We caught a pretty good look at what we then called the Transformer 2 in the teaser video we showed you this morning, but a few hours can make all the difference as when Jonney Shih pulled the tablet out of his briefcase at the Asia D Conference he identified it as the Transformer Prime.
It feels nice to have another Prime device around to talk about. The next generation Transformer keys around NVIDIA’s quad-core Kal-El processor. According to NVIDIA, Kal-El will provide not just a significant boost in performance, but by using variable symmetric multiprocessing it will deliver that performance using considerably less power. I’ve had pretty good experiences with the battery life on existing Tegra 2 tablets so I can only imagine the kind of battery life that Tegra 3 might be capable of offering. If you want a reminder of what Tegra 3 is capable of you might want to rewatch this video that NVIDIA put out as a demo.
We don’t have the full complement of specs yet, but Shih did share a few additional details. The Transformer Prime has a 10.1-inch screen and is just 8.3mm thick, that’s a far cry from the 12.9mm of the original. Like the original Transformer it isn’t going to skimp on ports and will offer a mini-HDMI along with a full USB port. As we saw in the teaser this morning it will of course offer an updated docking keyboard for a more complete computing experience.
We’re not 100% certain whether the tablet will be running Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich at launch, but all signs seem to point to the latter. When asked whether we would see tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich before the end of the year he responded, “perhaps sooner.” Considering the Transformer Prime isn’t scheduled for it’s official announcement until November 9th that would leave a very narrow window for an upgrade if this were to launch with Honeycomb. It’s also worth noting that NVIDIA has repeatedly mentioned that they have worked closely with Google to be ready for the release of Ice Cream Sandwich.
Asus ended up with a bigger hit than I think anyone initially imagined with the original Transformer and with the Transformer Prime they look to be really stepping into the limelight. This device will feature absolutely top of the line hardware and by all appearances could be the first tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Transformer Prime was certainly the highlight, but you might remember that Asus also has a tablet/phone hybrid concept that they showed off last May call the Padfone. Well they have confirmed that it is going to become a reality in early 2012 and it will launch running Ice Cream Sandwich.
So are you ready to make your next Android device an Asus?