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Asus Transformer Prime Review

Asus Transformer Prime 9

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Interface:

Taking it out of the box for the first time, the tablet was running Honeycomb, but after installing a software update, we’re quickly presented with Google’s most up-to-date platform – Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Initially navigating across its homescreen, there is very little evidence of ICS, and to tell you the truth, it didn’t look any different from stock Honeycomb. However, it’s abundantly clear that it’s ICS because of the app panel, as we’re greeted with the familiar paper stacking animation while moving between menus. Moreover, when we meticulously look at it, there are a few new widgets on board – such as the weather, email/date, MyZine, and One-click Clean widgets. As a whole, it’s nothing terribly different from what we saw already with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but still, it boasts plenty of customization aspects to tailor uniquely to each individual user.

After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review
After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS - Asus Transformer Prime Review

After a software update, the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android 4.0.3 ICS



Functionality:

For those of us that experienced ICS on the Galaxy Nexus, there isn’t a whole lot new when peering over some of the organizer apps on the Asus Transformer Prime – and in fact, their presentations are similar to their Honeycomb counterparts. Actually, there’s nothing different with things like the Calendar, which sports that all too characteristic two-panel layout that we’re familiar with. Again, the same goes with the People app as it details most of the information for each individual in the main panel on the right side – while our scrollable contacts list is found on the left. As for the rest, like the clock and calculator, they’re nothing else more than stretched out versions that we find on the Android smartphone platform.

Calendar - Organizer apps - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Organizer apps - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Organizer apps - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Calculator - Organizer apps - Asus Transformer Prime Review

Calendar

  

Calculator

Organizer apps


Being a 10.1” tablet and all, it’s undoubtedly blessed with plenty of real estate to make all of its available on-screen keyboards very easy to use. On top of that, it sports a very responsive rate to keep up with all of our movements, which is attributed to its quad-core CPU.  Between the stock ICS and Asus keyboards, we actually prefer the stock one for the simple reason that its buttons are larger and much more manageable to press. With the Asus keyboard, it mimics the Swype method of inputting text, though, we’re still able to type letters individually – but we’d recommend taking a slow pace with it because being too fast results in swipe gestures.

On-screen keyboards - Asus Transformer Prime Review
On-screen keyboards - Asus Transformer Prime Review
On-screen keyboards - Asus Transformer Prime Review
On-screen keyboards - Asus Transformer Prime Review

On-screen keyboards


Emailing is an integral part of any mobile device, and not surprisingly, the Asus Transformer Prime adheres to our needs perfectly – albeit, it’s the same experience we find with any other Honeycomb flavored tablet. In actuality, there’s no upgrade with either the Gmail and email apps, since their presentations are similar in the fact that they utilize that familiar two-panel layout. As for setup, it’s a painless process that basically requires our email address and password for automatic setup.

Emailing - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Emailing - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Emailing - Asus Transformer Prime Review
Emailing - Asus Transformer Prime Review

Emailing



Processor and Memory:

Nonchalantly setting the benchmark for all things coming out this year, the Asus Transformer Prime sets the bar in terms of performance with its quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, which is comprised of a 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 multi-core processor with 4 cores, 1 extra low power “companion” core, and 12 graphics cores. Talk about fast, but this takes everything we’ve seen with Android-based tablets to a whole new level!  Effortlessly accomplishing all bask tasks without any fluff, we’re astounded by the fluidity that it exhibits while maintaining a tight tracking of our finger as we flip through its homescreen. Even more, it doesn’t seem tested whatsoever with processor intensive tasks – such as navigating with a live wallpaper activated or playing graphically superior games. Amazingly, it produces close to the same level of responsiveness found on the iPad 2, which is something that warrants a round of applause. Do you want fast, insanely fast actually? Well, this is pretty much as good as it gets on an Android tablet – bar none!

Normally, most people would tend to agree that at $500, you’re getting something with 16GB of memory, but in fact, the Transformer Prime is graced with an even more generous 32GB of internal storage, which can be further supplemented by adding a microSD card of some sort.


Internet and Connectivity:

We’ve always been favorable with  the web browsing experience on most Honeycomb flavored tablets, but for some, the experience is marred by choppiness and sluggishness. Well folks, that’s not the case with the almighty Asus Transformer Prime, as it represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like. Not only is it able to load complex web pages very fast and accurately, it doesn’t flinch whatsoever when pages littered with heavy Flash content try to test it. All in all, it maintains its steady responsiveness and fluidity with various navigational controls to make it such a joy traversing through content heavy web pages. Seriously, we sometimes find ourselves getting lost in perusing a variety of pages for the simple reason that its performance is near perfect.

The Asus Transformer Prime represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like - Asus Transformer Prime Review
The Asus Transformer Prime represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like - Asus Transformer Prime Review
The Asus Transformer Prime represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like - Asus Transformer Prime Review
The Asus Transformer Prime represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like - Asus Transformer Prime Review

The Asus Transformer Prime represents what a flawless web browsing experience should be like


Connected to a Wi-Fi network, the tablet is able to establish a solid connection with very little evidence of fluctuation – and more importantly, it’s still able to connect perfectly at 30 feet away. Meanwhile, we’ve heard plenty of stories about the nightmare surrounding the tablet’s GPS signal strength – with some saying that it’s the metallic casing that’s causing interference. Granted that there have been reports of it not working altogether, we’re happy to report that our review unit manages to establish connections to various GPS satellites, though, it’s on the weak side both indoors and out when compared to other devices. Lastly, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR is on board to enable it to connect to various wireless peripherals.

51 Comments
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posted on 27 Jan 2012, 06:10 4

1. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


fantastic review. Looking forward to seeing if the ipad 3 can match it

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:21 5

6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


i'm not much of a biased person, but following the success of the ipad 2, people will buy the ipad 3 even if it has the same specs as this tablet and it will definetely run smoother on iOS.
Apple will surely advertise it's camera, quad core, display and design.

I'm not saying the Prime is fail though, I LOVE IT. It is just a signal that Android is just warming up and the Soldiers of the android army is ready to fight.

(Hoping for Nexus Tablet just to fight the iPad 3 off lol)

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:26 4

7. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


What is iPad 3 :D ?

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 08:36 7

10. SleepingOz (unregistered)


ipod touch 9" 3gen will never be able to match this!

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 11:17 6

16. pooked (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jan 2012)


Its the first gen quad core device out there, i just cant see Apple with its closed ecosystem lasting much longer in the world where customisation is such a huge deal.

Lets see how that Pad 3 looks like, maybe nicer rez screen as oppose to the previous s**tty ones.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 15:46 1

23. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


I actually like apples ecosystem to android.
I also love this tablet

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 16:07 2

32. cheetah2k (Posts: 1599; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


Why no 3G Asus?? Surely Phonearena, this has to be a con??

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 14:37

39. mikenco (Posts: 7; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


the 3g enabled tf202 was reported for sale in asia by members of one of the android t.prime forums. it was discussed during the ces show by asus but for some reason has taken them longer to release than the base wifi only unit.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 06:27 2

2. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


I've preordered it @ Amazon italy a week ago and honestly with my old transformer i did't used the GPS or navigation.
Can I ask why "So-so video recording & photo quality" !?! Is the BEST camera that a tablet can offer NOW !

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 06:46 2

3. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


THAT'S what I'm talking about.. :-)

Now waiting the 700 series with ICS.
That review will be epic!!
Google tablets are the next biggest thing, just wait and see

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 12:28

19. neptune.joel (Posts: 23; Member since: 12 Jan 2011)


im not sure but Windows 8 may be playing there too.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:04 4

4. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3109; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Finally a tablet worth your money.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:05 8

5. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Phonearena; Thanks for being honest... I would have gave it a 9.5...

Ipad: Lookout, Android is coming for you...!!!!!

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 07:46 2

8. Maeve (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Jan 2012)


I have one and I love it. Simply brilliant. I have used other pads before and this is just better all round. Everyone i've shown it to has been really impressed as well, and I've got some hard to please friends! For anyone who wants Android, this is the one.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 08:37

11. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1046; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


Are you able to write documents like term papers.....and if you have the keyboard dock, are you able to print from the tablet to the printer??

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 11:22

17. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)


It'll suffice for most things, but it's very cramped....like what you find on some 10-inch netbooks. It's tedious to say the least, but usable.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 11:32

40. Birds (Posts: 1165; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


Hey, It thought this device was "0.31" inches thick?

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 16:44

33. brainsturridge (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


yeh have to say that i agree. I have had a motorolla xoom and a galaxy tab and ended up selling them on. the prime has been the first tablet device that i want to keep

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 08:12

9. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1046; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


Ive been waiting for a device to replace my 4yr old computer and its looking like the Prime is on the top of my list. I like the functionality and how smooth the tablet is. With the addition of the keyboard dock, not only can i use it as a laptop for school, i can also keep the amt of apps i currently have thru android and amazon

Unlike the HTC Jetstream and Motorola Xoom, the Transformer Prime is reasonably priced, even with the keyboard. im looking to buy both the tablet and keyboard dock in the near future!!

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 10:39 3

15. ryan5609 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


I am going to be perfectly honest with you. I would not recommend the Prime for what you need it for. I just sold mine a few days ago. The Prime is great for what it is, an expensive novelty, but I cant see being that productive on it. Check out my full review and thoughts on Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/review/R25Z1WR9JBDZC/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

I had the original Transformer and the Prime, I just don't think that Android tablet are where I want them to be yet.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 16:28

24. ghost__uwi (Posts: 175; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


Well i need to see this in action before I pass judgement. I really think this is the equivalent of the Samsung Galaxy s2

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 23:27

25. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


I agree with ryan and that's where i still can't seem to quite understand the buzz about tablets.
So this is where i hope W8 tablets will come in and give me a tablet that can actually work as a portable computer. I mean this has the power to do so but works no better than you're phone with a bigger screen.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 21:31

43. mikenco (Posts: 7; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


at first i too didn't get the hype on tablets but w/the docking station and newer apps i literally can do virtually everything my laptop can do. the first batch that went out had bugs and an older os, even at that most owners had mostly praise for the tprime. now that the bugs are history and the number of apps is growing daily, if you had one you would understand why it now has such a devoted following and why you can't find them anywhere in stock. those who harp on the initial bugs forget apple too had issues with its initial releases, just part of the process. lastly with an app i downloaded yesterday i am now able to easily network and access files on both my pc's at home as well as the one at work.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 09:07

12. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


oh and btw, PA, you used the picture of the eee slate in size comparison to the prime when it said eee pad.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 10:03

13. Windsponge (Posts: 92; Member since: 01 Nov 2009)


I bought one and returned it. The wi-fi and gps do not work correctly. I thought the pictures were excellent and the tablet was good. Not many of my apps worked on it. Asus. Knows there are problems with this. I returned it and am waiting on some big more reliable to come out. If not for wi fi and gps issues this could have been a very good tablet. So I feel this review is more of a promo than the truth. Read people who bought one's reviews.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 11:24

18. John.V (Posts: 99; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I didn't experience any Wi-Fi issues with my model, though, I clarify in the review that GPS signal strength is weak, but doesn't hamper using things like Google Maps.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 21:15

42. mikenco (Posts: 7; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


since the most recent update i have all bars and good reception is now great. i tested it yesterday after the last update, took it outside approx. 40' from my modem and still had a good enough connection to download and read my mail. i don't care about gps as i have it in my vehicles as well as a dedicated unit for hiking so i cannot tell you anything in regards to that.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 10:33 1

14. ryan5609 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


Good review. But I think you give the ICS browser too much praise. I thought it was better than the honeycomb version, but it was still buggy as hell. I found mine would load basic pages just fine, but anything complicated or demanding websites and it would start to piss me off. I had my Prime for about a month, but I had to sell it. I felt a new laptop would better accomplish what I wanted to do with the Prime.

posted on 28 Jan 2012, 04:07

27. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


..you tried third party browser?

posted on 30 Jan 2012, 13:48

36. ryan5609 (Posts: 107; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


Yes. I used the Dolphin browser when the stock browser started messing up. It fixed the issues I was having with the stock browser, but I was still disappointed with the speed of internet browsing.

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Asus Transformer Prime

Asus Transformer Prime

OS: Android 4.0.3 4.0 3.2
view full specs
Display10.1 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (149 ppi) Super IPS+ LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
NVIDIA Tegra 3, Quad-core, 1300 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size10.35 x 7.12 x 0.41 inches
(263 x 180.8 x 8.3 mm)
20.67 oz  (586 g)

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