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Asus Transformer Prime Review

Asus Transformer Prime

Posted: , posted by John V.

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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


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


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

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


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

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.

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Asus Transformer Prime

Asus Transformer Prime

OS: Android 4.0.3 4.0 3.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
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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