October 10, 2012

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Review: A Breakthrough Performer

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is an Android Honeycomb tablet that can be coupled with Asus Eee PC 1215N AC adapter an optional keyboard dock. The Transformer Prime features a 10.1-inch Super IPS display with a 1280 x 800-resolution, a backside-illuminated 8-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.4 aperture plus a 1.3-megapixel front cam, and is the first to be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3, quad-core mobile processor formerly known as Kal-El.

The first thing that will catch your eye about the Transformer Prime is its svelte design. It measures 10.35 by 7.12 by 0.33 inches, and weighs 1.29 pounds. That's a net reduction in size and weight from the original Eee Pad Transformer TF101, Asus Eee PC 1201N AC adapter, which measured 10.7 by 6.9 by 0.5 inches, and weighed 1.4 pounds. The TF201 also ranks as among the thinnest and lightest tablets on sale to date: Only Apple's iPad 2 (0.3 inches deep and 1.33 pounds) and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (0.34 inches and 1.24 pounds) best it today.

The Android interface also doesn't have a quick way to easily flip between several windows. You can say the same about iOS, of course. But I have the Prime next to my Windows 7 netbook right now, and I'm missing the fluidity of being able to have two windows on a screen or to flip between tabs of things without poking the multitasking button at the bottom of the Android interface. The Prime's hardware can do a lot of things at once, but the software doesn't spotlight that.

The Prime is the first tablet Asus Eee PC 1201HA AC adapter to house Nvidia's new quad-core processor, the Tegra 3. The Prime also includes 1GB of RAM and comes in either 32GB or 64GB varieties. It has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi support, , Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a gyroscope, and GPS.

The Mobile dock includes an extra battery that--while connected--"feeds" the Prime its power, meaning that the dock's battery will deplete its reserves before the tablet's.

Through its Micro-HDMI port, you can connect the tablet to an HDTV or monitor and play full-screen Asus Eee PC 1215N adapter Android games using both wired Xbox 360 and PS3 game pads, as well as supported wireless game pads through the use of an USB dongle.

In terms of design, you may have already noticed the Prime sports the same spun aluminum digs as the company's Zenbooks, though this is the first time we're seeing clear, close-up shots of it -- and in two colors, no less! At 8.3mm (0.33 inches) thick and 586 grams (1.29 pounds) without the dock, it's a smidge skinnier than the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1, Asus Eee PC 1201N adapter, which means, unsurprisingly, that your old Transformer dock won't be compatible. Finally, ASUS coated both the display and metal cover with a hydro-oleophobic coating that makes it more fingerprint-resistant.

Despite cutting down the thickness, Asus has been able to keep the tablet itself well stocked on ports; there's a 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro HDMI port, and a Micro SD card slot. If you’re looking for those full-size ports, you’ll have to go for the $149 keyboard dock — more on that later. I will end this section by saying something I haven’t said of any of the competing tablets out there: this is first tablet that Asus Eee PC 1201HA adapter actually rivals the iPad on design, build, and size, while not just copying it.

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