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.



83. weakenfalls

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

I know how u feel, but hmmm the asus prime is a really darn good android tablet. Its hard to get it.......but i bought mine from office depot bout 3 months ago and its the best piece of device out there right friend went he bought the new ipad after a week or so he returns it and get the prime..........i know some folks had wifi or gps issues, but i haven't had no issues with mine......gps signals indoors work and i get bout 65mbps in the house and its not even a N wireless far im very please with my prime.......with the new INFINITY coming i wont go crazy for that, yes it has some upgrade compare to the PRIME, but to me its not really worth getting the if the prime give u wifi n gps issues yes, otherwise its totally not worth the upgrade.....but thats my opinion so best of luck with the New Ipad buddy!

82. steve6884

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

I gave up waiting for the new Prime and bought the Ipad. If I knew a solid date that the Infinity was actually coming out I might have waited but I did not want to wait for months and months

81. sea923

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

UTUBER96...if you are considering the ipad with its price tag..I'd wait for the ASUS Infinity to be released sometime in "June" possibly. From what I have been might possibly be the first tablet to finally beat the ipad. the 4G LTE version is still awaiting FCC approval. Unit is said to be running ICS as the OS. Do some research to some more details. This is the one I'm waiting for! Good Luck. Hope this gives you some information.

80. Utuber96

Posts: 1; Member since: May 21, 2012

Hi Guys, Im a student in yr 11 and i am interested in buying a tablet. This will be my first tablet so i dont really know which one to get. Currently i have a Lg Optimus Black phone, a window's 7 laptop and a old iPod touch. So os doesn't really bother me. I have shortened the list down to the New iPad and the Asus eee transformer Prime. But the problem is i dont know which one to chose ?. I would be using the tablet for mostly gaming, facebooking and light word processing. I like the Transformer Prime for it's processor but i think its too good for my needs. But then again there is the iPad which has 3g connectivity. I find myself always using ym iPod for the easier interface. And i find that my phone is often glitchy and slow. Then again it is running android 2.2. So if you could recommend me a tablet. ? That would be great

76. minkhantkyaw

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

Haha , most people in Myanmar are saying iPad is more convenient to use than Android tablets . But I think it's quite funny .

74. seschu01

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

I happen to have both devices (well the new Ipad is my wife's device). I have been using the Prime and have been traveling between Kenucky and Florida. This includes 3 airport stops, hotels, and work travel. At each location I had no issues connecting or maintaining a Wi-Fi connection. I didn't notice any dropped signals or overly weak signals. Having said that I just bought my Prime last week so it may be the newer model. I do know that the first series of these devices did have a reportied Wi-Fi issue. However, the same issue is new effecting the new Ipad (see reports on MSNBC, etc). I think either way you go you may experience the issue. for the device itself. BUY THE KEYBOARD!!! It takes the device to an entirely new level. I am able to plug in external devices so easily with the true USB port. You also get an additional 8 hours of battery life and a full sized SD card. This is in addition to the mini-SD card and min-HDMI port found on the tablet itself.

73. steve6884

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 04, 2012

I was close to buying an Ipad until I saw the Prime today. The one thing that worries me is that I have heard there are problems with the Wifi connection. Is that true? Is there any way Asus can fix that or is it because of the aluminum back? Thanks for any info

75. hypernerd

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

my prime has super fast wifi. never have a problem on netflix. got a wifi mapping app free from amazon, and map my whole house without a drop. but youtube is quite slow. youtube is slow on my destktop as well. so i am not sure if it is an wifi issue of prime. i got at&t basic. that in itself is a huge problem. only the gps does not work for me. many people seems to fix their gps with some apps which i have not tried as yet. gps alone could make prime better than ipad 3 since apple did not even try. wait for ipad4. but the most urgent issue is not these two, instead samsung galaxy tablet 2. most of ipad 3 is made by samsung (screen, battery, camera etc). there is a talk samsung will release v2 in June. it will be way better than prime and 3. but you will be luck to land one. i am sure apple will sue the hell of samsung to copy and get better than ipad3. this competition is good for every consumer except those know nothing else but the shrine of apple.

78. minkhantkyaw

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

No , they are just rumours from the people who hate Android . They feel jealousy that an Android Tablet won their iPads . So they tell lots of rumours . I know that there is no problem in Wifi connoection because I own one .

71. seschu01

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

I have the ASUS Prime with the keyboard dock. Additionally I have a 32 GB Micro SD Card in the ASUS. Total cost below: - Tablet: 500$ - Dock : 150$ - SD : 55$ TCO: 705$ My wife has the iPad 3 Wifi + 4G 32GB Model White. She also has an external keyboard. - Tablet: 730$ - Keybrd: 99$ (ZAGG) TCO : 829$ The Ipad was easily more expensive and has 1/2 the GB. Prime wins in TCO - no doubt. This is a major factor to most buyers. The Prime keyboard also allows me to use a true USB port to use external devices and provides a full SD card for more expansion. Additonally it adds an 8 more hours of life to the device. Prime wins in this category, plus it comes with the mini HDMI port for free. That extra 125$ dollars saved is a big win considering that the remaining features are either a draw or so close as to be a non-issue. I still think the Prime wins out in pure processing power and true graphic capabilities. Also, it is worth noting that ASUS manufactures alot of their own internal components where Apple outsources most of their builds. Prime has a better processor. It's a math thing and math doesn't lie! The Gorilla screen was overlook as well. I find that this screen is much better than the iPad version. Though I concede that the iPad does indeed look better.But why no Gorilla Glass. I use my device and scratches on something this large become annoyances. Bad choice imo. I could care less if it looks spectacular sitting on a shelf. If I pull it out of a bag and it gets a scratch it becomes junk imo. Prime wins in design choice for glass but Apple takes the lead in general screen resolution and appearance. So the bottom line is do you want to spend $120 more for 1/2 the GB and get the same tablet essentially? Lets not forget that you also get no USB ports, no SD card ports, no extended batery life as well for that extra $120..but you get a pretty apple logo I guess...

77. minkhantkyaw

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

Yeah , man . I think it costs more than 120$ only for the apple logo .

70. sea923

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

How well does the Prime find and link up with peripherals; printers and the like??

72. seschu01

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

I use the EPSON WiFi Printer app for free. Also if the Printer supports BlueTooth it's a moot point as well. Short answer - it hooks up just fine. Additionally the miniHDMI is built in so a HDMI to mini cord is all you need. This is alot less than the adapter plus the cord you need to buy for iPad to do this. and...the keyboard extension supports a USB Port (2.0) and SD Card port plus extended battery life for $150. It may seem expensive at first but still makes the TCO of the device cheaper than a comparable iPad (new version)

69. kingstandup

Posts: 30; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

This was a very fair interview, in my humble opinion. I was expecting the iPad 3 to take this one right out of the gate, but this was a nice surprise. I've never had the opportunity to use the Transformer for any significant amount of time, but now I really want to give it a try. Thumbs up!

67. weakenfalls

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

There u go.....that's what I'm talking bout head to head comparison from phonearena! Its bout time u guys did this......its fair from both sides, but oh mannnnnnn my Asus stood its ground hard and proud lol.

65. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Nevermind ... sorry.

62. Enough-Is-Never-Enough

Posts: 14; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

I like Apples, nice and healthy for ya!!!!!!!! Transformers are great too. The way they change forms!!!!!!!! Just Jokes people. Just jokes

61. Habib

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Finally, I would say, this was by far the best comparison. Both tablets have upper hand each other so I am settling with JOHN .V's verdict.

59. Evil_SaNz

Posts: 259; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

Rear camera is really useful on a tablet...I'd buy it just for its camera. People will get confused about a tablet's purpose if we start focusing on the rear camera. Tablet = portable knowledge base and multimedia hub. Browser performance, thinness & weight, 1080p video management, wireless connectivity and streaming, storage and file management should be reviewed / compared. Qa'pla

52. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

I just picked up a galaxy tab 7.7 LTE which was given to me for work. I don't understand how people think android is competitive as an OS. Web browsing sucks on the stock browser. Apps are horrible, just blown up phone apps. My exchange email comes through as text only. No HTML. I own an iPad as well and the software is hands down better than android.

79. minkhantkyaw

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

Haha , your comment means that you hate Android devices .

47. heartbrigade

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Is there a forum or addendum to this discussion about the average costs of apps that will be purchased by these tablets? My wife prefers to buy the iPad and is new to iOS, but my concern is the cost of apps. For example, I'm able to get Angry Birds for free on Android, but it's not free on iOS. However, iOS has plenty of more Apps than Android, but so far, I can get by with what Android Google Play has to offer. Please advise.

45. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

A good review John, but: -What about continue autofocus available in Asus Prime and not in iPad 3 video recording? -No game testing? -What about faster speed in loading pages with Prime rather than iPad 3?

44. elite monkey

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

pretty sure tegra 3 has 12-core gpu? why not mention that?

38. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

So what happened now, smartypants? Why are all the Handroid fans so quiet? You did not like the previous comparison with the Samsung and wanted the Hasus? Well, here it is. Smoked like the previous yellow brand. Choppy browsing, average battery, average display, not commenting the OS. Now what? Any other reason? :)

51. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

LOL.. did John ever mentioned that it was smoked? and what's with that Yellow Brand? trying to be racist? Cmon, more than 50% who commented here either have android device, or an android fan, and the difference is, we give credits when it is due.. yes, we admit that the iPad has crisper screen and a faster GPU.. what's wrong with you?

32. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

People need to remember that the New is pushing 3 million pixels versus the Prime's 1 million. The fact that the New can keep up with the Prime is noteworthy. (Same thing when the New is paired up against the iPad 2.) One "could" say ... I get the same frame rates on the Prime versus the New. So the New "sucks". Again ... the New is pushing 3 times the pixels. I am going to get dinged for this ... but for me ... what is the main interface of any tablet ... the screen. You will spend more time looking at the thing ... than pushing any button ... swiping ... etc. With these two tablets being so dang close in every other feature ... for me ... I would drop the money on the New because of the screen.

31. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I have both and found the transformer prime faster.

58. darkkjedii

Posts: 31797; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Great, but do u think speed alone is gonna make someone buy one over the other? People buy what suits their business,personal, and social lives. They also buy what they trust, and enjoy using the most. I think u should definitely roll with your prime, it's a heck of a device... I'm rolling with my iPad 3. it's what suits me best.

27. JDCohen722

Posts: 39; Member since: May 18, 2011

Im sorry but this review is arguably quite biased. The 3rd Gen iPad has a better camera? Really? They are identical camera's, literally identical; both are the exact same Camera used in the iPhone 4S, although the Transformer Prime keeps the camera the exact same at 8MP, the iPad downscales the resolution to 5MP. They are the exact same camera just the Prime has a higher Megapixel count! Even if Megapixels don't always count when comparing 2 different cams, when comparing the same they do! Even with Apples special iSight improvements, the Prime's cam is still better! And thats talking from experience between looking at each next to each other! Secondly, you stated the iPad 3 is a hairline faster, but stated it was only in gallery and browser, firstly BOTH APPS ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT ON EACH PLATFORM!!! The Gallery App and Browser on iOS could be highly different than the ones on Android so thats not a fair comparison! If you really want to compare their speeds use apps that are the same on both softwares, e.g. a game like World Of Goo's loading times, or opening an app thats identical on each OS!! But PhoneArena is TOO BAISED to test that, because they know the Prime's 1.3GHz Quad Core Processor will easily beat the A5X 1GHz Dual Core Processor in any fair comparison! And I love how they merely mention the Prime has a "Tegra 3 Quad Core Processor", and say nothing about its 1.3GHz Clock Speed or 12-Core Graphics but they detail the iPad 3's 1GHz Dual Core Processor and Quad Core Graphics, merely because they knew that in theory the Tegra 3 sounds a lot faster. And lastly they only said both tablets were the best at the end because they knew if they said the iPad 3 was better people would've seen how biased really is.

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