Asus Transformer Prime Review

Garnering plenty of attention from almost every critic, thanks to its combinational stellar pricing and expansive functionality, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer managed to rise to the top of the ranks within the Android Honeycomb landscape last year. For round two, Asus isn’t simply going to be content with making the usual set of iterative improvements, oh no, but instead, they’re aiming to grab a firm grasp on the market while setting the benchmark for everyone else.

Perhaps, it’s the allure of being the very first to feature the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, or maybe that it’s one of the few devices to offer the most up-to-date Android experience in Ice Cream Sandwich, whatever it is, the Asus Transformer Prime is here to tantalize us with its all-encompassing magnificence. Knowing it’s packed to the roof with dreamy hardware, the $500 pricing it’s sporting is simply icing on the cake – though, all talk is nice, but let’s find if it can walk the walk.

The package contains:

  • Proprietary USB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • User’s Manual
  • Cleaning cloth


Impressively, Asus went all out this time around with the design of the Transformer Prime seeing that they didn’t leave any stone unturned in crafting this beauty. Simply put it, the Asus Transformer Prime is one of the best-looking tablets we’ve seen to date – hands down! Needless to say, that’s some serious talk from us, but after scoping out the premium choice of materials it’s using, like the metallic spun finish of its rear casing, it’s easily on par to the iPad 2 in terms of quality and durability, though, it’s marginally lighter (20.67 oz), but not as light as the airy Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (19.75 oz).

Feasting our eyes on its industrial design, we adore that it has an overall clean appearance, but even more impressive is the fact it’s able to pack everything into its compact 0.41” thick body – and it’s uniform too! For the most part, it’s comfortable to hold with both hands for an extensive period of time, however, its edges are a bit sharp feeling and can become slippery to grasp. Beyond that, we have to applaud Asus in crafting something so beautiful and easily exude the top-notch qualities we’d expect out of a $500 priced tablet.

On its left edge we find most of the tablet’s ports, like its microSD card slot and microHDMI port, while the microphone and stiff feeling volume control are also located closeby. Towards the top left corner, the lonely narrow looking dedicated power button pops out, and its response is better when pressed. Meanwhile, the directional microphone is perched directly in the middle of the top edge, while the 3.5mm headset jack is the sole thing taking up the right side of the tablet. Lastly, the proprietary data/charging port and dock connecting notches are all positioned on the bottom edge.

Above the display, a 1.3-megapixel camera sits squarely in the middle ready for all of our video chatting needs and self-portraits. Strangely, even though it’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, face unlock is nowhere to be found as an option with the tablet. Flipping over to its backside, the tablet is treated to one very respectable 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, which features an F2.4 lens and backside illumination. Finally, the tablet’s sole speaker is found nearby towards the left edge.

Just like the Eee Pad Transformer from last year, the Transformer Prime also sports a convertible style design with the aid of its optional $149.99 keyboard dock. When it’s snuggly fastened in, the 10.1” tablet is transformed to a chic looking ultraportable that’s equipped with the usefulness of a full QWERTY keyboard, trackpad, USB port, full-sized SD card slot, and an extra battery that provides up to 18 hours of total battery for the tablet. However, if there’s one gripe that we have, it has to be that the chicklet style buttons on the keyboard are very tiny! Therefore, if you consider yourself to have above average sized hands, just expect the keyboard to feel very cramped. Aside from that, it’s definitely one accessory worth picking up for the money and added functionality.


We’ve seen plenty of tablets utilizing IPS displays of some sort, like the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1, but the Transformer Prime goes beyond them both by offering us a 10.1 WXGA (1280 x 800) LED backlit Super IPS+ display. Yeah, we know that’s  mouth full, but there’s good reason for that. Frankly, this is the sharpest looking display we’ve seen to date on any 10-inch tablet, and rightfully so, it deserves a lot of recognition thanks to its wide-viewing angles, realistic color production, high contrast, and superior clarity while outdoors. Obviously, its resolution isn’t as awe-inspiring, since it’s the typical thing we tend to see with this size category, but nonetheless, it’s adequate enough to produce sharp details that are legible to the eye. Two modes are available, IPS and Super IPS+ mode, but the latter tends to be the better option while using outdoors with the sun present. Gorgeous! That pretty much sums up its display.



51. bdevnsh

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

i didnot find the comments on whether printing can be done with this tab or not? anyone please..?

50. Alp1111

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

sorry guys i wamted to say ipad 3

49. Alp1111

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

Of course I don't say that asus transformer prime is a ipad 2 kiler. but samsung galaxy tab 11.6 will be a ipad 2 kiler.

48. maen555

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 04, 2012

ipad 2 is dead no ipad 3 is dead :D

47. Alp1111

Posts: 47; Member since: Jan 27, 2012

the tablet is perfect. I want one.

46. mikenco

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

i've posted several replies here, and by the way excellent review but i think the one thing that says the most about just how good the tf201 is, is how hard it is to actually find one for sale. there are several places still taking pre-orders even now but they have none in stock. has sold out all, the last batch they received the end of january sold out in most locations before the sun had set. a few stores in the n.e. and ca. had literally a couple for a few more days but those were far and few between and none were left anywhere in the u.s. at weeks end. even now go to their site and look, all you will see is sold out, check stores, none available. that is a testament to just how impressive this product is and how much of an evolutionary leap it is from all tablets that have come before. the future for tablets based on this as well as others coming out in the near future certainly bodes well for what lies ahead. apple may not like competition but to be honest that is what drives innovation in the marketplace and we the consumers will all come out as winners in this race to be the best.

38. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

Oh My F**** GOD !!! This monster run amazing smoothly with Android OS + many Widgets, running apps, live wallpapers etc...

35. nwright94 unregistered

I really want one of these.

34. CJtimes

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 29, 2012

There's 2 different discussions going on here: 1. Can tablets replace netbooks/laptops? and 2. Is the Prime a good tablet/worth the money? TBH I'm going to leave no.1 out as I think that's a personal decision for each person depending on their needs. As for no.2 I can tell you from my opinion the Prime is without doubt an amazing tablet and well worth the money. It is so far ahead of any other Android tablet out there it's almost a no brainer what to choose. I'd say that all the attention the Prime is getting is becasue of that - it's the best. If you want a to pick a bone with tablets, there's plenty wrong with the galaxy tab! (used to own one). My Prime has performed perfectly for the week I've owned it now. Fast, responsive and easily matches the iPad (it's a much newer piece of kit). IMO money well spent and very happy. If ASUS keep this development up they will be leading the tablet game very soon.

37. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 2011

I totally agree with your opinion. The TF Prime currently stands alone at the top of the android tablet hill. But it is hard to describe weather or not it is worth the $500 or more. For very casual gaming, emailing, web browsing, battery life, movie watching and portability, the TF Prime is a perfect choice if that all you need it for. If you travel often, I could see it as a perfect travel companion for all of your entertainment needs. But once your off the plane and have real work to do, you may want to make sure you have your laptop handy. In terms of pure productivity, the TF Prime comes up well short, all Android tablets do. Without the keyboard dock, I would only recommend it for casual entertainment purposes. Even with the keyboard dock, the TF Prime will fall short of it X86 based brethren.

45. mikenco

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

can tablets at this point replace notebooks or desktops for that matter and the answer is not yet but close. about the only thing i can't do with the tablet is work with my autocad software. but at the rate things are changing i would not be surprised at all to see a manufacturer in the next couple of years come out with some amazing hardware/software that i do believe will eventually be able to go neck and neck with laptops, etc. that said as much as i love my tprime i still am holding onto my other pc's and apple macbook pro.

31. imkyle

Posts: 1117; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

Who's ready to see what Samsung has to offer us at MWC this year? I think a quad core processor may be out of the picture.. I'm guessing a beefed up dual core.

30. Guest_star

Posts: 231; Member since: Dec 30, 2011

Is transofermers super IPS+ better than LG's AH-IPS ? i dont think sooo :)))

44. mikenco

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

once you get out of high school and start college you might find it to be a very useful tool. especially the voice to text option that works great and you don't have to worry about spelling for your notes. a nice little extra besides being able to access and read your texts on the asus rather than tote around 50lbs of books that cost a fortune.

29. jellytime

Posts: 135; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

asus transformer prime playing skyrim

26. jellytime

Posts: 135; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Waiting for a w8 transformer

22. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I was half-expecting a 9.5, then I remembered it didn't have a tree-originating-fruit Great review though. Curse this thing; I just got rid of my tablet before Christmas and intended to replace it with a notebook or ultrabook, but darn it this is nice.....

21. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 2011

Great review. This is easily the best tablet on the market right now. It will be interesting to see the iPad 3 and the Galaxy Tab 2 compete against it. This tablet really has no bad points though, I mean even though the camera is bad when I tested it out, it's still better than any other tablet camera on the market. Which isn't saying much granted, but I'm not expecting cameras on tablets to be as good as cellphones this year. Maybe next year.

28. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

but WHY is a camera even important?? i would feel like an idiot walking around taking photos with a tablet! especially when i have my phone in my pocket! you wouldn't? geesh, i can't help the WTF feeling every time someone goes into lengths of describing a tablet back camera - it's really pointless. and it's the crappy part of this review.

20. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i'm liking my sister's here but the secret to it's svelte form is in it's tapered edges and being that it's so wide, there's so much bezel on this thing and it's kind of slippery so you'll probably want to get a case for it but it feels like a very sturdy and well built piece of equipment. i LOVE web browsing on this thing. it's a match for my Quad-Core Laptop. streaming Flash in 720p-1080p (on a 20+mbps connection) is no sweat. i actually like the ASUS Keyboard but the Swyping feature is kind of annoying. i have apparently gotten the misfortune of being plagued slightly with the talked about connection issues. it's not take it back bad but it won't be living up to any of my Motorola devices anytime soon. the Prime is a nice Tablet but if i were to get one of my very own i'd get a Xyboard 8.2 because i want something to just grab and go on a whim, if i wanted to bring a bigger piece of equipment for my needs i'd bring my immensely powerful Laptop and the Xyboard also has a better display i think and the build quality is more durable unlike the Prime which has fine build quality but it's probably something you'd want to protect like a newborn and the Xyboard is Motorola so you're going to have the most reliable radios.

14. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 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.

27. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011 tried third party browser?

36. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 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.

41. mikenco

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

i have been using chrome beta for the past week and it is absolutely the best. fast, bug free and just a great product

13. Windsponge

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 01, 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.

18. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 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.

42. mikenco

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 02, 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.

12. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

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

9. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 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!!

15. ryan5609

Posts: 107; Member since: Nov 01, 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 Amazon I had the original Transformer and the Prime, I just don't think that Android tablet are where I want them to be yet.
Transformer Prime
  • Display 10.1 inches
    800 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    Other front
  • Hardware NVIDIA Tegra 3, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDHC
  • OS Android 4.0.3

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