Apple iPad 3 vs Asus Transformer Prime

At long last, it finally boils down to this! We know you’ve been waiting for this one eagerly, and so have we,  especially when the new iPad seemingly proved itself against its rivals in the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 most recently. Naturally, there is only one Android based tablet that can give the new iPad a run for its money, and surely enough, the Asus Transformer Prime is bent on showing why it’s that other benchmark device. Honestly, it’s a clash of the titans with these two behemoths, but much like everything else, there can only be one that can reign supreme from the ashes of battle.


Even before looking over their specs sheets, we have to applaud these two titans for having killer industrial designs that are conceivably memorable in many ways. The more we hold and check out the two, the more we realize they share a lot of commonalities – such as streamlined constructions, metallic casings, and that perfect balance of weight. Technically though, the Asus Transformer Prime is skinnier and lighter, but it’s barely noticeable to the eye or hand. On the other end, we prefer the milled aluminum casing of the new iPad since it seems to repel dirt and debris much better than its rival, and on top of that, caressing and tapping it shows us that it’s the sturdier as well. Overall, there isn’t a definitive winner in which one boasts the better design, but more importantly, they embody all of the qualities of what it means to be a premium tablet.

Adjusting volume and powering on isn’t a problem with either device, that’s because they exhibit springy responses with their physical buttons, but the iPad’s set are raised higher – thus, easier to feel out. Hardly a  shocker anymore, they feature proprietary docking ports for charging and data connectivity, but we like it that the Asus Transformer Prime carries a separate microHDMI port for video-out. To gain that function with the new iPad, it requires the purchase of an optional digital AV adapter. Yet another reason why these two are so similar to one another, micro dots in their casings shield their internal speakers.

Normally, tablets don’t get that much love when it comes to cameras, but that’s not the case with these two as they sport some respectable ones. With the Asus Transformer Prime, it boasts the higher 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash – whereas, the iPad  carries a 5-megapixel one sans flash. To sweeten things, these two actually feature some other tasteful features such as an F2.4 aperture lens, sensor with backside illumination, and full 1080p video recording. As for their front-facing cameras, the Transformer Prime is outfitted with a 1.3-megapixel snapper, while the iPad simply packs a VGA one.


Impressively, each tablet’s display is a sight to behold and again reaffirms why they’re regarded as premium. Just as a refresher, the new iPad thrills us with its 9.7” IPS LCD panel, dubbed as the Retina display, because of its reality warping resolution of 2048 x 1536. Meanwhile, the Transformer Prime is still an illustrious one with its 10.1” WXGA (1280 x 800) Super IPS+ LCD panel. On paper, the new iPad has the obvious edge with its 264 ppi pixel density, which is substantial over the 149 ppi figure attached to the Transformer Prime. Calculations aside, though, our eyes really tell us which one is superior. Now seriously people, it’s almost negligible from a far distance to distinguish which one is more detailed, but upon closer inspection, the iPad shows it absolute superiority. Simply, we’re enchanted by its immaculate details that make even the tiniest of text within the web browser more than visible.

Other than that, they share the same wide-viewing angles and vivid color tones to capture our attention from afar. However, we find that the Super IPS+ display of the Transformer Prime to be higher in contrast, which translates over to a brighter appearance – though, it exhibits a warmer tone. In any event, we’re captivated by the two since they’re usable in outdoor conditions with the sun present. No doubt that they’re both lovely in many aspects, but it’s ultimately the iPad’s stellar detail that jumps at us the most.



1. aar0983

Posts: 51; Member since: Sep 26, 2011

Well for everyone calling out this fight here it is. Surprise anyone? All that waiting for a tie? Lol it's not that resolutionary that it cant beat an older tablet.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well if u don't like their results, then pic up both, and do your own comparison. They compared them both, and gave their honest opinion,while coming to their conclusion. Some people just can't b content.

60. godspeed

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 22, 2011

They should have compared 3D-Gaming. I would rly like to know which one performs better? 4 core GPU of iPad or 12core GPU of the Primer. They always do their tests on a base level, which is unsatisfying. And obv. I don't want to buy both, that's why I am following sites like this. That comment was just stupid....

5. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed,it a fair judgement from phonearena,although as you do say the transformer is out about 4 months at this stage so it would will be very interesting to see how phonearena calls it when the more modern 1080p version of the transformer prime gets released soon.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Andro whatup. I think the prime is sweet my boy has one, and it definitely has its advantages, if u need them. Like the keyboard which is cool. I like the iPads LTE though for on the go, plus I'm deeply vested in ios so I chose it. U can't go wrong either way though.

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You know this was probably the best comparison ever by I felt that John V. was VERY fair and 100% accurate in EVERYTHING he mentioned for both the Asus Transformer Prime & the new iPad. It was very refreshing & completely unbiased. These indeed are the 2 beasts of the tablet world, equal because each offers something the other doesn't. Good job this is why I always come to you for my daily mobile tech news! As for me, I will always choose customization over control, meaning that I love that I can root my Asus Transformer Prime, & overclock that beast to a MASSIVE 1.7GHz. (Quad-core) At that level there is nothing out there that is faster. I know that kills the new iPad's 1.0GHz A5X. (Dual-core) My Asus Transformer Prime is a lot smoother, faster & more powerful because of root. That is why the Asus Transformer Prime in my book is the better device. Pound for pound taking everything into consideration the Asus Transformer Prime offers more than the new iPad, take the ability to easily root to get INCREDEBLE functionality/performance as well as BETTER battery life, the added functionality of the keyboard dock, & the great price of $499.99 for a 32GB machine as opposed to $499.99 for the 16GB new iPad. The Asus Transformer Prime just wins hands down.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

The iPad also has a keyboard dock. In fact several, and yes they are third party,but it has them. Rooting is cool, if that's ur thing, but u can jailbreak the iPad, and overclock too. The only things u can't do with the iPad is make the screen bigger, or add two cores to the processor as those are hardware things. Software wise u can jailbreak, and do it all. Not everyone wants to do that though, bcuz u do run the risk of bricking the device.

28. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

not only that you run the risk of making your phone extremely insecure, jailbreaking isnt great nor easy. Yes you can get third party keypads at a high price but the prime comes with one and its a bloody good one that doubles your battery life.

30. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes but jailbreaking the new iPad voids your warranty & it's very hard, I know because I made an AT&T iPhone 4 work on T-Mobile. When I root the Asus Transformer Prime, I can unroot the machine & make it look 100% STOCK, thus not voiding the warranty. That is the beauty of Android as opposed to Apple. Also all Apple keyboards are aftermarket. The Asus Transformer Prime's keyboard dock is made just for it, with the same quality materials & ADDS an extra battery more USB docks & EXTRA functionality. About bricking your device, yes there is some RISK, but to achieve this you need to do something out of the blue. To root is a simple as following steps. If you can follow a cook book to cook a recipe, or you can use GPS navigation, or you can follow directions like if you were on a sports team, then you can root. It's REALLY as simple as A, B, C! People that run into problems are the people who don't follow directions or do something that is clearly wrong. I have rooted the Samsung Epic 4G, the HTC Evo 3D, Samsung Galaxy Nexus & The Asus Transformer Prime. NEVER, ever did I brick a phone/tablet, because I followed directions to the T. It's REALLY that SIMPLE!

37. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

How do u like ur prime with the root?

50. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Man it's simply the world’s most powerful mobile tablet. The Asus Transformer Prime kicks a$$ STOCK but with a simple root you can magnify that tenfold. To think that there really isn't any ROMS out there in quantity for it YET! I am waiting for Codename Android 1.5.5 to hit the Prime. (Just around the corner.) That ROM will single handedly put to shame the developers at Asus. The Prime overclocked to 1.6/1.7GHz is like giving speed to a cheetah. (No I don't condone DRUG use.) lol To put it to you in a phrase: It's an utter joy and pleasure to use a rooted Asus Transformer Prime!

34. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks man!

49. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

Thanks to you, too, John! This is one fair comparison unlike many that are biased to either side.. love it.. i hope to see more like this in PA!

53. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

@SuperAndroidEvo: I agree about John V being accurate, excepting the "reality warping resolution" description (page 1, first paragraph under Display) of the new ipad's display. If it were a 24K screen, yeah, that might warp my perceptions a bit, but in and of itself, it's simply an evolution of screen technology. It was a bit too hyperbolic. Other than that, good review. My money would go towards the prime, and the money I'd save on apps and fussy add-ons like the smart cover would go towards the keyboard dock

56. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

i agree SuperAndroidEvo!! I like the reviews that this guy gives and this one is no comparison!!! Although I dont like Apple, you gotta give them credit for creating the original iPad. I will say that they have to step their game up because Android is coming up fast. you cant go wrong with either one! both have their flaws, but are better than the others and Id go with the Prime because of the personalization and the fact that everything doesnt go thru iTunes like the new iPad does

6. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

like what they said, depends on your personality. If you want iOS the simple controlled one, or the complicated advanced android. lol imagine iPad 3 running android 4, it may be more laggier than the Galaxy Tab, and if you put iOS on a prime, it may be blazing fast. but in truth you can't do that, so ur stuck with those. Choose your side lol

3. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I think phonearena forgot to mention the dock of the prime, a usb port, the battery life and full sd card slot - and that for $500, one has 32Gb while the other has 16gb. I don't wanna be a biased fanboy since I own the Prime, but whatever you say future commenters, that is what I will believe in. :> i think the iPad 3 is great but I don't want iOS, and I needed a keyboard for college and documents.

8. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Forgetting the dock and all its enhancement to the prime was an oversight from PA admittingly

10. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I like how unbiased your comment was, instead of taking shots at apple u simply went with the choice of the prime, while acknowledging the iPads worth. My best friend has the prime, and I love it.., I think it's sweet,but I choose the iPad 3, cuz of my vast iTunes, and app store library, not becuz it's better. In reality neither is better other than to the people they suit best. Good comment.

15. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

- I have an A500 droidblet with a USB port - never gets used. - SD card slot - useless since the naming convention for external SD is not standardized most of the programs I use cannot access it - Dock? Seriously? You want credit for a $150 external battery with a very poor keyboard. You can get an external battery for the iPad for much less. Forgot to mention that the standby life is much much better on iPad. android drains rapidly in stnadby. 2 Days for a droidblet, at least a week standby life for an iPad. That means in the real world where you use a tablet 1 or 2 hours a day, a droidblet will last 1-2 days and an iPad will last a week+. I have used both for almost a year and constantly having to charge my A500 is a PITA.

19. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

seriously? you apple fanboys are blind. I kept my mind open. Yes your all so godly iPad is good, the upgrade is great, but you guys, calling android and other technology stupid crap, are stupid. might as well buy a brain for $500 rather than that iPad 3.

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I think we fanboys call android stupid in the heat of battle with u android guys. Truth b told I'm an iOS guy, but I also love,and own android (skyrocket gs2). Android is an awesome platform, but not without it's issues, iOS is an awesome platform, but not without it's issues. The end result is that we the consumer win with our choice of what we want to spend our money on. Do u agree?

23. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What are you talking about? "You want credit for a $150 external battery with a very poor keyboard. You can get an external battery for the iPad for much less." Umm NO. The keyboard is 100% fabulous. If you have never used it then you should never talk about it. I can out type anyone because of that keyboard. Also the track pad on it is VERY intuitive. I really have no clue on how you can EVEN say that. You refer to your Acer Iconia Tab A500 as a "droidblet" because that tablet sucks. It will be WAY better once ICS hits your tablet. The Asus Transformer Prime has ICS 4.0.3 NOW which is made for multiple-core devices & the battery life is phenomenal under HEAVY usage & even BETTER on standby so again an emphatic NO! To make a comment about something that you clearly don't own is very ludicrous. You could not be more wrong. The Asus Transformer Prime is the world’s best Android tablet period & as John V. said it's EQUAL to the new iPad! To think that the Asus Transformer Prime is actually a 2011 model not a brand new 2012 as is the new iPad. That should resound loudly in your head. It other words the Asus Transformer Prime is just a insanely well built piece of technology, clearly on par with TODAY’s best & on par to what will be coming out.

36. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 2011

Absolutely agree. They both have their charms to deliver a phenomenal experience. For starters, I'm grateful that the Asus Transformer Prime is one of the few to excel in the speed it doesn't show the lag/choppiness normally found with other Honeycomb tablets.

48. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You don't even know how much better the Asus Transformer Prime is when it's rooted. I am salivating for the opportunity to install Codename Android to the Prime. (It’s coming very soon!) A rooted device compared to a stock device is like day and night. If you were impressed with the stock Asus Transformer Prime wait until you get a rooted Prime in your hands John V. You will go bonkers! lol Codename Android 1.5.5 is the best ROM for a rooted Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It was even featured on PC World Magazine on February 20th! (Check the web-site) It's based on ICS 4.0.3. The stock kernel that comes with the ROM has the ability to set the governor to interactiveX & it can be overclocked to 1.35GHz. That means (to anyone who doesn’t know) that the phone has the ability to go into a deep sleep (when the screen powers off) & while in deep sleep it will actually shut down one of the cores. Plus the kernel comes undervolted so the Samsung Galaxy Nexus gets GREAT battery life compared to stock. It’s day and night. I can get 1 day 4 hours of battery life with 2 hours of screen time. That is a lite day for me. On a super heavy day, I can get 16 to 18 hours with a whopping 4 and a half hours of screen time. This is with my screen at 40%, 24/7 plus always on 4G. I have the screen shots to prove it. Not to mention how NOTICEABLY faster & smoother the OS is because of the ROM/Kernel. Codename Android 1.5.5 is just the REAL DEAL. The Android community is stellar in what they can achieve once Google releases the code to public. Now Imagine what I said but apply it to the Asus Transformer Prime but with an overclock from 1.4 to 1.7 GHz. (Quad-core people!) It definitely has me stoked. An Android device always offers more than stock. I am a FIRM believer that the true potential of an Android device is realized through the root community. That is why Android is just a pleasure & the cream of the crop when it comes to OS's. The level of talent that is out there in the Android root community is scary good!

68. trollhunter

Posts: 7; Member since: Dec 17, 2011


18. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

accessories are something the ipad would smash any android in. I still dont understand why android doesnt have any officially supported ones.

54. Fallout09

Posts: 421; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I just pick up Philips android sound dock for my desk at work. I am pretty impressed with the performance for the price ($69.99). However, I am will you... the micro usb port is very versatile... What is stopping others?

33. greyhulk

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

You can get a keyboard dock for the iPad which, while admittedly inferior (no sd slot, no battery, etc.) still makes it competitive and it's half the price. Since both docks are separate purchases, I'd say that makes that feature of the prime a wash.

35. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 2011

Here's the thing. First, there's no arguing that the keyboard dock enhances the Asus Transformer Prime, but that's an additional $150 investment over the $500 you're paying for the Prime itself. I didn't want to bring the dock into the equation because it's all about the tablets.

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