the most out of this tablet, you should really budget for the $150 keyboard dock too as it can give you an extra six hours of power, as well as a keyboard, touchpad, a full size USB port, a SD slot and double as cover for your slate.

What reviewers liked:

  • The aesthetics and metal construction of the Transformer Prime
  • Battery life that rivals the iPad 2 (without the dock)
  • Quality of the rear 8-megapixel camera
  • Smoothness and level of detail most noticeable in games and 1080p movie playback

What reviewers didn't like:

  • Despite its CPU prowess, the slate still stutters occasionally
  • The web browser lags

I wonder if the performance issues are due to the fact the Transformer Prime Wi-Fi ships with Honeycomb, and whether the Tegra 3 CPU will only shine with Ice Cream Sandwich? These performance issues don't seem like deal breakers for users, so I believe the Transformer Prime should make some gadget enthusiasts very happy this Christmas (or this year, if the shipment is slightly delayed). Good things are worth the wait, after all.

[Updated December 2:] According to SlashGear, the Transformer Prime will be getting a firmware update today, and its American ship date will be December 19 as I reported yesterday:

“We expect to release FOTA image update 8.8.3.27 on 12/2 that updates the EC firmware to improve battery life with the dock in power saving mode along with a few minor performance tweaks.” – ASUS

“We expect availability to start the week of 12/19 based on the pre-orders and inbound shipment schedules.” – ASUS

Reviews/Previews to check out:

Related:

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Processors

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13 comments
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  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    How can the battery life rival the ipad 2 when it's far superior?
    roberto.recine@...
    • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

      @roberto.recine@...

      I beileve battery life is comparable when it's not docked. When it is docked then yes, much better.
      dsf3g
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    The Specifications for the Prime state 12 hours on the tablet, with up to an additional 6 hours using the keyboard dock. That 12 hours is 2 better than the ipad..
    Papamambo
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    The best Android tablet - isn't that akin to saying "The best STD"?
    Gr8Music
    • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

      @Gr8Music Hahaha!

      best part:
      "you should buy the keyboard too--it has a touchpad!"

      Really! ??REALLY!? ??I'm going to modify an SJ axiom and say, "when you see a touchpad, you know they've failed."
      lelandhendrix@...
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    "... performance issues are due to the fact the Transformer Prime Wi-Fi ships with Honeycomb, and whether the Tegra 3 CPU will only shine with Ice Cream Sandwich?"<br><br>Why do we put up with half complete products hoping for a PROMISED update. It would be like buying a watch that looks good but a little off on time keeping. Therer might be a future update that might fix this but we will find out that it does not apply to our older model.
    davidmpaul
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    davidmpaul wrote:
    Why do we put up with half complete products hoping for a PROMISED update. It would be like buying a watch that looks good but a little off on time keeping. Therer might be a future update that might fix this but we will find out that it does not apply to our older model.

    Isn't this normal for software updates (Windows included).
    Do you wait until Android 5 is released or buy the product and update to that release when it comes out?
    Android is not produced by ASUS. Did you know that? It is created by Google.
    I think you should wait until Release Android 100.01 come out.
    I am getting mine with Android 3.2 very soon. Been waiting months.
    waiman.lee@...
  • really

    i am pretty damn sure it will ship sooner because gamestop and (which are on asus's website) say it will ship the 9th. so i would go with the official licensed seller that is approved by asus.
    jlm123hi
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    this model sounds good, but I'm waiting for the Asus Transformer Bumblebee, in yellow with black stripes and Android 5.0 Smores
    :-)
    krzyst0ff
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    When you see a touchpad, you know they failed.
    lelandhendrix@...
    • Really??! A touchpad? Wow!

      @lelandhendrix@...

      If I budget for the keyboard dock (an extra $150.00) then I'm looking at approx. $650 to $750-ish for a tablet (depending on which model I get). I can probably get 2 whole fully loaded laptops for the amount of money I'd spend to get one of these hi-priced toys.
      SElizDav
      • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

        @SElizDav Only if you have a very limited idea of what "fully loaded" means.
        John Hanks
  • RE: Asus Transformer Prime Wi-Fi lands December 19?

    If this came with the Windows OS it would be ideal for my use.
    Has anyone tried to put Windows on one of these slates.
    leyshon@...