Dec 01 AT 1:33 AM Taylor Wimberly 256 Comments

The Transformer Prime is the most hyped Android tablet of the year so we quickly said yes when ASUS requested a full product review of the world’s first quad-core Tegra 3 device. Unfortunately we only had about one full day with the Transformer Prime before we were allowed to post about it tonight, so we tried to touch on all the major high points of the device. Read on for our initial impressions.

ASUS Transformer Prime Highlights


The Transformer Prime comes available in two colors, Amethyst Grey and Champagne Gold. We happened to receive a Champagne Gold tablet and Amethyst Grey dock station, so we got a look at both options. Right away we noticed the high-end feel of the Transformer Prime thanks to its aluminum casing.

The bezel around the screen is a little wider than some tablets, but it tapers off on the back side around the edges so it feels slimmer in the hand. Sitting on the tablet next to each other, the Transformer Prime is a hair thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (0.33 in. vs 0.34 in).

Inside the box we found a wall charger, data cable, manual, warranty card, and screen wipe.

Gaming with Tegra Zone

There are many benefits to NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 processor, but the most obvious one is the premium content available from Tegra Zone. There are currently about 25 games available, but that number is expected to grow to 40+ by the end of the year and 12+ are said to be optimized for specifically for Tegra 3.

Most of the titles that NVIDIA pre-loaded for us were still early demos, but they looked good in the early stages. All the Tegra 2 games we tried ran beautifully and we tested several other titles from the Android Market. New games from EA Mobile and Glu ran with no problems, but several titles from Gameloft were not yet supported.

Gameloft has shown they will support just about any device that sells, so we look forward to playing some of their future titles like Modern Combat 3 and Gangstar Rio.

Tegra 3 also supports just about any game controller, so you can sync up your Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, or Logitech gamepad up to your Transformer Prime. Gamers can also connect the tablet to an HDTV set and enjoy 3D graphics thanks to NVIDIA’s  3D Vision technology. We didn’t get a chance to try the 3D Vision experience yet, so check back later in the week for the results.

Performance Benchmarks

Some say benchmarks are pointless, but we still like to play around with them and compare the results. For this round of testing we compared the Transformer Prime (Tegra 3), Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Tegra 2), Galaxy Tab 8.9 (Tegra 2), Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus (Exynos 4210), and Sony Tablet S (Tegra 2). All devices were tested with the latest software and the Transformer Prime was running with the Normal power profile.

We did our best to stick with benchmarks that are freely available in the Android Market or the web.

Antutu: First up was Antutu which measures memory performance, CPU integer performance, CPU floating point performance, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, SD card readingwriting speeds, and database IO. Tegra 3 dominated in the RAM and CPU tests, but the graphics, database, and SD card speeds were comparable to the current generation of tablets.

CF-Bench:  Next up we tried CF-Bench which calls itself the “premiere multi-core-capable CPU benchmark.” Tegra 3 scored about 2x higher in the native tests which gave it a higher total score, but Java performance was on par with the others. Even though the benchmark produces a final score, the developer notes that “you should take those with a grain of salt. It is simply not theoretically possible to produce a single number that accurately describes a device’s performance.”

GLBenchmark 2.1: Next we went with GLBenchmark 2.1 which measures “quality and performance of the underlying OpenGL ES 2.x implementation.” We performed the Egypt and Pro tests in 720p offscreen mode so the results wouldn’t be affected by different resolutions. The Tegra 3 easily outscored the competition on the Egypt test and the Exynos in the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

NenaMark2: Moving on with graphics performance we tried out NenaMark2. This test is also an OpenGL|ES 2.0 benchmark for high-end mobile devices. Tegra 3 scored the highest framerate, but the Exynos 4210 inside the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus was close behind.

SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1: Browser performance was measured with the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark that test “the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs.” Surprisingly the Exynos 4210 delivered the fastest JavaScript performance. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has a slightly lower resolution than the Transformer Prime, which could give it an unfair advantage against a bigger display, but we still wanted to post the comparison to show how the different devices stack up.

RightWare Browsermark: Finally we turned to another test called RightWare Browsermark to confirm the browser performance. Tegra 3 was faster than Tegra 2, but once again the Exynos 4210 (Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus) turned in the highest score. I’ve seen other sites like HotHardware show Tegra 3 with a higher BrowserMark score, but even they had it nearly on par with the Exynos 4210.

First Impressions

It’s impossible to review a tablet such as the Transformer Prime in 24 hours, so we will need to spend another week with it before giving it a final score. Even with the short amount of time we spent with the device, we can easily say this is the best Android tablet on the market. If you pre-ordered the Transformer Primer looking for the best in design, performance, gaming, and battery life then you will not be disappointed.

Here are some of my random thoughts in bullet form after playing with the Transformer Prime for a day:

  • Good enough PC replacement: The big question with this device is – Can it replace a PC? The display might be a little small and the keyboard is cramp, but yes the Transformer Prime is good enough for about 95% of the computing tasks most consumers would want to perform. The combo price is still $650 ($499 tablet + $149 dock), so you might get more bang for your buck with a mid-range Windows laptop. However, as prices continue to drop and the Android ecosystem advances, I think this could be a much closer battle later in 2012.
  • Browsing on par, nothing special: Web browsing on the Prime feels the fastest of any Android device I have used, but there is still the occasional stutter or jerkiness, especially when viewing mobile Flash Player content. Of course Flash has never performed that well and Adobe is pulling the plug on it, so what do you expect? ASUS already has one software update coming tomorrow to tweak performance and then Android 4.0 is arriving at a later date, so performance is expected to improve.
  • Keyboard dock is awesome: Some might consider $149 to be pricey for a keyboard dock, but ASUS did an excellent job of cramming in value to it. The integrated battery increases battery life by 6 hours, the touchpad has multitouch gestures, there are full size USB 2.0 and SD card slots, and I love all the Android shortcut buttons. The SD card slot is great because you can currently add up to 256 GB of storge and it’s supposed to support the SDxC standard up to the full 2 TB of storage that we will see in future memory cards.
  • Surprisingly stable: The Transformer Prime has a pinhole to perform a hard reset of the device, but I never had to use it. The overall Android OS was very smooth and the only force closes I experience were with some of the rushed game demos.
  • Super IPS+ display impresses: You have to see the display to believe it. The Super IPS+ mode offers 600 nits of brightness, which is great for outdoor readability. The display also has an awesome 178 degree viewing angle that is great for sharing content with friends.
  • Built-in underclocking (power profiles): This something I asked NVIDIA for with Tegra 2, so I’m glad they worked with ASUS to deliver three unique power profiles. Users can easily switch between Normal, Balanced, and Power Saver. “Normal” mode unleashes the full performance of the Transformer Prime with Tegra 3. “Balanced” mode caps the CPU frequency to 1.2 GHz. ASUS has added an additional “Powersaver” mode that caps CPU frequency to 1 GHz in single/dual core mode, ~700 Mhz when three cores are active and ~600 Mhz when all four cores are active. In addition, the Powersaver mode caps the frame rate at 35 fps and places the panel into an additional power saving mode.
  • Game consoles are dead: So the current crop of Tegra Zone games doesn’t top PlayStation 3, but they are definitely as good as Xbox or PS2. NVIDIA uses a similar GPU architecture inside Tegra as their desktop GeForce cards and I think we will see a wave of games ported over. As others in the industry have pointed out, consoles as we know them are fundamentally dead and mobile devices will eventually replace them. Tegra 3 offers gamers support for HDTVs, 3DVision, and compatibility with a host of gamepads.
  • I want a Tegra 3 phone and laptop: We still need to perform the full set of battery performance tests, but it appears Tegra 3 devices will offer some of the longest battery life and that’s why I want to see one inside a phone. There are plenty of cases where I would rather choose “Powersaver” mode and underclock my phone to extend the battery life a couple hours. The increased performance of the Tegra 3 processor also makes me really excited about the potential of Android on bigger displays. It should have no problem running a 13 inch laptop.

My expectations were high, but ASUS wowed me by delivering the best Android tablet experience I’ve seen to date. We will continue to explore the Transformer Prime over the coming days, so feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments. Next up we will take a closer look at camera performance, battery life, and productivity performance with apps like Adobe Photoshop Touch.

For additional coverage of the Transformer Prime, check out AnandTech, Engadget, Slashgear, Android Central, The VergeAndroid Police, PCMag, LaptopMag, CNET, HotHardware, and UberGizmo.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • cbowal

    I want one! The Transformer Prime looks like the best Android tablet available!


      I wast totally captivated with its aluminum design. Plus, with powerful innards, this will be the powerful android tablet on the planet.

      • r1ch

        I agree, I’ve got a Transformer TF101 and while I love the design and think it’s an amazing bit of kit, I think this takes Android tablets to a new level. The aluminium look is stunning and I can’t wait to pick one of these up when it comes over here to the UK!

        Now…any suggestions for an answer to the question “Do you mind if I ask why you’re selling your TF101?” without giving away that there’s a new one just around the corner that a potential buyer ‘should’ be waiting for? :D

        • r1ch

          By the way, I love the mobile site…looks almost as good as the Transformer Prime! Haha…

        • Alex

          “My wife didn’t like the way I was stroking it’s display”

    • CJ LaFleur

      Forget Android! It’s the BEST tablet on ANY platform!

      • Kainoah Arnold

        You are very right sir, plus 1 to that. Nothing else compares to this thing and probably wont for a few minutes. Once something else does come out I will still prefer this because of the keyboard dock!

    • WowoW

      looks VERY sleek, really would want one of those! Dang.

    • LV23

      Me too!

    • pikahatonjon

      it looks SOOO AMAZING. thanksgiving tegra give away? :D

  • lament

    So nice.. hurry up and take my damn money already.

  • cmorris

    so when are you giving one away? :)

    • stenzor

      I would like to know this as well

      • cmorris

        i guess we just have to keep refreshing for 25 days stenz

        • stenzor

          Hehe, we might be contributing to some of those server problems with all the refreshing ;)

          • WarDrake

            Patience my young padawan, all in good time ;)

          • Kainoah Arnold

            Lol I will be doing the exact same thing, If I do not win one this month I WILL be buying it! and I cannot wait to own one!!!


      I hope this one comes out in their contest. :D

  • Maarten

    I miss the Transformer EEE Pad first generation in the benchmarks outerwise nice preview.

  • WarDrake

    This here is a beautiful piece of hardware, what i’d like to see is all of this tests re run after we’ve got ICS on this monster.

  • MarWillis

    It’s unfortunate that Asus has gone with a proprietary power cable. That went out of style long ago. I dread having to carry one more cable in my already full bag.

    Everything else looks nice.

    • msgnyc

      Doesn’t every single tablet on the market use a proprietary power cable o_O?

      • Homncruse

        As far as I know, yes… :(

        From what I recall (no time to fact check or provide references at this time), I believe the OG Transformer actually uses USB 3.0 and their proprietary cable is some hybrid thing that allows it to be USB 2.0 compatible. Or something. I don’t remember exactly. The tablet also doesn’t charge when you plug it into a PC, though with USB 2.0 only allowing a peak sustained power draw of 500 mA, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some circuitry limitation there.

        • Androidcrazed6

          NEWBIE ALERT

          What is the difference


    • LV23

      It’s because USB port is unable to provide enough power to charge big battery in resonable time.

  • erikiksaz

    So tegra 3 graphics performance isn’t a huge leap over the current offerings.

    I’m surprised NVIDIA didn’t push that hard on the GPU front.

  • stenzor

    I was on the fence about whether I wanted a tablet and if I would have any use for one.. but now that the Transformer Prime is out, I think I definitely want one… especially with awesome new apps like the Adobe collection for Android.. The future is going to be great

  • oddball

    If only it was out now my wife bought me the Transformer as a gift already. Although given that she got it for $200 (mismarked at the store) I can’t really complain. Ok really at that price I haven’t stopped grinning when I use it

  • ccn_cristi

    The best tablet for the moment!

    How is battery life in real usage ?


      they say the device can offer about 16 hours of battery life when connected with its dock

  • melvinjavier

    wish to have it in asia :( wew

    • melvinjavier

      UPDATE: dec 1 is said to be the shipping date in taiwan :D


        What about other parts in Asia?

      • Zhi Hao

        Singapore? I’d like to get one. For my dad.

        Though I would probably use it more :D

  • MarkT

    This could just be my present from my business to myself this year. :-)

  • Kwills 88

    How is the full HD movie playback on this

    • stenzor

      Probably buttery smooth

  • AndroidJunkie

    They should have made it $500 for the tablet + dock together. Eat the cost of the dock, and they’d have much more success on a much wider market. They especially need to entice people now before they all head to Amazon. their devices, their ecosystem, those potential customers will be much harder to convert later on..

    • WarDrake

      Nah, they already proved on amazon itself that people will pay for this performance… all 4 versions are on the top 10 tablets in amazon.

      • AndroidJunkie

        again, it’s a much smaller market. Just because an android tablet is ranked #2 in amazon sales doesn’t mean much of anything, when #1 will soon be 2.5x the sales of ALL other android tablets combined! Remember, in October they were reporting just a little over a million android tablets sold (total), and now Amazon is expecting to sell 5 million of the new Kindles alone by the end of the year!

        So you can take the rest of the top ten in amazons list (#2 – #10), sum their sales together and they still wouldn’t come close to that of the Kindle..

        #1 could very well be 80% of total android tablet sales, #2, 10%, #3 5% etc etc. drastic differences. We don’t know those figures.. But from what we do know, it won’t be good for other android manufacturers if they don’t up their efforts to stand out, and stay competitive to a large market, not to just appeal to the high end enthusiasts.

        Those buyers won’t give a sh*t about the device as soon as the next best rolls out. And certainly the first tegra 3 tablet will get the oldest the quickest. who remembers the xoom? overpriced and under sold..

        • AndroidJunkie

          instead of pointless down voting, how about actually replying if you have a counter point people. ..this site needs to get rid of the down vote buttons.

          cue the down votes

        • JOSHUA

          I think the downvotes are because this is just another price complaint. This is the best tablet out and having owned the original transformer it is WELL WORTH the price. Most people who want these prices lowered are those who just want a tablet for the point of having a tablet. Those who actually want a tablet for functionality are willing to pay this price as am I. I always thought a tablet would be a niche product but after owning one I use it more than my laptop and phone combined. Besides, eating the cost of the dock makes no sense for them since plenty of people are just going to buy the tablet and not care about the dock so why throw it in for free? I barely used the dock but it was certainly nice to have when more battery was needed.

          • AndroidJunkie

            Why throw it in for free? you JUST gave a reason after asking the question; “it was certainly nice to have when more battery was needed”. Because it provides additional incentive to buy ASUS. If that incentive was included w/the tablet, they’d stand much further out, and sell to a much wider market.

            I wasn’t asking for it to be cheaper, for my sake, or any customers sake. It was a hit against any company’s or manufacturer’s strategy that compete in the tablet market. I never even said that I wanted this or that it’s too expensive. I know some people will buy it. My whole point is that A LOT MORE people would buy it if companies weren’t just playing it safe. The world keeps insisting there’s a demand for tablets all year, but these companies really don’t know how to best approach that demand. What’s the best price point? How many should we make? And yes ASUS is playing it safe, and it’s already costing them. Look what’s happening now, retailers are cancelling orders because ASUS hasn’t even made enough. So at this price point, they satisfied their expected amount of sales. Who knows, they might have only produced 100,000 transformers. That’s not a huge success. They’re afraid of taking a big hit. No risk no reward.

            Anyone who thinks I’m simply whining over the price of A tablet is too self focused. ‘oh i can buy it, stop complaining’. good for you, so can I, that’s not my point. I’m interested in seeing the android tablet market succeed, and expand faster from all sides, and not get single handedly get taken over by kindles (check the stats). Also, what I’m encouraging is indirectly beneficial to us consumers anyway, so when you consumers down vote that, well .. you look kinda stupid.

            rebuttals anyone? or how bout more down votes?

      • AndroidJunkie

        i say 2.5x, that’s IF all other android tablets reach 2 million total sales by the end of the year..

  • orangestrat

    If you have one, can you compare it to the original trasformer in your full review? I’d love to see if its worth the extra cash for someone who doesn’t do much gaming. The verge already said that the browser isn’t significantly faster, is the experience similar everywhere?

  • pechano

    OH MY GOD it looks awesome. Why would anyone even consider buying an iPad when they can have this instead?

    I will invest in one in 2012 for sure.

  • JamTheMan

    It looks so damn good.. No doubt I am getting this when it hits Denmark.. But when? No one seems to know..

  • Josh McAllister

    Under “First Impressions”, you spelled Battery “Batter”. lol

    If you pre-ordered the Transformer Primer looking for the best in design, performance, gaming, and batter life then you will not be disappointed.

    • uknowme


  • Briareos

    I wonder how this stacks up next to the original Transformer? Any chance of another round of benchmarks comparing the two? For those of us that don’t need to be on the bleeding edge, it’s worth it to save a couple hundred bucks if we can.

    • ishbuggy

      Also to decide whether we want to sell our old Transformers too :P

  • Wouter

    Nice review on the games and the Tegra 3. But I would have loved to see a review (or atleast a section) around office usage. You didn’t use the keyboard at all even tough it’s one of the main USP’s of this device. Why would I get this device and not another tablet which doesn’t have a keyboard? Please add in some kind of office / application section next time.

    • rfvgyhn

      Note that this was just their 24 hour preview. They mentioned they will have more details with at least one week of usage.

    • Sleepy Head

      I second this request… Can you run GoToMeeting or LogMeIn on it?

  • msgnyc

    I was gonna get the Amethyst Grey, but DAMN the Champagne Gold looks sexy.

    • Lucian Armasu

      I prefer the gold one, too. The amethyst one is nice, too, but it resembles a little too much with the dark color of most laptops today.

  • fredpyo

    Oh man, this tablet is da bomb! I’ve been checking it out since the official release some weeks ago. It’s got too much horsepower!

    By the way, it would be cool if you guys somehow get the number of new users between the announcement of the contest and… well… now ^_^.

  • Counsel

    I know… but, consoles are not dead just as computers are not dead… tablets will advance, but so will other platforms. Having a device plugged in means you don’t have to worry about power consumption-more power, less performance issues over the time required to play a big game :)

  • crunchybutternut

    I preordered a 32GB version on Amaazon, but am now wishing I could switch to a 64GB one. :/

  • crunchybutternut

    Looking forward to receiving my preorder, but really wish it had 3G/4G options.

    • crunchybutternut

      Yeah, I’m on Sprint so that is what I am planning to do.
      Unfortunately, with the limited 4G coverage, I will mostly be tethering on 3G which means I cannot place/receive phone calls at the same time.

  • james bricknell

    Nice first review taylor. Looking forward to seeing what other cool things you find along the way.

    I would argue that android utself isnt ready to replace desktop pc’s. The harware is but not the software. Transformer prime with win8 will be the bomb.

    • JLix

      Did you want to give your review of this review on your blog?

      Is that your wife’s cattle prod you are bending over your shoulders??


    great review… Thanks Taylor !

  • nero

    Great review save one thing; console gaming is far from dead. :)

  • nportelli

    Still with the rubbish resolution, can we just bump that up a notch? What’s the next size 1440×900? Gimme more pixels!

    • orangestrat

      “Not Crazy High res!” != “Rubbish”

  • SuperAndroid

    Primed & Ready!

  • plasmoidia

    This is still looking like the tablet I would like. Seems like it would be a perfect netbook replacement with the keyboard dock. Most of the time I just use my netbook for web browsing, Google Docs, Chat, that sort of thing. It is a bit pricey, but the price will drop and I can wait. Even at $500 for the tablet, if someone like Amazon offers a bundle with a free keyboard dock, that’s not a bad deal. I bought my netbook when it first came out at $400 (plus a $25 2 GB stick of RAM).

    • kentrburton

      I am with you… I think I would like to get this over a netbook… but I am still thinking a low lvl laptop … The one G of ram compared to 4 in most laptops is some what pushing me towards the laptop… However damn this thing looks sweet.

  • roamdeus

    This is what I have to say in 1 word ” captivating “

  • thekaz

    Finally starting to see some really nice android stuff coming out that doesn’t really appear to be copying an iDevice…

  • PapaLos

    Thanks for the awesome post!

    When I got in the market for a tablet, I was leaning towards the first Transformer. But then I heard that its successor was coming at years end and I had my eyes set on that. I had no idea it was going to be this crazy powerhouse.

    But thanks to the price, I’m going to have to aim for the original Transformer, hell, maybe even a Kindle Fire. So many people buying all these tablets; I feel like I’m doing something wrong in life.

  • jd1ezal

    iPad can’t compete with this. This is by far the best tablet/laptop on the market. Hopefully this can dig into iPads strong hold in the tablet market.

  • pekosROB

    Honestly, I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed that the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus outperformed the Prime in a couple of tests, but I’m still excited about the tablet.

    Not having to pay sales tax is like icing on the cake, too. C’mon B&H Photo, send me my Prime!!!

    • Angie Wimberly

      Technically screen size had a lot to do with it. Wasn’t completely an “apples to apples” comparison.

  • ishbuggy

    That screen looks incredible! Especially with the battery saving Tegra 3 can pull off. The only question left is whether I should sell my Transformer.

  • xray49er

    Just read this and the engadget review and i want one so bad. If i did not have two kids to shop for this chritmas this would be mine so fast but it may have to wait until tax time.

  • ishbuggy

    A comment on the review:

    While the bar charts are certainly very pretty, they are very difficult to read. Black bars on a black background is not the way to go. Also distinguishing the colors can be difficult because they are so similar. The colors thing is less of a problem though.

    • Angie Wimberly


  • ndub21

    The design on this is amazing and I love that it’s an aluminum body. That will defininitely feel good and sturdy in the hands. I may have to get my wife one of these since I already have the Galaxy Tab 10.1. I’m definitely looking forward to playing with one of these in the store or maybe even winning one from the 25 Days of Tegra! ;-)

    • RzR

      Yep, it should be the 25th device to be offered.

  • classic_hero

    nice unboxing/preview

  • Rich

    Looks awesome! Taylor, have you tried to see if you can use the gamepads with any of the emulators (n64oid etc) without the need for bluetooth pairing apps that is currently required on phones?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      We did not try any of the old school emulators yet, but Clark has been wanting to hook it up to his projector and give it a try. Will let you know how it goes.

  • Andy

    2 questions:
    1) I know it has a proprietary charger. Will it also accept charge through the USB port? I’m hoping the special charger is just to give a rapid charge
    2) Can it do apps2sd? Just wondering whether I’m better off with the 32GB version as I have high speed micro sd cards already

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Asus said it can do trickle charge via USB port, but they are still working with Google to enable it. I don’t think storage is a problem since the pad and dock both have memory slots. Dock also has USB 2.0 for external storage.

      • Andy

        So long as it does apps2sd then that’s me sold on a 32GB one with keyboard dock. Not sure on colour, they both look sweet. Doesn’t look like it will be an xmas present for me in the UK :(

    • Homncruse

      The OG Transformer doesn’t trickle charge – at least, it didn’t when I tried it shortly after buying it. They’ve had half a dozen software updates since then, so it’s possible they enabled it via firmware, but I haven’t tried it (and sadly my USB cable for the Transformer isn’t with me right now).

  • Nathan

    cool review, now I really want one! =)

  • RzR

    It is at times like this that I wish I was rich. lol

  • SCJaredJ

    I cannot wait to go to a store and play with one of these when it comes out. I’m sure the gaming features are going to be really cool, but I’m not much of a gamer. it’s the raw utility of the device that’s pulling me in and the thought that I could further drop my non-work laptop use for this thing. Love the design. Love the dock. Love the expandable memory (ahem, samsung!).

  • spintrex

    Is it possible to have the best of both a tablet and laptop? It would be great if when connected to the keyboard the tablet gets the feel of a laptop with improved specs. However it seems like a large amount of money to have two separate specs for the screen and the keyboard. I guess the markets of tablets and laptops are still very different but I wouldn’t be surprised seeing the two merging in the long run.

  • SCJaredJ

    Taylor, one thing I was hoping to get your opinion on that a couple of other sites have mentioned is how top-heavy is this thing with the dock? Just wondering if it’s fairly stable on a desk with normal viewing ranges in the dock, and how practical lap use (with the dock) is? Sorry if this is covered in the videos, but I’m at work and can’t really pull off watching them.

    • Lucian Armasu

      About 1 kilo or 1.1.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      If the combo is sitting on a desk or table then it is no problem. But if you have it in your lap tilted down, then you will need to keep your palms on the dock to keep it in place.

      • SCJaredJ

        Boo. I guess I’ll just have to invent some horrifying looking contraption to affix it to my legs when I travel (car/bus/whatever). Good thing duct tape and bungee chords fix almost everything!

  • Dragonithe

    Awesome review!
    I have one question.
    Is it possible to play games like shadowgun whit the dock and a mouse?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I just tried Shadowgun and it does not work with a mouse or trackpad. The gamepad controls are pretty awesome though.

  • jst4tim

    I want this bad.

  • Raptor

    No retina display no deal. 149ppi – hellooo? Where you can find such resolutions nowadays? In museums?

    • ben dover

      Well the iPad 2 has a ppi of 132.
      Maybe do a little homework before you troll!
      silly fanboy you!

      • Raptor

        hahaha ROTFL… that amount of d#mb mo#ons discredit this site.

        Read this from my yesterday post

        “… hi-res displays are way overdue, current ones are fine only for the gamers.
        There is no display or TVs around you with PPI (perceived PPI which takes into account distance from viewer) less then 250-300. Even smart phones got hi-res displays finally (ones with 720p), only tablets keep with 149 PPI or less (where iPad is the dumbest “champion” at 130).”

        And this from today Anandtech who is proponent of hi-res displays for at least a year:

        “ASUS, Apple and the rest of the tablet world are in hot pursuit of even higher resolution panels, the problem is yields on these small 1080p and 2048×1536 panels just aren’t high enough yet. The Android crowd will have to wait, although Apple is apparently pushing very hard (and trying to buy up a lot of inventory) to deliver a “retina display” equipped iPad 2+/3 by Q2 next year. I’m hearing Q3/Q4 for everyone else and it’s still not a guarantee that Apple will be able to meet its aggressive targets either at this point.”

    • Lucian Armasu

      Even the iPad 3 won’t have a true “retina display” meaning over 300 PPI. It will have more like 265 PPI when they double the density.

      But I don’t think even next year’s chips are ready for such a high resolution. Games will be SEVERELY impacted by the 4x in pixel count. I would wait until another generation in 2013 to get a 2k resolution tablet, whether it’s Android or iPad.

      • Raptor

        Respect to to 4x pixel count – just don’t play at native res 2560×1600, play at a half – it’s enough for games.

        As to Apple future iPads ppi – who said it will be just 4x pixel increase? Ideally screens have to be at least 450ppi. means at least 9x.

  • Peter Sinnott

    Anyone know if the Transformer dock is compatible with the Prime?

    • Lucian Armasu

      It’s not compatible, and I don’t see how it could’ve been since the Prime tablet is much thinner.

  • Vitti

    Love the look of this. Interested to see though how the next versions of Samsung’s Tab compare. They are rumored for early next year I thought.

  • Lucian Armasu

    Really good review, Taylor. I thought the Engadget one was pretty poor, gliding over many aspects of the device, and TheVerge one wasn’t all that great either, but you covered a lot of stuff I was interested in.

    I think the performance should improve with ICS, especially in the browsing department. However, I also think Nvidia is sparringly using 2 of the cores to save power, and letting maybe 50% of the tasks be handled only by 2 of the cores (talking about the multi-threaded ones obviously).

  • TaoRenCe

    Well If I don’t win a tablet, this sounds like the first one I’ll buy. Sweeeeetttttt Christmas!!!!!!

  • Eoin

    Nice review, but your charts are hard to read. Using grayscale colours on a black and grey background might not have been the best idea.

    • Angie Wimberly


  • aj


  • JLix

    Great Review. Looks pretty amazing. However.

    I would have to argue with the statement of gaming consoles being dead (The link is actually dead). Even today, people want bigger and bigger monitors (80″ anyone?) and surround sound and their buddies all huddled around them playing COD or whatever. I just don’t see how someone can make the statement that game consoles are dead when 3 weeks ago, Activision made 3/4 of a billion dollars in a week!!! Xbox just had their highest sales weekend in I believe the history of the console (1 million sold) and it’s been out for 5 or so years.

    Sorry, but you are decades away from a laptop, tablet, etc., taking away from the gaming console. As long as people have TV’s in their living room, the gaming console will outsell them all. Is the handheld device come a long way for gaming? Yes. But it’s not taking over the gaming industry as we know it.

    • bdub

      Screen size doesn’t change the fact that the hardware in these tablets is catching up quickly to the performance needed at the console level. I’d be all for an next gen 360 that I could take on the go in tablet form and just drop in a dock or something at home thats wired via hdmi, etc already to my full size tv. We’re not there yet, but it seems to be happening at a very quick rate.

  • Quacktop

    Love to see more tests, probably with ICS running on it.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    Several words
    I want this awesome thing!

  • darkhorse166

    Shiny! It’s probably not quite there for what I’d want (higher resolution and a slightly smaller bezel), but it’s pretty sweet already. I’d be interested in seeing whether custom ROM makers can do any better in terms of extracting performance compared to what Asus have already done.

  • wzietek9

    I dream about to get that device on christmas. SANTA PLEASE!!

  • Danthes24

    This Tablet can actually replace my computer…:D…nice

  • ilmma27

    This is a great review. I’ve been waiting for a tablet that good enough to do such heavy gaming..! :D
    What’s more, the idea of keyboard docking and optical mouse even make this tablet more awesome. It only miss 1 thing: no sim card so I need to find a wifi while on the go.

  • calihawki

    I really didn’t think I would get rid of my Xoom but my wife wants it. So I can either pay $199 for a new Xoom or wait to pay just a couple hundred more for this beast! I think you know what I am going to do…

  • 94wolfpack

    That looks guuuuuuuuudddd

  • Dubweizer

    The one Android tablet to have. ICS update right around the corner means this needs to be in me hands.

  • cheeseasaurus

    As a device that’s “out now” it’s gorgeous, if I was looking to buy before Christmas its first choice hands down… but as nvidias T2 was the weakest (despite popularity) of the dual core chips to grace android phones this year, I expect T3 will have a hard time keeping up with the other quad core chips. But… being first out of the gate sure counts for something, right?

  • jathak

    Looks like a fantastic device. Any chance that you’ll be giving one away this month?

  • Inquizitor

    I am wary to preorder, but reports like these are convincing me more and more every day that this is the tablet I have been waiting years for. So glad I didn’t buy the Xoom.

  • mvndaai

    That is one nice Asus.

  • tkitty93

    wow. I really like it. Can`t wait to have one one day

  • rishabhbhatia36

    asus just take my money.

  • cheelly

    Merry Ho Ho Ho to me.come to mama

  • w9jds

    Pre-ordered a couple days ago. Can’t wait for mine to come in :) this just makes me want it even more! Thanks for the review, great job.

  • varref

    such a nice piece of kit….with ICS it will be even better. Love the idea of the extra battery and storage in the docking station. Makes it a very nice option for when you’re on the move.

  • Tcuneo

    if you told me 2 years ago that ASUS was going to be on the cutting edge of tablet biotechnology there a very good chance i would have chocked you with my belt. but I am pleasantly surprised but how good they’ve done with these.

  • Bob

    Could you post pictures in perhaps higher quality on the tablet? The two colors mixed together looks pretty cool. I might do that too xD.

  • GUI_Center

    Looks like one amazing tablet! Will definitely have to save up for this one and get it asap.

  • staryoshi

    I’m still not 100% sold on picking up the Prime (I would have been much more interested in November), but if I were to buy a tablet in 2011, it would be my #1 choice. I hope to see more devices sporting Tegra 3, too.

  • Dan13

    I would pick up one of these, but just think of all the goodies to be had at CES! I don’t quite need a tablet (yet) but that will probably change come early 2012.

  • eioous

    Uggggggggg……I cant seem to stop drooling.

  • dacatalyst41

    That may be the sexiest piece of gadgetry I have ever seen!

  • baldypal

    OK so i’m gonna get a little bias and ask “Why isn’t the Motorola XOOM mentioned in these comparison charts?”

  • shockzor

    It’s only a matter of time before Apple finds some reason to sue for rounded corners and a bezel that’s too big…

  • nmoline

    I would love one of these; but I can’t justify the expense just yet.

  • BrotherL

    What an awesome device! Good looking, powerful, and soon to be updated with Ice Cream Sandwich…so tempted to make this my first tablet, but I’ll put a hold on making the purchase, I’d like to see what other manufacturers have in store for 2012.

  • rishabhbhatia36

    $149 for the dock is too much, i guess im gonna have to manage with just the tab

  • Flight777

    Thank you for this preview/review :-) It only makes me want to have the Prime more, only I have to wait till January here in The Netherlands :(

  • ToonPanda

    Want! :)

  • papakyriazis

    looks promising but without normal usb port is a no go for me

    • J-Man

      I think mini-USB does the job pretty darn well, but the need to use an external keyboard would be nice through regular USB.

  • fede77m

    I want it, that the best tablet…. tegra 3 mmm

  • uizex1

    I’m just hoping that the UK price reflects the US price. We always need to pay more

    • MarkT

      Too true on the pricing front @uizex1. The Uk Kindle is £89 vs $79 USD – I mean come on – thats just gouging

  • wombas

    I missed out on my predoredr at B&H. But checkout the best buy canada relase date … dec 5. Worth a trip ??

  • J-Man

    Never actually tried an Android tablet, would love to give one a shot!

  • fekle

    This device is just a BEAST of a tablet.. I need to get it :D

  • Fabio R

    Guys after u finish u can send the demo unit to me ;)

    great tablet!

  • ted-san

    Really beautiful. I just got a Kindle Fire to play with and love the form factor, but what I’d give to have it as thin as the Transformer Prime. Wowza.

  • daconstenla

    wow, really nice review and really nice device :o.

  • donger

    that’s one hella good tablet. pumped

  • Gurka123

    Nice tablet, Nice mini test!

  • fellster

    The question shouldn’t be will this replace the pc, tablets with this kind of power should totally kill off handheld gaming devices – because of a bigger screen and tons of good and inexpensive games.

  • wontsttle4less


  • adaam93

    This has done it, I need a tablet now.

  • PrincessSnuggles

    Even with the cost (living in EU and VAT) I’m still interested in this. The deal is will it really BE worth it. Before another one hits the market and makes this obsolete.

  • titaniumwombat

    First ‘droid tablet that has caught my attention… May be time to crack the wallet!

  • Chrislewissd

    This will be my first tablet!!!

  • AceoStar

    Autobots, commence pwnage!

  • jamal

    Asus is here to win and from the reviews I’ve read so far, they have a winner in the Transformer Prime.

  • ffff00

    It needs to be the 19th already.

  • Fusci

    I really want this for Christmas

  • deep

    Put in my pre-order through J&R today. Cant wait….

  • jefflarkin

    Wow, Tegra Zone is making me second-guess my purchase of a SGS2. How long until Tegra 3 come in a box the size of a roku for a inexpensive game console?

  • evil2uce

    So far this is by far the best tablet I’ve seen on the market spec-wise. I really want to see one in person before I make snap judgment, but darn it if it isn’t cool as hell being unboxed.

  • scores87

    Tegra 3 is overrated the cores instead of 12 is more like 4 complete and 4 shaders

  • mogimaster

    i can’t wait until they release the Prime, I already pre-ordered the 64GB version from compusa. It kills me that they aren’t firm on a release date. But either way, I’m stoked about this tablet.

  • phaet2112

    Can’t understand why the cancel instead of giving people the option to delay the order and wait for stock.

  • jefflarkin

    Does anyone have experience with using a transformer as a laptop-replacement for a road warrior? How viable is it for editing documents and giving presentations? My company does everything in MS Office, so office compatibility would be a must.

  • aranea

    I’m looking for a tablet to get for my parents. This may be it. How is the front facing camera? One important feature for me is the ability to video chat.

  • OpenIntro

    I’ve been debating getting a Galaxy Tab 10.1, but I think I may just have to wait to get this one. it looks so slick!

  • jjoseph

    Looks to be a pretty sweet tablet!

  • Codz

    Looks like a great tablet. the back looks nice

  • damambt

    Absolutely awesome.

  • phaet2112

    Significant improvement over the previous version, however it’d be nice to have some clear video demo of the browser usage and app opening and closing. The worst thing about Tegra 2 tablets is the browser, and the little bit of lag sprinkled throughout like stank pixie dust.

  • ageesaman

    I just purchased a Transformer from Best Buy on black Friday. I love it so far but I am wishing it had an aluminum back. That Prime looks like it would be much more solid in your hand.

  • neil14n

    It’s going to be good

  • Leo Young

    I demoed the first Asus Tansformer to at leasetI demoed the original Asus Tansformer to at least a thousand people. Sold lots too. :)

    It is a very fine piece of equipment. I found it to be remarkably stable. However, the customers could do some pretty funny things with it. Once, over several months, I had to reset the demo unit. The biggest problem we had with it is we kept on selling out and had to set up new demo units.

    We charged it daily since we were demoing it all day but it had really good power consumption.

    The fact that it runs Android was a huge advantage. We were able to use the tablet to help customers in ways that we could not help them otherwise.

    I am keen to get my hands on the new one.

  • peterfoeng

    wondered when the Australian will get it @[email protected]

  • Stefan75

    I want one for x-mas!!! hope my wife gets it for me

  • clp72_ashymonster

    I love this thing. Can’t wait to ditch my laptop.

  • falvey6607


  • goncalossilva

    This changes everything. I think this is a leap like the one the Nexus One took from previous phones. And I bet the Galaxy Nexus wil do it again.

    Android is not moving forward, it’s *flying* forward. What’s next?

  • mimogear

    Seeing this as a banner makes my mouth water everyday :)

  • eid3tic

    Wow, nice.

  • chelly b

    Can’t wait to get this.

  • uizex1

    I really want to know when its coming to the UK.

  • hirschtec

    Yes, nice

  • hirschtec

    and when you come to Hungary? :)

  • oko loko

    Prime looks like fantastic gadget… now we just have to wait for a reply from Samsung and other major brands. I really hope that 2012 will be the turning year of tablet prices… I hope that prices become more reasonable after more competition on market.

  • 94wolfpack

    I was never really sold on the tablet + keyboard idea… but this is definitely starting to change my mind.

  • Jude

    Hey Guys, does anyone know if the transformer will support 3g dongles? Since there isnt any news of a 3g version coming out. Please help, thanks :)

  • azulpiscina

    when it launches were in europe?

    I want ONE NOW!


  • vid500

    Hopefully it’s coming soon to Europe, becouse I wont one. It’s looks amazing and the performans is just waaau. Nvidia and Asus you just did a great job.

  • Vipitus

    I want it, but I think it’ll be so expensive in Europe ;)

  • plp27

    Nice tablet. I hope I get one for Christmas.

  • Crash27

    I love my OG Transformer, I was going to pre order the Prime but I am waiting till after christmas till the big rush is over then I am going to pick up the 32GB Prime & Dock, I like the new design of the Prime, Asus is a great company for products.

  • FergiGirl

    I want one, hope santa leaves one in my stocking….lol

  • pjamies

    Ok, Who’s leg do I have to dry hump to get a model with 3G or 4G/LTE ??
    I am on the road a lot and would love the option .. sorry tethering is just not my
    thing, and kills my phones battery ..
    And I mean in AMERICA not Europe were they do have the older Transformer with 3G …

  • Jamie

    Pretty certain this will be my next tablet. Will probably sell my xoom and grab one of these… If I can get my hands on one that is!!

  • Jamie

    I’d think there will be plenty of dev support for the Prime, being quite clearly the top-notch android tablet.
    Do you guys agree?
    I think dev support for custom ROMs/kernels is pretty important.

  • caryb1969

    Still think the U.S. versions need a 3g, 4g option for the net. Cant believe they would only use that abroad and not here…. Thats what keeps the other tablets selling and me not buying. Has to be ‘portable’ on ALL levels. Not just a cool toy.?…..

  • aykutb

    hot as hell

  • David Mariani

    Will the Prime have a set price across all stores?? From the few I have seen so far, it seems to be the case. IF not, where would be cheapest in Canada? Ive only just moved here so dont know all the stores, ‘yet’….

  • Joseph Banks

    don’t know if i’ll be able to get this version or have to wait til the next version. but it looks great and it has some nice specs

  • Declan Finlay

    Reading all of this and not knowing what half of it means but all I understand is that it is a good tablet and I want it!

  • King Chris Scott

    I just wonder if this will be able to replace my regular laptop, can i do all my school work on it? I would just have to mess around with it to see whats up

  • Oskar Wismierski

    This thing looks great! Its soo slim.. could use one of those in my lectures

  • Alexis Piraina

    “Good enough PC replacement”
    I don’t think a tablet will be practical enough to one day entirely replace a pc. It’s not a question of tech but more a question of interface… A tablet is great when you read at something, look at something, or for a quick search or a play, because tablet are all entertaining, but that’s all : you will never want to work with a tablet, it’s not practical.
    There is a lack in the interface : as soon as you need more, like 2/3/5/10 apps in the same screen, accuracy (for photoshop for example), friendly UI that allow fast switching (for blogging, ect…) or just a good body position, then, you need a pc.
    I myself have a tablet, and it’s very useful, when i’m on a train looking my mails, watching a movie and look something in the hurry on the web, but i clearly prefer my laptop or even my phone for that, it’s more easy in the hands, more user friendly… Typing text on a tablet (even with my BT keyboard) it’s a pain in the ass.
    I just wait and see what user experience Linux or MS have to offer before judging the tablet case once and for all.

    • Velvet

      Hi Alexis,

      What about a tablet that you could connect (wireless?) on a big screen and use as a keyboard/trackpad/joystick ?
      Would this be à “good enough PC replacement”?


      • Alexis Piraina

        Hi Velvet,

        The problem stay the same : the OS is not practical for work unfortunately, and that worth for IOS and Android. The main reason is that it’s always one app at the time on the screen.
        A tablet connected to a big screen, i want to say : what the use ? Might as well buy a PC directly. And that comes with a lot of “screens resolutions” problems.

        Otherwise : there are already apps which do exactly what you are proposing, i mean, control PC’s mouse and keyboard with the touch screen of your phone/tablet, but there again, you need a pc ahah.

  • kzlife

    Liked the design on the last transformer more.. but definitely gonna get on ;)

    • kzlife


  • aaronkemp

    A beautiful tab. The idea of a tab plus keyboard dock s the future, no more need for clunky horrible netbooks.

  • James Woods

    With a few decent “Office” like apps (maybe even official office apps) the laptop/netbook is becoming redundant. This bad boy and a god desktop and your sorted!

    Credit where credits due… ASUS has done an amazing job in the tablet world.

  • mclarensr

    This tablet looks super cool.

  • David Hughes

    I was able to talk my wife into taking iconia a500 and will get this as it’s replacement, I don’t think she’ll notice

  • Martjn2

    It looks amazing!

  • AndyNguyen362

    The smooth screen on this thing is lightning bolt fast!

  • AndyNguyen362

    Total game changer, the Transformer Prime nearly eliminates the standard use for a laptop!

  • Louis Nicolaou

    Wow i really want this!! Do you sell it? Hahah i want it :-) just a comment on the unboxing video; may next time a more stable cam would be better :-)

  • harryville

    This is a must have machine!!

  • sp4rky

    Holy hell that is sexy. I like that the keyboard add additional battery life and the KB is thin too.

  • Albert Altman

    Currently there is no tablet in the market that can compete with an operating system (OSX/Linux/Windows) but slowly we are getting there.

    I don’t see any reason to own such a device, a tablet for me is not for productivity.
    Tablets are grate for Email,surfing and some games.

    But that is just my opinion…

    • Velvet

      +1 Cheers!

  • Velvet

    Hi everybody,

    This AMAZING tablet interests’ me, but one question : does anyone has any info, links or knows anything about SuperNote?( Asus’ app included in the Prime and regular transformer).
    It’s seems great for a student.


  • flamesbladeflcl

    do want

  • Stefan Sinapov

    nice gamming platform

  • Ryan Gails

    I would love to have one of these bad boys. I know a couple people with the original transformer and that thing is a boss.

  • deucex

    Looks great, I hope to get ahold of one soon.

  • philippegee

    I can’t stop thinking about this tablet.

  • madtnotn

    So excited for this to come out. Plan to replace my laptop with it.

  • hleinone

    Now if I could just code with this thing…

  • byantovez

    is it true this monstress can run a second os on top of android?

  • awundrin

    I would love to find one of these under my tree this year! Very impressive indeed~!

  • Velvet

    Hi, anyone knows if this tab would support an NTSF formated USB external hard drive?

    • Velvet

      Oups read “NTFS” not ntsf…

  • bnottingham

    I cannot wait for this tablet. Hurry up December 19th!

  • Samar

    Sick…egarly waiting.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    the 19th :D

  • Umut

    Version witt smaller screen size please, 8.5 inch etc.

  • Leif

    Totally agree – got mine few weeks ago and loving it. One big more advantage of the Keyboard dock is that the tablet get also charged from the keyboard battery once it’s docked in.

  • Boris

    When is the Asus 1920×1200 TF700T coming out?

  • Stig03

    love your reviews!

  • Ezy03

    Great reiveew!!