I’ve had about 4 days to play with the Asus Transformer Prime, the world’s first quad-core tegra 3 tablet. The tablet comes backing a slim (8.3mm), aluminum spun back plated design, with a super IPS gorilla glass screen, and a 8mp camera. Does the tablet live up to it’s hype or is it a let down? Read on to find out.
A main selling point of this tablet was how thin it was. It was only 8.3mm thick and wow I must say this thing is thin. It is one of the thinnest devices I have ever held and it makes for the light weight of the tablet (1.29 pounds).The back of the device is a spun aluminum backing (like the ultrabook), which looks pretty cool on the tablet. Especially when the light hits the tablet the way the light reflects adds a cool effect. The tablet is extremely comfortable to hold in the hand and the build quality feels very superior. The build quality is something that can match the iPad. You will have no problem holding the tablet to use for long periods of time.
The tablet boasts a 10.1 inch gorilla glass, super IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. The screen is optimized to give you the best viewing angles and colors. The super IPS mode is made to give you a better experience outside while inside you may not see a difference at all but once outside you realize the use of it. The colors on the tablet are very nice and rich, the blacks are very black and the bright colors aren’t washed out at all. It is very easy to read fine text on the screen and watching a 1080p movie on this screen was outstanding. If you want a tablet for watching movies check this out because the picture was fantastic. While this all sounds nice and wonderful Asus messed up on one little thing. They bragged about their hydro-oleophobic coating which would prevent fingerprints but this thing is a fingerprint magnet. After browsing the web the thing needs to be cleaned because of the amount of fingerprints, but they do provide you with a nice cleaning cloth which works very well.
I’m sorry Asus but you messed up here. With only one speaker being on the right side of the tablet right where you hold it, sound quality is not the best. The speaker doesn’t get very loud at all while you can still watch a video or movie you can’t really get the full effect because the sound just doesn’t get loud enough to be enjoyable. If you were in a quiet room by yourself this may be a different story. The quality of the sound is nice and crisp though I just wish it got a little louder.
Now here is where Asus rebounded for the sound. Asus gave you a 8mp F2.4-aperture lens, back-illuminated sensor camera on this tablet. The tablets takes very nice pictures they come out with bright colors and are very clear. But, the tablet in low lighting is hit or miss. Either you get a nice picture or you don’t. The autofocus is very nice but sometimes takes a long time to actually focus on what you want to capture. The 1080p video capture is very nice you get crisp, and bright videos. The camera on the front is nothing to boast about just an average 1.3mp camera. Perfectly fine for using it to Skype with someone but nothing spectacular.
Let’s give a round of applause for Asus and NVIDIA for the battery life. With the Tegra 3 processor that does very well handling battery life because of the 5th companion core, battery last pretty long. The first day I had it the battery came completely dead so I charged it up and started playing with it. It was about 7pm when I started playing with it downloaded at least 20 apps, played some riptide, and shadowngun, then I browsed the web for a little while, and watched some YouTube videos. After 3 hours of constant use playing high end games, and 1080p videos I was dropped to about 75%. Which is not to bad for what I was doing. I put it in power saving mode went to bed. Woke up I had 3 emails, and some of my apps updated over night and it only dropped 1% so the sleep mode is very good on battery life because it is mostly just running the companion core at 500mhz. I spent yesterday watching two 1080p movies both two and a half hours long and that drained my battery quickly. So battery life is good and it will get you through the day with whatever you may be doing.
With a quad core processor this tablet must be fast you would assume, and yes you are right. The tablet is very good at transition through the homescreens, and app drawers and basic task. The tablet doesn’t show any lag or stuttering when using it. The transitions and animations are very smooth and fluid. The tablet is very quick and gives you an enjoyable experience but it is still bogged down by honeycomb. But, with a ICS update on it’s way those issues should be resolved. The browser does lack in performance though it is sluggish, and rubbish I recommend downloading opera, or dolphin because the browsing experience on the stock browser is terrible.
Just to sum up the gaming I would say WOW! The tablet really brings gaming to a whole new level. The most impressive game to me is riptide, first off the graphics are outstanding. The way the water splashes on the really gets you into the game but the most impressive part to me was the water movement. The way the water was moving and bouncing you around while you are racing makes it feel like real waves. While glowball the game is absolutely terrible the gameplay is horrible, the actual lighting effects, and shadows are amazing. This just shows the future of gaming on an android device.
Asus messed up big time. Over on XDA almost everyone has a defect with their device whether it be screen bleeding, dead pixels, loose screens, GPS problems or Wi-Fi. While it seems only the first batch of tablets that were shipped have this problem it is still something Asus has to work on. My tablet came with dead pixels, and a loose screen but it is fully functional. Some bugs are the battery usage statistics are not shown. The do not show the apps that eat battery it says data not available instead. Another bug is their vibe music program they loaded onto the tablet doesn’t work at all. I can’t even open the app. The only thing worse than bloatware is bloatware that doesn’t work. The keyboards that come loaded on the device are terrible and miss key presses all the time you will need to download a third party keyboard. Those are pretty much all the cons and they can be worked out quickly.
So just to sum everything up the tablet is a step in the right direction for Android the tablet is impressive and anyone looking to jump into the tablet market I recommend getting this tab.
Be sure to look for the full review in the coming weeks, and I will be posting pictures and videos taken with the primes camera and posting other neat things I find with the tablet.