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  • abcgum091 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    After seeing the performance benchmarks, Its safe to say that the ipad 2 is an efficiency marvel. I don't believe I will be buying a tablet until windows 8 is out. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm guessing the browser and most other apps are not well optimized for quad cores. The question is will developers actually bother focusing on quad cores? Samsung is going with fast dual core A15 in it's next Exynos. The upcoming TI OMAP 4470 is a high clock speed dual core A9 and OMAP5 seem to be high clock speed dual core A15. If everyone else standardizes on fast dual cores, Tegra 3 and it's quad cores may well be a check box feature that doesn't see much use putting it at a disadvantage. Reply
  • Wiggy McShades - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If the developer is writing something in java (most likely native code applications too) it would be more work for them to ensure they are at most using 2 threads instead of just creating as many threads as needed. The amount of threads a java application can create and use is not limited to the number of cores on the cpu. If you created 4 threads and there are 2 cores then the 4 threads will be split between the two cores. The 2 threads per core will take turns executing with the thread who has the highest priority getting more executing time than the other. All non real time operating systems are constantly pausing threads to let another run, that's how multitasking existed before we had dual core cpu's. The easiest way to write an application that takes advantage of multiple threads is to split up the application into pieces that can run independently of each other, the amount of pieces being dependent on the type of application it is. Essentially if a developer is going to write a threaded application the amount of threads he will use will be determined by what the application is meant to do rather than the cores he believes will be available. The question to ask is what kind of application could realistically use more than 2 threads and can that application be used on a tablet. Reply
  • Operaa - Monday, January 16, 2012 - link

    Making responsive today UI most certainly requires you to use threads, so shouldn't be big problem. I'd say 2 threads per application is absolutely a minimum. For example, talking about browsing web, I would imagine useful to handle ui in one thread, loading page in one, loading pictures in third and running flash in fourth (or more), etc. Reply
  • UpSpin - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    ARM introduced big.LITTLE which only makes sense in Quad or more core systems.
    NVIDIA is the only company with a Quad core right now because they integrated this big.LITTLE idea already. Without such a companion core does a quad core consume too much power.
    So I think Samsung released a A15 dual core because it's easier and they are able to release a A15 SoC earlier. They'll work on a Quad core or six or eight core, but then they have to use the big.LITTLE idea, which probably takes a few more months of testing.
    And as we all know, time is money.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    /boggle

    big.Little can work with any configuration and works just as well. Even in quad-core, individual cores can be turned off. The companion core is there because even at the lowest throttled level, a full core will still produce a lot of leakage current. A core made with lower-leakage (but slower) transistors can solve this.

    Also, big.Little involves using different CPU architectures. For example, an A15 along with an A7.

    nVidia's solution is the first step, but it only uses A9's for all of the cores.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I haven't said anything different. I just added that Samsung wants to be one of the first who release a A15 SoC. To speed things up they released a dual core only, because there the advantage of a companion core isn't that big and the leakage current is 'ok'. It just makes the dual core more expensive (additional transistors needed, without such a huge advantage)
    But if you want to build a quad core, you must, just as Nvidia did, add such a companion core, else the leakage current is too high. But integrating the big.LITTLE idea probably takes additional time, thus they wouldn't be the first who produced a A15 based SoC.
    So to be one of the first, they chose to take the easiest design, a dual core A15. After a few months and additional time of RD they will release a quad core with big.LITTLE and probably a dual core and six core and eigth core with big.LITTLE, too.
    Reply
  • hob196 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    You said:
    "ARM introduced big.LITTLE which only makes sense in Quad or more core systems"

    big.LITTLE would apply to single core systems if the A7 and A15 pairing was considered one core.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Power consumption wise it makes sense to pair an A7 with a single and dual core already.
    Cost wise it doesn't really make sense.
    I really doubt that we will see some single core A15 SoC with a companion core. And dual core, maybe, but not at the beginning.
    Reply
  • GnillGnoll - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    It doesn't matter how many "big" cores there are, big.LITTLE is for those situations where turning on even a single "big" core is a relatively large power draw.

    A quad core with three cores power gated has no more leakage than a single core chip.
    Reply
  • metafor - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    1. The advantages of a companion core apply just as much to single, dual or quad core systems. In each case, individual cores can be power-gated. The companion core is there to provide lower idle power even beyond a single core. So no, going with a dual-core doesn't somehow make a companion core less necessary.

    2. A15 is huge compared to A9. Huge. Both in area and power. If anything, an A15 SoC needs a companion core even more than anything based on A9.

    3. Because A15 is huge, a quad-core in a smartphone form factor isn't very feasible at 32nm. Nor is quad-core really all that useful for the vast majority of use-cases anyway. Especially since A15 performs so much better per-core than an A9.
    Reply
  • phantom505 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Yeah, who can put up with a mere 9 hours of continuous playback. It's so bad....

    Oh wait...
    Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    iPad 25 Wh battery.
    Galaxy Tab 14.8 Wh battery.

    ;)
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Why are you comparing the ipad to the 7" Galaxy tab? Of course the ipad will have a bigger battery. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I was actually surprised too. To be fair, the A5 chip is huuuuge in the iPad, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still beating a quad core setup.

    My guess is ICS will optimize quad core capabilities more and we'll be seeing a very different picture once that is released.

    So I say wait for ICS and then pass judgement.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    How is it a surprise? Core i5 can match up against Core i7 in 95% if apps without needing the extra cores.

    In real world test, the difference between Core i5 and i7 performance is hardly measurable.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Of course by the time ICS is actually available on these sorts of devices, iPad3 with A6 will probably be out...

    Point is: a "my vaporware can beat up your vaporware" contest is generally not very enlightening to anyone.
    Reply
  • daveloft - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It has nothing to do with the CPU, it's all about the GPU. Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Yeah, iPad wins hands down and it's very practical too.
    Think about encoding video in a browser using javascript, for instance
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I think a lot of people (including myself) go with Android because we like the additional features provided by the OS -- true multitasking, choice of a plethora of browsers, third party players, no iTunes, Google integration, etc.

    But yes, iPad 2 has been king of both performance and battery life for a while now.
    Reply
  • ATOmega - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Exactly my reasoning, and it's easy enough to see that the Transformer Prime boasts better features like GPS, camera and display.

    After having owned an iPad2, there must be a reason why I want this thing. And it's for all the things Apple decided to fleece me on so that they could jack up their margins.

    I never liked Apple in the first place, but it's obvious they don't want to truly compete with the Android OS.
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I was really hoping Nvidia would have something special with kal-el. This is pretty horrible when compared to hardware that has been available for about a year.

    It seems that the Nvidia-equiped tablets should be targeted at a much lower price point. They definetly should not be in the top tier tablets. I can see them selling at $300 or less.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Don't forget the display brightness. I don't think that the processor makes such a huge difference in power consumption, but the display on the Prime is much much brighter than the display of the iPad, and this will consume a huge amount of power. It's also brighter than the display of the first gen transformer, and the prime has a quad core and it gets the same or higher battery life than the first gen, I think that's really a big improvement.
    And if you want to use a tablet on the go, outside the house, you really need the brightest display possible. And as you can see in the picture, the difference between the sunlight visibility of the iPad and Prime is like day and night. Therefore I at least, sacrifice the 3 hours less battery life.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    The display surely only uses more power if you drive it at a brighter level?

    And a well-designed tablet should have a light sensor, and should do a good job of auto-calibrating the brightness to the environment, so that most of the time it is NOT running the screen in bright mode. After all, that's what we expect regarding the core --- we throttle CPU when it's not needed. So, sorry, I don't think this is an acceptable answer.

    I continue to state my original thesis --- I suspect that DRAM power is substantially more important than most people believe, and that one of Apple's advantages is that they ship iOS devices with minimal DRAM. This is obviously a hassle for developers, and even for some power users, but that's the tradeoff one has to make.

    (Also what's the story with Android and VM? iOS does NOT do any "write" swapping --- code is paged in, but data is not paged out, and I expect that this is a power issue, nothing else --- Apple doesn't want the power hit of swapping.
    I thought Android was like this --- did not write pages --- but I have read stuff recently that said no, it is now using standard desktop type VM, which is likely also a power sink.)
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    nVidia's solution is actually much more sophisticated than that. It's similar to a method Intel started using a ways back for laptops.

    It's not just auto-dimming the entire screen; it's auto-dimming every pixel individually. There is fine-grain control over the LED backlight of the display. Areas in each frame that contains black will now not only have the LCD crystal for that pixel in a "block" mode, but it will also have the backlight for that specific pixel dim.

    This actually produces benefits other than just battery life; one of the biggest problems with LCD's is that blacks aren't really black because the crystal isn't able to block 100% of the backlight.

    By dimming the backlight, the parts of an image that is supposed to be black will be closer to true black. This improves contrast and provides for more accurate pictures.
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    how shall this work if the backlight is created by an LED array at the edge, which almost all smaller (<20") displays are. So with an edge lit backlight you can't reduce the LED brightness block wise.

    This is different if the used panel has a full array of LEDs, which is expensive, more power consuming and thicker, so a no go on a mobile device that thin. And neither Intel nor Nvidia have impact on this, because this requires a different panel.
    Reply
  • TechAnandUser - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    BenchMarking App's are not yet optimized. So please wait !! Reply
  • fteoath64 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Why would you want a Win8 tablet ?. Its slow, heavy, short battery-life and probably cost 50% more!.You are better off with a mid-range slim laptop which you probably have. So unless you grab one of these or already have an ipad, you have no idea what a tablet can do for you. Reply
  • eddman - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    You might have a time machine then, cause right now there are no win 8 tablets, let alone ARM based ones. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    "Its slow, heavy, short battery-life and probably cost 50% more"

    Citation needed, citation needed, citation needed, and citation needed respectively. None of us have tested finalized W8 table hardware yet, unless you are from the future.
    Reply
  • horangl3e - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    do you have to post the review as soon as the NDA is lifted? If that is not the case, why not wait a few more days to share the final review? I enjoyed reading what is present right now but was just wondering. Also would you recommend waiting till Win8 tablets if I have no necessity for tablets this very moment? Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Also would you recommend waiting till Win8 tablets if I have no necessity for tablets this very moment?

    Sounds like you answered your own question.
    Reply
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Yes, they have to post as soon as the NDA is lifted because first reviews = page hits. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's generally a good idea to have something up when the NDA lifts (plus, if you don't have something up when the NDA lifts manufacturers may think you don't need to be sampled alongside those who do post when the NDA lifts). In the PC space this is rarely an issue since we normally get 7 - 40 days with a product before the NDA lifts. In the mobile space it's a much bigger problem as many reviewers seem to be ok with a 2 - 24 hour testing period (+time for writing). As I mentioned in the article, I fully expect this to change over time (and I'm actively campaigning for it to change), it just doesn't help when ASUS contributes to the problem. To ASUS' credit however, I don't believe this was ultra intentional but it happened nonetheless.

    The tablet space is one area where you should wait if you can. The segment is evolving too quickly.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • euler007 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    You have to give them a pass though, clearly their #1 goal is getting it out to stores before Christmas and they had to compress their entire release schedule, not just the delay between shipping it to reviewers and lifting the NDA.

    Why not do a first impression and an in-depth review after a few days?
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    That seems to be the better way of it. The problem with mobile launches is that they do occur very hot-off-the-press in terms of final software/hardware release. They occur so often every year and there's such a race to compete that even if you got a sample very early on, it likely would not have had nearly as complete a software stack. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    This was our first impression post :-P The replacement Prime arrived this morning and I've been working on it since it showed up :) Expect more in the coming days.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • aggrobot - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Sadly, they do. The reason for this is to get the page views. Yes, a more thorough review would be great, and it'll come. For now though, they have to keep up with the competition of suffer the lost visits. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I felt like I did as best as we could given the WiFi issues of the test sample, more is coming though...

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    is it only me that hates that ugly black border around virtually every tablet since the iplod?

    I mean what wrong with having screen to the edge? Somewhere to put your fingers? pfft ill trade that space for working area and hold it at the edge, or if not make it smaller for my pocket
    Reply
  • PubFiction - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Nope I hate it too. Reply
  • gorash - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure if you can hold the thing without it. Reply
  • eddman - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "Somewhere to put your fingers? pfft ill trade that space for working area and hold it at the edge"

    Yes, somewhere to put your thumb. Just hold a tablet and you'll know how necessary that is.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    thumb maybe, a slight margin, but not a huge ugly border, how big are your thumbs?

    the contact area for any touchscreen running windows may need a little bar on the left, small, but tablet desktops arent left justified like windows has been since the wimp revolution..theyre centralised like a phone or a car pc front end
    Reply
  • melgross - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    No. It's impossible to use these things without a good size border. .75" seems to be about the. Indium. The Fire has about .5" border around three of the sides, and a number of reviewers have mentioned that it's too easy to touch the screen when holding it, and doing something unintentional.

    With a phone, you're holding it with one hand wrapped around the back, and up both sides. With a tablet, even a small one, you use one hand with a thumb over the edge. It's too much mental work to keep that thumb from hitting the screen. It even happens with wider borders.

    Get used to it.
    Reply
  • GnillGnoll - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    The best solution would be to make apps fully resizable, and create a dynamic bezel based on where your hands are. You just need a touch sensor around the edge and back to detect the position of your hands. Reply
  • Commodus - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    No one should ever hire you as an ergonomic designer, then...

    Many, many times you'll have your thumbs on the front, and even if you didn't have to, it'd be more comfortable. Not the least of which is that it's a lot easier to rotate the tablet when you don't have to hold it gingerly by the edges.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If these lawsuits keep up then that may eventually happen... Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Flippant dislike of Apple product designs makes me laugh. Apple product designers and engineers spend months and sometimes years agonizing over the details of their designs. It's quite unlike any other company on the face of the earth. Your tablet idea for an edge to edge screen simply sucks....I'm glad you don't work for Apple. Reply
  • Omega215D - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's not like Apple is the first and only ones to do it. It just depends on what's available at the time, the price point to be met and expectations of the product.

    I've had several well made players before the iPod came out, and extends to before the iPod Touch.
    Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It looks like they have finally a pretty good product and software, they should dump the Eee pad and the redundant awkward name now and it would be even better :)

    Would love to see better optimized software, but this is what you could have expected plus with a great screen and I wonder how well it would work as a thin-client with Citrix? Keyboard and touchpad should make it a pretty good experience, does it? Chromebooks can just forget it any way :) Here we have form factor, local software, multimedia (Chromebooks are not even having accelerated H.264 as standard) and so on. With keyboard docked and standard, and not just a browser that was obvious would be replaced by a Android distribution of some kind any way. Maybe that time is now. Even though I wouldn't except Asus to complete that process. Fun to see them kinda getting there act together though.
    Reply
  • Malih - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I agree that Eee is an awful name, especially for a flagship/cutting-edge product.
    Eee is associated with low-end Atom netbooks, since that's the first device that uses the name. And I always hate that Samsung name their mobile devices Galaxy.

    IMHO, the name Zenbook sounds good, maybe they should invent something consistent with that for their top-line tablet, Zenpad?
    Reply
  • Penti - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Zenbook is still kinda awkward but it's better, ZenPad doesn't do anything for me and sounds silly. Transformer Prime is a pretty good name. Transformer might cause some confusion though, if they decide to release one without any keyboard attachment. Their Windows tablet PCs (slates as of now) might as well get some updated finish and release as a Zenbook slate though. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "The 16:9 panel measures 10.1-inches diagonally, giving it a larger surface area than the iPad 2's 9.7-inch 4:3 display. "

    If you do your math, this isn't actually true. A 10.1" 16:9 display has a surface area of 43.58", while a 9.7" 4:3 display has a surface area of 45.17". This is one of the main reasons behind widescreen, they get to trumpet a larger diagonal measurement while actually saving costs on smaller total area. I am a little disappointed you fell for it.
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    some numbers you can plug in for verification (rounding all around!):
    16:9 10.0" display has sides of 8.8 and 4.951. 8.8/4.95 ~= 16/9 (correct ratios). 8.8² + 4.95² ~= 10.1² (correct dimensions for given diagonal, shown via pythagorean theorem).
    area then: 8.8*4.95 = 43.96.

    4:3 9.7" display has sides of 7.76 and 5.82. 7.76/5.82 ~= 4/3 (correct ratios). 7.76²+5.81² ~= 9.7² (correct dimensions for given diagonal, shown via pythagorean theorem).
    area: 7.76*5.81=45.09.

    45.09 is larger than 43.96. Ipad2 has a screen with a larger surface area. Run the numbers. Do it without dropping as many places as I did in this post, result will be the same. Again, disappointing

    (I don't have a horse in this race, I own no Apple products. I do hate widescreen monitors though)
    Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    interestingly, the gap was closed somewhat when I dropped more places in typing up the second post. The first is more accurate, and the gap is bigger. But they both show the ipad as having more surface area, and that will hold true with pretty much whatever level of exactitude one wishes to calculate it Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's actually a 16:10 panel, my statement was incorrect. But the Prime's display measures roughly 8.5" x 5.25". The iPad 2 by comparison measures approximately 7.75" x 5.75". 44.625 in^2 vs. 44.5625 in^2, giving the Prime a slightly larger display (albeit negligible). Reply
  • Solandri - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    At 9.7" diagonal and 4:3 aspect ratio, the iPad 2's screen is 7.76" x 5.82".

    At a 10.1" diagonal and 16:10 aspect ratio, the Prime's display is 8.56" x 5.35".
    Reply
  • Solandri - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand's math is right. His aspect ratio is wrong. The Transformer Prime has a 1280x800 screen, which is 16:10, not 16:9. At a 16:10 aspect ratio, you end up with 45.85 square inches of surface area.

    Personally I think 16:10 is the "right" aspect ratio for a multifunction device. You waste10% of the screen when displaying a 16:9 video. A 4:3 device wastes 25% of the screen. The extra width is nicer for web browsing too.

    Where the 4:3 screen does better is displaying pages scanned from paper or magazines. Subtracting a 1-inch margin along all four sides, a 4:3 screen wastes 4% of its screen displaying a Letter-sized sheet of paper, while a 16:10 wastes 13%. (With A4 paper and 2-cm margins, it's reversed. The 4:3 wastes 12%, the 16:10 screen wastes 6%.)

    But that's counter to the whole point of tablets - to free us from the shackles of a paper-bound world. As a media consumption device, I think 16:10 is the better aspect ratio. It's almost exactly the golden ratio too (1.62), so most art which is produced will fit in it better.
    Reply
  • GnillGnoll - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    For browsing the web and reading, portrait orientation is often a better fit. Though it requires a certain minimum width and resolution to work really well. Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I get the feeling Anand didn't enjoy the 39 hour thing :)

    Btw:

    "The resolution is a Honeycomb-standard 1280 x 752. The 16:10 panel measures 10.1-inches diagonally,"

    Huh? 1280x752?
    That's not a 16:10 resolution...
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It's technically 1280 x 800, the 752 is what you get when you remove the Honeycomb nav bar. Reply
  • mwildtech - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Great Review Anand! Much better than Engadget's. We are lucky we still got nice sunny skies in Raleigh! Reply
  • SpacemanSpiff13 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Awesome review, Anand. I already had one preordered, but your review makes me really comfortable about my impulse buy, and it's not just a play for page clicks. Really solid, in-depth. Thanks. Reply
  • jwcalla - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    very well done review Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Nice to see a decent tablet and glad they didn't dropped (like some nutjobs) the microSD slot.
    Asus should really sell the keyboard much cheaper would help them gain considerable market share and maybe make one without the battery for 50-70$.And ofc bundle realVNC or Logmein with it.
    Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I agree that a cheaper keyboard option (or bundle w/ keyboard) would help sales.

    Regarding a version without the battery: the thing is already dangerously top-heavy when plugged into the dock. Can you imagine how bad it would be without the weight of the battery in there? They'd probably have to put some kind of weight near the front edge. Or use a design that connects the tablet further inward on the dock, as has been done on other tablets, which would ruin the laptop-like aesthetic (which is pretty nice).

    Just my 2 cents.
    Reply
  • jjj - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I was aware of that problem and amusingly enough i was also thinking about the same 2 solutions..The version without battery would be just to bring the price down a lot.The battery costs 20-25$ and that adds 40-70$ to the retail price so it would make a big difference. Reply
  • joe_dude - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Personally, I'm not so interested in comparisons to the iPad. What I really want to know is how it compares to a tablet + netbook/ultrabook/MBA???

    If it can do a decent job in both roles, then it would really make life easier. Wouldn't need to sync files or deal with two different OSes. Save time and money.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Better than a netbook (what isn't? :-P) but not as good as an ultrabook/MBA for getting actual work done.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Sorry Anand, but could you clarify what you mean by "getting actual work done"?

    I don't expect the Transformer Prime to be running Photoshop (although Photoshop Touch is available?) or any intense apps. But is it a "good enough" laptop for a general user?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Browsing the web is still faster on an MBA/ultrabook, pages load quicker, you can open multiple tabs and load them in the background more effectively - you can switch between tasks quicker (cmd+tab/alt+tab is still infinitely more responsive than what you get with Honeycomb's task switcher). You can get writing done on both, but multitasking and being productive is just easier on a MBA/ultrabook.

    Now both of those comparisons are ~2x the price of the Prime. Compared to a netbook, I'd definitely get the Prime.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • agt499 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Alt-tab was one of many things that impressed with my OG transformer -you don't use the honeycomb task switcher because you just alt-tab with the keyboard!
    I have to say asus really get it on that: I don't know for sure if it's asus or google , but the others that warm by keyboard-loving heart are ctrl-t for a new tab in browser and ctrl-w to close a tab.
    Also re zooming, I can't speak for the prime, but the original will pinch-zoom with the touchpad.

    Thanks for the great review -got to find an excuse to upgrade now!
    (you're still right about an ultrabook but it feels like asus are so close...)
    Reply
  • twotwotwo - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Ahaha -- I managed to use my Transformer all this time lamenting the lack of keyboard-based task switching but without actually trying Alt-Tab, which of course should be the first thing to try. Thank you, agt499. Reply
  • twotwotwo - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I have an original Transformer that I've used as my work machine a few days, and I also used a netbook as my only machine for six months. Transformer's very much a tablet and not a computer, because of Honeycomb. The bad task switching and other annoyances -- different text-editing shortcuts, lack of a full Docs app, lag editing paragraphs in the browser, etc. -- mean it's fine for the reading/consumption that folks do on tablets (and better for e-mail, chat, some writing or notetaking, and SSH if you do that) but, for me, it's worse than even a netbook at other stuff.

    If you're thinking of it for tablet-y (or mostly tablet-y) uses it's a slam dunk: it's a tablet, great screen, mobile OS, monster battery life even vs. netbooks.

    If you want a computer, you want a computer. Besides netbooks and ultrabooks, there's the Core i3 ULV x121e (and others like it soon, I hope) in the middle.
    Reply
  • joshv - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Why exactly don't we expect these sorts of machines to be running photoshop? Very complex versions of photoshop ran just fine on single core P6's with a 1024x768 monitor.

    Now we have four GHz+ cores, CPU speed really can't be much of an issue. Screen realestate might be, but that's manageable with alternate layouts.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I think the biggest limitation with programs like Photoshop on small form-factor devices -- including ultrabooks -- is the display resolution. Now granted, for a lot of simple photo editing, that won't matter -- and in fact, that's what Photoshop Touch is for -- but for more professional level content, the displays may just be too small and low-resolution to get the job done.

    But you're right, the processing power is there nowadays.
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I always assumed it was an x86 issue. Since there's no x86 support in these devices Adobe will not re-write/compile the software - kinda like how it took years to have a native x64 flash player (and not a x86 kinda running in an x64 browser).

    I would think it's simply a matter of laziness/unwillingness (profit margin?) on Adobe's part.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Photoshop Touch and a suite of other tools is coming to Android within a month or so. Adobe wants to grasp opportunities; but just porting a mouse-and-keyboard application to Android isn't the way to go about it. Reply
  • ctrlbrk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand, thank you. I have been eyeing this tablet for a long time now.

    I want to know your impressions of how it feels in your hands, weight wise? For bedroom surfing, email, youtube, etc -- but not movie watching -- is the 10.1 too big and too heavy? Is it better to get something like the Galaxy Tab 8.9?
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It actually feels really good. Hold it one handed in landscape mode and you'll get tired quickly, use it in portrait and prop it up on your chest and it's golden. It's not too big and heavy but you just need to prop it up against something for extended use.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Still sounds awkward to me.

    This is the kind of thing that intrigues me though, when it comes to "tablets". I'm one of those people that doesn't get the tablet thing, but I'm curious. This would be a good way for me to try one out, if I had a spare $600+ anyway. Which I don't right now. I could check out the tablet, and use it as a netbook/ultrabook if I didn't like the tablet option.

    Coolz toyz will grab us by the privates, even when we know better. Or think we do.

    :D
    Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    http://www.nvidia.com/content/PDF/tegra_white_pape...

    According to nVidia's documentation, Tegra 2's GPU only supported FP20 in the pixel shaders. Has this been improved in the Tegra 3? I believe at least FP24 is required to officially support DirectX 9, so remaining at FP20 would presumably prevent Tegra 3 from being supported in Windows 8. Unless Microsoft intends to make an exception?
    Reply
  • Reikon - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "The X button acts as a tap/click on an icon (yes, NVIDIA managed to pick a button that's not what Sony or Microsoft use as the accept button - I guess it avoids confusion or adds more confusion depending on who you ask)."

    I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly, but Sony actually uses X as the accept button. It's just not in the same place as the one on that Logitech controller.
    Reply
  • Ric_Margiotta - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the detailed write up, Anand! I'm looking forward to picking up a Prime when they reach the UK in January. Reply
  • ATOmega - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Thanks for getting the review out so quickly! Still hoping to hear more about GPS, but I realize it's tough to fit it all through in such a small window.

    I recently sold my iPad2 to cover some of the cost of pre-ordering this tablet. My biggest frustration to date has been having no viable Android tablet to date and being forced to us iOS in the meantime. I've never felt so emasculated by an operating system!

    By most measures, it looks like the Transformer Prime is consistently equal if not slightly better in most regards to the iPad2. Bearing in mind that it runs at a higher resolution when comparing performance numbers.

    I have to agree, anyone who has been on the fence over Android tablets can probably come down now. It will be a year at the very least until we see a similar combination of build quality, screen quality, performance, consistency, etc... for Android again.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    Now you get to feel emasculated by lack of software. Reply
  • ismailfaruqi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand, does Tegra 3 support OpenCL already? Reply
  • Loki726 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    nope, not yet Reply
  • ismailfaruqi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    thanks, it seems so. How about ipad2's powervr? Reply
  • Tchamber - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm glad you brought up the fact that the Prime has a higher resolution than the iPad2, I think a lot of people overlook that when then see performance numbers. This seems to be the tablet I wanted when I bought my 1st gen iPad, if I like it, I'm done with Appletunes. Thanks for the good review. Reply
  • tim851 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    They were reviewed at the same resolution(s)... Reply
  • hakimio - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    CNET reviewers also got a unit with defective WIFI. So don't worry - you are not alone. Reply
  • Morelian - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Nice review. As an original Ipad owner I am always interested in new tablets but so far nothing since the original Ipad would get me to replace my current tablet. I did get my wife an Ipad 2 and while it is speedier the function of my original product still holds up.

    I really don't get the back camera on these things-a tablet is too big to really use as one's camera of choice and if you have a tablet surely a phone would be preferable? The front facing cam I understand and that would let people do the facetime/skype thing which I see as potentially useful.

    I take my Ipad to work with me. When I have spare time, I'll use it to check my email-much easier to read on the Ipad than my phone and the Ipad facebook app is pretty good. If things get really slow I can open a book and read. Rarely I'll watch something on Netflix but currently I don't have Netflix going because the kids grab the Ipad at home and watch cartoons instead of doing homework.

    As to doing work I just don't see it. A few months ago I got a Toshiba 14 inch laptop from Best Buy for 500 bucks. My thought was if I got good use out of it I'd get a Macbook Air and toss the laptop to the kids but technical limitations at work prevent me from doing what I'd really like with the notebook. The Toshiba laptop has an Intel processor with the Intel graphics, I doubt it could game and never tried, but it tosses up web pages nicely and has a nice keyboard. I can do work on it and don't mind typing on it. To do work I need Windows compatibility and I can't see where the Asus tablet would help me there.

    So, I don't really get this docking station except for a way for Asus to make a few extra bucks for people who don't know what they want to use a tablet for. To me a tablet is something lightwight you use for data consumption, and for "work" you need something that runs Windows software and is reasonably designed for data entry.

    The Windows 8 tablets might be the place where things are headed but a Win8 tablet with a docking station keyboard is a notebook.

    I guess we'll see where all is headed.
    Reply
  • efficacyman - Monday, December 05, 2011 - link

    The rear facing camera can be used for scanning in documents using google documents or other scanning applications. The better the quality of the camera, the better the quality of the resulting product. The best camera you have is the one you have with you all the time. If you are using your tablet as your work machine, having a camera with you that is high quality can't hurt. Reply
  • Stupido - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm not following this tablet development much, but I kind a like the "tablet idea"...
    But so far I haven't seen any tablet with USB support. Is this notion OK or I'm missing something?
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If by USB support you mean USB host capabilities (as in, you can plug a USB stick in and read data off it), every modern tablet/smartphone I know can do that, except Apple iStuff.
    Mice, gamepads, printers etc. are a more complicated matter.
    Reply
  • Stupido - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    By complicated matter I guess you refer to the driver level of the OS?
    Because once you have USB host, than I guess it will be up to the OS to provide the correct drivers?
    I don't know how different are the kernels (and their corresponding driver architecture) between Android and Linux...
    I just know that Android is a fork of the standard Linux kernel...
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Yup, driver implementation and program support was what I was getting at. :-)
    If you are interested in that sort of stuff, XDAdevelopers is always a great place for any smartphone/tablet questions of a technical nature.
    Reply
  • Stupido - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Thx! I'll check that... Reply
  • MiSoFine - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I had a TF 101 & used a cheap USB mouse & worked just fine--better than the touch pad in some instances; with my wireless printer I was able to print documents with ease. Didn't try the game pad--don't game. Might borrow an XBox to test with my preordered TF 201. Reply
  • Sanz84 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Android natively supports flash disks, usb external drives or devices and game controllers such xbox or ps3 wireless controllers - no need for third party apps. For the galaxy s2 you just need a cheap micro usb - female usb connector for example Reply
  • Sanz84 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Great job with the review. However, I'd like to point out how many people are losing perception of what a portable computing device should be for, especially for the masses. On too many sites (not here ofc) I saw reviews like: not unleashing all the power like iOS does; such phrases start to become embarassing and I'll explain why. Sorry if I'm derailing a bit, still will describe the Asus Prime even if not mentioning it.

    Common users take such devices - mostly- for web browsing, video viewing, music listening, connectivity and file management.

    Granted, I'd like to know in which of any of these fields is iOS such a beast.

    Web browsing - performance wise is quite good, ics browser showed up superiority anyway; incomplete experience without flash: no video streams from many sites, incomplete facebook feeling without addons, no 1080p youtube (correct me if I'm wrong)

    Video viewing: native player does not support popular containers such .mkv, paid apps not so smooth on 1080p? Video upload only via itunes, need to have fun with video converting.

    Music listening: converts audio library to m4a format, hard times if you want to add a single song from a different terminal

    Connectivity: no bluetooth file transfer, no wifi transfer outside itunes (on android can browse the device with w7 explorer), no usb, no sd.

    File management: guess.

    This said, why would an adult individual prefer an iOs tablet over the Prime? Why many reviewers take as normal the lack of file management and connectivity? If the iPad goes insane, you still need another device to recover it. It's not indipendent, but the Prime on its way, it is.

    The Prime with ics will be a big step forward into mobile computing and will be completed when win8 and x86 will be in game aswell. For me the iPad is a toy with a drawn apple that is great in mobile gaming. (can use external controllers tough?)

    Sorry for the wall of text and correct if I'm wrong :)
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    As an iPad owner and daily user who is a dedicated PC owner, gamer, and a prior IT admin for 10yrs, here is my reply:

    First it all comes down to usage IMO. I have an iPhone & PC, and aTV too. What I find myself using the iPad for is the following: gaming, reading books, and acting as a go-between for my PC share and my aTV/stereo. When I'm in the living room and we want to fact check, IMDB, etc I find myself reaching for my phone if it is closer because on neither do I want to do more than a quick look - I do not find either enjoyable mediums for "real" browsing. I like to play so-called casual games while I'm listening to podcasts, radio shows, audiobooks and the like and the iPad is great for that IMO. I have a large, diverse library - I use Airplay and apps like Airvideo to bridge the gaps between devices in my home and find it pretty simple. What I don't do is any real work, any browsing of multiple pages/any length, and obviously more in-depth games like Skyrim need to be played on an actual computer. Oddly I have been using my iPad to do video editing even though it's probably easier on my PC.

    Regarding your specific points:

    Web Browsing - I use this exclusively for a quick browse - usually looking something up on iMDB, checking a TV schedule, etc so Flash isn't usally an issue unless, for example, a restaurant uses a Flash splashpage. Keep in mind I watch little online content in Flash format in any event so YMMV. Do I agree with Apple, no, but for me it isn't a deal breaker by any means.

    1080p, yup none of that but it's not a huge deal honestly - yes, I'd like it but you can't have everything and visual quality is good enough I can give up a little here. Maybe next time.

    Music - I don't have any m4a files mine is all MP3 and that isn't an issue. Yes, you do have to use iTunes and it still sucks monkey testicles and that in my mind is the real problem with any iDevice. iTunes pretty much chokes on my 200gb of music. The reality is though that I can either stream music from Spotify, et al or from my PC share most of the time, for trips away I can suffer through loading music on it or my phone.

    Connectivity - I can't disagree although it really isn't a huge deal for the most part. A lot of apps support file transfers btw seperate from iTunes or via iTunes without a sync. You do get AirPlay which works awesome most of the time and allows video & audio streaming. Regarding file transfer see my next comment.

    File System - ok, w/o a jailbreak you are fairly limited no doubt. If you DO JB, and you will if there is one available, you can install one simple file and then use a million different programs to browse the file system and even transfer files. I do wish iOS supported pure drag & drop though, trust me!

    Basically the things a lot of non-tablet owners think are an issue are not because it just doesn't fit the way you end up using them. IMO, YMMV, etc but this has been my experience ever since I got the iPad on release day. Where I find it to be the best damned thing I've owned is on flights - toss a few movies, ebooks, etc on there and I'm a happier camper.
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    One more thing - you said if the iPad goes insane you need another device to fix it. I don't know about Android but one thing I LOVE about iOS is that it is virtually impossible to brick them. Plug them into a PC/Mac and there is always a way to restore it. Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    True but having had an iPhone for 3 years and having to restore from backup a few times, it's ultra-annoying to lose everything that happened between your last backup.

    I don't know that it's really possible to "brick" an Android device to the point where you need to restore from backup. I suspect this is just Apple being more conservative with the internal state of their device.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    With iCloud, backups are wireless on wifi and happen automatically every couple days. How much can you really lose in that time considering many apps themselves now backup to iCloud on their own? Reply
  • Sanz84 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    On android you can backup your data let's say on an external sd or usb flash disk and restore factory settings on the go (reinstalls the os basically). No need to plug the device to the pc. My iphone went nuts at least two times and couldn't call until I recovered it via itunes. On my sgs2 just restored factory defaults in few minutes and I was able to call. Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    That's no longer the case on iOS 5. Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    iOS works seems to work better for none techie people. My parents are happy with their Ipad 2 (there was nothing better in May 2011 but my grandma is getting Android tablet for X-mas :)
    I personally feel like I am wearing straitjacket whenever I have to use iOS and the game of cat and mouse with the jailbreak gets tiring at some point. However, where I find restraints other people find support - humans are strange :)
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    If you want the best tablet for your grandmother, shouldn't you be making decisions based on her needs and not yours? Reply
  • SydneyBlue120d - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand, do You think the Dual Core Snapdragon S4 will be able to beat the Quad core Tegra3? Thnx :) Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    As with any core-based discussion, it depends on what you're doing. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Yeah, depends on how well optimized applications are for multicore. In most cases I'd bet a fast dual core would beat a slower quad. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If I'm not mistaken, Honeycomb doesn't have GPU acceleration on all windows by default like ICS will, and ICS will also have better multicore optimization. I'd like to see some benchmarks on the Prime after ICS. Reply
  • HighTech4US - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I second this request. Reply
  • SydneyBlue120d - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Another question: Any info about the audio chip? I mean: Can we expect wolfson Galaxy S quality? Tnx! Reply
  • Willhouse - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Why is the cost drifting up instead of down? The whole appeal of the original transformer was that is was "comparable" in quality but $100 less than other quality tablets. Those of us who are mildly interested in tablets, but can't stomach the costs, aren't going to rush out to buy this even if it is the best android tablet. Is there a large tablet enthusiast market that needs the absolute best hardware at all times?

    Sorry if this was mentioned - I was immediately outraged and didn't read all the comments.
    Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    The Transformer Prime has 32 and 64gb for the internal storage (with micro sd expansion). Note the base model is not 16gb.

    32gb
    499 Transformer Prime
    599 Ipad 2

    64gb
    599 Transformer Prime
    699 Ipad 2.

    --------------------

    If you want to get a tegra 2 tablet cheaper than 400 you should be looking at the winter sales on such products, it may not be the asus transformer but it is stlil a tegra 2 honeycomb tablet. No one is going to release a better product cheaper than there old gen, in a cut throat market with decreasing margins unless that product has serious competition.
    Reply
  • Kegetys - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Is it correct that it doesn't come with 3G (or 4G) connectivity at all? I'm so used to being able to be connected almost anywhere with both my cellphone and laptop with zero hassle that being restricted to WLAN only would be quite a limitation for a mobile device like this.

    Also, seriously Asus, why cant you have those beautiful IPS screens available for laptops as well?
    Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    So am I.
    But as I recently discovered, it's much easier to switch on tethering on my phone and connect via wi-fi than to swap sim card between devices..

    It was hard for me to justify having 2 internet enabled sim cards, but it might be just me.
    Reply
  • Kegetys - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I find tethering to be a huge battery drain for the cellphone and it's usually not that practical either for anything else than occasional "emergency" use. But I have three sim cards from my carrier all with unlimited use anyway so I dont need to do any sim swapping. I guess if you need to pay extra for that then tethering is a reasonable alternative. Reply
  • MiSoFine - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    3 SIM cards with unlimited use for no extra cost? Who's your carrier? I was going to suck it up and pay AT&T the extra money for tethering, but if that's an option, I'll take it! Reply
  • Kegetys - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    > Who's your carrier?

    Saunalahti :)
    Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Hi,

    could you include "time it takes to fully charge" please?
    On samsung tab it takes surprisingly long (about 4 hours) for some it might matter.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    That's going to be true of any device that standardizes on a USB 2.0 connection -- which I think all Android tablets thus far use; it's just a different connector.

    iDevices sort of get around this by using a non-standard USB connection (up to 1A vs the standard 500mA) which is why it can charge faster.

    It won't be until USB 3.0 becomes more common that charging speeds will really pick up.
    Reply
  • Mugur - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Well, this is not quite right. My 2 phones have 1000mA chargers through USB even if the standard for pc is max 500mA. My Nook Color has a non standard but downwards compatible USB charger with around 1900mA.

    I agree though that the tablets recharge time is slow...
    Reply
  • anandtech pirate - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 is a beast. I still remember waaaay back when powerVR used to make pc graphic cards. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    They still do Intel integrated graphics in the Atom, if I'm not mistaken. :-) They were the supplier of all Intel motherboard IGPs as well, though those aren't around anymore. :D Reply
  • Penti - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    They were not the supplier of Intel's IGP's, only the Atom US15W/L/US11L one and some (not all) of the Atom integrated graphics in the CPU and in variants of SoC. Intel has made their own graphics since i740. Thus Intel GMA is their own tech. Own drivers. And so on. Only GMA500 and GMA600 (SoC), and newer GMA3600 and 3650, and likely GMA5650 in D2600/2700 is PowerVR. They don't have exactly excellent drivers for Windows and GNU/Linux desktops.

    GMA3150 is Intel, which runs in the latest Intel Atom N4XX and N5XX series, D4XX and D5XX.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "Android File Transfer won't push over a file greater than 4GB"

    That means don't expect to stream HD content off of a home server/computer. Heck, uncompressed DVD-quality might not fit. Massive fail!!!!! Looks like a tablet is still not in my future. Maybe next time the industry tries to make a 'media consumption device' they will do something to allow it to consume media.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "Maybe next time the industry tries to make a 'media consumption device' they will do something to allow it to consume media."

    The bulk (BY FAR) of "the industry" is Apple. As far as I know, iPad handles larger than 4GB files (h264 or otherwise) without a problem.

    (I think there is a problem with very large AAC files, but this is a problem with the AAC spec, not with the file size --- you get problems when the number of samples in the file exceeds around 2^31, which happens at around 14hrs for 44k samples/sec.
    This appears on other platforms as well, so I'm guessing the container file spec has a 31 or 32 bit field somewhere in it.)
    Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    4GB is the limit for FAT - if you have exFAT or NTFS formated card should work with no problem. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    "That means don't expect to stream HD content off of a home server/computer." Streaming should not be affected by the file system limitation, because it streams the content and doesn't save it on the device. Reply
  • lordmetroid - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Can I install another operating system of my choice? Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Just held the galaxy tab 8.9 and I think its the perfect size.

    Likelihood that Asus would release a Prime in that size?

    Nice review. ICS and 8.9 screen would've sold me.

    @moids
    Reply
  • joe_dude - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand, will you do a short review when the ICS comes out in January?

    Thanks for the late-night comment responses, BTW. :)
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Absolutely :) Expect to see Brian Klug's first thoughts on ICS before then though :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Good to know, I don't think Honeycomb is well optimized for multicore, ICS sees some nice improvents across the board on them so the Tegra 3 should really shine more once it gets upgraded. Reply
  • isorashi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    My sisters and I are planning on getting my mom a tablet for xmas. She's pretty clueless when it comes to computers -- she can turn one on and start skype, but she needs my dad to check fb / email for pictures of the grand-kids.

    The choice basically comes down to android vs ios. Transformer Prime in one case, iPad 2 in the other. Personally, I'm leaning towards the android because I have a better idea of what's going on there in case they need help. Plus I like the idea that it can easily interface with their Win7 pc to transfer pictures and what-not. That actually is a statement against the iPad -- I'm very VERY reluctant to inflict iTunes on my parents :-/
    Reply
  • MiSoFine - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    my 2 cents...get a Kindle fire. Easier UI for non tech parents & it's still android; cheaper also. Or a Vizio vTab.

    I got my Mom a Kindle Fire, kids a vTab (they will at least attempt to try to figure it out) & myself a (preordered) Prime.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    Considering the complete lack of Android tablet apps, that doesn't seem wise. Reply
  • Enkur - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    What is that android app that shows the per core CPU activity in the screenshot above? Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand, just remember to note, or even test the real world performance when iPad 3 and other high resolution tablets arrive.

    In your benchmarks they should be showing even faster performance at 720p with the upcoming faster chips, but that might not be the case in the real world. Remember how low FPS the iPhone 4 got with its 4x the resolution over iPhone 3GS, when tested at native resolution?

    That should be happening to iPad 3 and the others, too, even if the chips get faster by then. I would wait until at least 2013 to get a 2k resolution tablet, so I won't be that significantly impacted by it.
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Also is there a way to compare the graphics between Tegra 3 and iPad 2 without comparing the benchmark numbers? Like comparing the best graphics on Tegra 3 versus the best one on iPad 2, and notice the differences between them? I really don't think the benchmark numbers tell the whole truth.

    I think Tegra 3 games may even look/work better than A5 games, thanks to its quad core CPU, too, but I figure you should be able to tell that better than me since you have both.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I disagree, in PC and Console world, the GPU is the determining factor in game graphics and performance.

    You can take a Core i7 using HD3000 integrated graphics and compare it with a Core i3 with an ATI 4850 and it will spank the Core i7 in gaming performance.

    That's what's happening here is the Tegra 3's GPU is underwhelming from a graphics chip maker.

    Very few mobile games imo need even dual core, they need the proper graphics acceleration and that's where Android fragmentation has hurt game development.

    They have to code games for the lowest common denominator instead of optimizing games for Tegra.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    That doesn't necessarily translate to the mobile world. On the desktop side, CPU's have gotten so fast that just about any task a game can throw at it -- physics, AI, audio, etc. -- can be done without bottlenecking the game while the shading/rendering on the GPU is still being pushed.

    On the mobile side, this may not be true (yet) as the CPU's are -- comparatively -- fairly underpowered against their desktop counterparts. Couple this with the fact that the GPU is taxed to push out less pixels and one could easily see situations where the CPU becomes the bottleneck.

    As mobile CPU's get faster -- especially with the A15/Krait generation -- this will become less and less of an issue especially as games make use of NEON to do their computationally heavy tasks and we'll get to a point where the GPU is the only bottleneck left.

    But I don't see that happening until we hit the ~2.5GHz dual A15/Krait level.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Very few Android games that I've seen are properly optimized unless they got that Optimized for Tegra logo. Otherwise most games do not take advantage of GPU acceleration.

    On iOS almost all games has some sort of GPU assist. Take Plants vs Zombies, the iOS version is perfect. The Android HD version has lower animation and graphics.

    Almost all Gameloft games perform smoother on iOS than on Android.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Well yes. But the point is that with a higher performance CPU or group of CPU's, it is possible to have things that would be bottlenecked in a mobile device -- such as physics, AI, etc. -- be more complex and provide better visuals.

    Whether or not that has been done is another story. But you can hardly blame application devs for pouring more focus into iOS. The iPad is still what, ~90% of the tablet market? Moreover the App Store brings in way more revenue -- which the developers get a cut of -- than Android Market has thus far.

    That will hopefully change over time.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    The problem with that theory is iPhones still bring in vastly more revenue for developers than android phones, despite the latter having higher market share. Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    It would be pretty hard to beat the visuals of Infinity Blade II on the ipad2. The game looks amazing. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Anand,

    Just a heads-up, as I know you had to get this review out the door quickly: It would be really useful to put the weight of the tablet AND keyboard dock prominently on the first page (maybe in the chart?). This would make it easier to compare the total travel weight to ultraportables and netbooks.

    I'm guessing that we're talking about 2.6 pounds from what I could find online. And you'd end up with some serious battery life (18 hours?) compared to even the longest running Zacate (or Atom) laptops/netbooks. If only the software and hardware capabilities were as good...
    Reply
  • biassj - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Asus looking good but tablets can't replace x86 PCs yet. I hope Asus launches a 15" Zenbook with 1080 display and maybe even a quad core Ivy bridge. I don't mind if it's thicker but I want something to compete with the rumor Macbook Air 15". Reply
  • HighTech4US - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Will the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime be retested here when ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) is released for it?

    My understanding is that there are improved graphics drivers and other improvements in the OS that will improve on the results shown here.
    Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    It seems that the results of the Ipad 2 and Transformer Prime are quite different in GLBenchmark 2.0.3 Egypt (tested by PCworld) vs. what you have found based on the vs. 2.1 of the same benchmark. Could you comment what may be the reason for the differences?

    "The most significant result in our gaming performance tests: The Transformer Prime logged 53 frames per second, the highest frame rate we've seen on the GLBenchmark 2.0.3 Egypt test with no antialiasing. This result topped the Apple iPad 2's previous record of 46 fps, and it just crushed the Android masses we've tested, which averaged 18 fps and topped out at 34 fps (for the 7-inch Acer Iconia Tab A100)."
    https://www.pcworld.com/article/245256/asus_eee_pa...
    Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Also wanted to add that other sites show much longer battery life for the Transformer. I understand that the battery life depends on use but could be that your unit is a dud in not only in case of WiFi but also battery, so I wonder if you would be willing to repeat the battery test? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'm already on it :) Got a new Prime in this morning and battery life is looking much better already.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    The tests in the article were done using an off-screen resolution of 1280x720. This allows all devices to be tested at the same resolution -- thus measuring the relative rendering performance of the SoC.

    Looking at the results on GLBenchmark's own website:

    http://www.glbenchmark.com/result.jsp

    Correlate to what is posted in the article.

    The ones posted by users of Tegra-3 devices:

    http://www.glbenchmark.com/phonedetails.jsp?benchm...

    Also correlate with the results of the article. I suspect that version 2.0.3 may stress different parts of the GPU or that PC World got some pretty bad results.
    Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Well I usually do not play games off-screen :) Anyway, I am still puzzled what is causing the huge difference between the 2.0.3 Egypt vs. 2.1 (assuming both test were done correctly).
    Also while comparing Ipad 2 at theoretical 720p has merits in synthetic testing in practice you can not see more than 1024 by 768 pixels on the Ipad 2.

    I am also wondering if GLBenchmark better than lets say 3dMark for desktop? 3D Mark scores do not always correlate perfectly with real games experience due to optimizations for particular card and also because synthetic testing is not a perfect substitute for real games to start with. So I am not overly concerned about the scores more about what have changed between the GLBenchmark versions.
    Reply
  • metafor - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Absolutely. But unfortunately few games for mobile if any offer time-tests and there is no equivalent framerate tool like FRAPs to measure framerate in real games.

    So synthetic benchmarks will have to do for now.

    As for 2.0.3 vs 2.1, GLBenchmark's website doesn't give all too much info except that it includes the off-screen mode as well as "high quality" versions.

    But it does mention that 2.1's throughput tests -- which I don't think impact Egypt -- perform warm-up loops in order to cache a lot of its data before measuring GPU throughput.

    Other than that, I'm not really sure what changed.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Not sure about the discrepancies, however, 2.1 is the latest version and it should be the one tested.

    Also, iOS 5 brought significantly faster openGL drivers, maybe PCWorld were comparing result from a while ago on the ipad2 and iOS4. All onscreen tests are also vsync limited, so the maximum they will ever score is 60fps.

    offscreen is somewhat important, as some ipad2 games can render higher output via the HDMI accessory to an external device.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    GLBenchmark 2.1 allows for testing at the same resolution (720p) to enable true apples to apples comparisons of GPUs. There are some slight changes in the workloads as well, so 2.1 numbers aren't directly comparable to 2.0.x numbers.

    That being said, the iPad 2 should never be slower than the Prime even in an older version of GLBench. I'm not entirely sure what's going on there...

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • metafor - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    A new version of PowerVR drivers was released some while back (I believe it came with iOS 5) and improved performance dramatically. That may be the issue. Reply
  • GnillGnoll - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    46 fps is an old result on iPad 2. With iOS 5 the Egypt Standard test is almost permanently vsync limited at 60 fps (2.0.3 is gone from the online database, but the workload in the Egypt test hasn't changed between that and 2.1) Reply
  • araczynski - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    if this is supposed to be the next generation of the android tablets, getting slapped around by the ipad2, WHEN THE IPAD3 is 'just around the corner' makes it almost a joke of an upgrade.

    i don't have any love for apple (pc guy), but i'll be saving my mountain of pennies for an ipad3, rather than bother with an android tablet, have enough random issues with my free DroidX that i couldn't actually image wanting to pay for the 'experience' in a tablet.
    Reply
  • vvk - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    If by "around the corner" you meant April or May of the next year than perhaps, based on your needs, you should wait but then if you wait another couple of month you could get the next gen super-duper tablet and so on and so forth. Anyway your life your choice I ain't canceling my preorder based on the Anand's review. Reply
  • gorash - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    No this is not the next generation of Android, next generation is ICS or Jelly Bean. And iPad 3 is coming next summer. Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    Neither iPad was released in the summer. Reply
  • Ketzal - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I'd like to congratulate on a truly superb review. Given the horribly short time you had to write it and do the testing. You did an amazing job.

    Your reviews are a true breath of fresh air.

    The quality of your reviews make the Engadget and like websites look like total amateurs.

    Basically it works like this...if you are pondering a new gadget. Wait for your review. If you say it's the one...it's the one. Buy said gadget.

    Live happily ever after.

    Congrats, I'll be singing your praises to everyone I know.

    Ketzal
    Reply
  • Wizzdo - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    You should consider getting a low-voltage brain in your next life since Anand does your thinking for you. This way your battery might last as long as the iPad2's.

    Anand may be good but regardless of his reviews "Happily ever after" is about 6 months in this industry.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Thank you, I appreciate the kind words :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • cotak - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Everyone seems so impressed but for me the big elephant is why is the GPU slower than the ipad2's from a GPU company? And to boot the CPU performance isn't significantly faster either? What's going on? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    CPU is pretty fast when you look at multi-core enabled Linpack. Other programs probably don't handle the 4 cores very efficiently.
    As for the GPU, Apple has been very aggressive in marketing iOS (specifically the iPads) as mobile consoles, so they really delivered in the GPU department. The downside of that is that the die size of the A5 is 122mm² according to Anand (4s review), whereas Tegra3 even with 5 CPU cores only has 80mm² (Tegra3 launched article). :-)
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Not sure if they are equivalent tests, but in the ipad2 review, ipad2 scored 170.9 MFLOP which is higher than the Transformer Prime's score of 135.9.

    I don't think the average consumer cares about how big the die size is, they will however notice the extra GPU performance.

    Also, even with the bigger dies size, it doesn't seem to affected battery life either.
    Reply
  • Blaster1618 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    GPU:
    Power VR SGX 543MP2 (iPAD 2) 60 nm
    8 Pixel processor * maximum 4 separate address per vector per cycle= 32 addresses per cycle.
    Tegra 3 40 nm
    12 Pixel processors x 1 separate address per vector=12 addresses per cycle.

    Isn't there a secret slot where you can slip in a NV104 processor and give this story a happy ending. Last time I bought an apple was a Apple IIc. (google it), but in this case power's simultaneous multi-threading beats the brawn of 12 processors. (darn). maybe wayne will get smart and 28nm.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    There's nothing to be impressed with. It's another poor attempt by Nvidia to rush a product out the door and getting their ass handed by the iPad2's higher optimized design.

    How embarrassing to let a 1GHZ dualcore SOC spank a 1.4GHZ quadcore Tegra 3.

    I don't know people are excited especially that from what we know of the upcoming Apple's A6 designs and iPad 3 will make this thing forgotten very soon.
    Reply
  • GmanMD - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Any idea as to whether you would be able to hook up a 4g wireless usb modem to the dock on this? It would be awesome to have that flexibility. Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I hope one day Anand would stop judging screens only on min/max brightness and would do a proper test, that would also compare gamut. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    That day will come very soon... ;)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Toadster - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    how do the these stack up against each other? Reply
  • jleach1 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    What the hell are these "Normal","Power Saving", and "Balanced" labels?

    I'm not going to read a single page more of this article. The benchmarks mean nothing when not explained.

    I'm using a transformer sans prime, and have no such ability to choose some type of profile, or whatever the heck they are.

    I've never been frustrated or a tad bit angry with an a and article before....but I suppose there's a first time for everything, eh?
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    WTH?, there is a whole page explaining the 3 power profiles. Please read the article Reply
  • Abini - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I read the review by Josh Miller on CNET and they also had a model that had WiFi issues. I am looking to replace my old clunky laptop and an ereader with this model, so I'm hoping it is just a fluke, but with two different reviewers getting "bad" items, that makes me suspicious. Like the Apple denials of iPhone antenna issues, I don't want to buy version 1.0 and find out that it can't handle better than 2MBPS connections due to a hardware issue.

    I'm holding off for few months to see how the WiFi works for the rest of the people before I jump onboard.
    Reply
  • kenyee - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    That's not good.

    I was going to get on the preorder list for this...sounds like it's finally a good Android tablet (or at least on par w/ the Galaxy Tab).
    Wish it had a built-in USB port, but there's an inexpensive dongle for it...
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    Battery life is just wrong on these things. An ipad 2 would never get 12 hours battery life. After using one for 3 months you'd be lucky to get 9 hours in that same test. Real world usage goes down to about 6. Gaming, less than 2 hours, again after a few months of use. That's just annoyingly bad for such an expensive device. This model HAS to at least beat that. By all rights it should be doubling that. These things are too weak, too light, and run out of juice too quick. They should have at least double the battery capacity. The fact that they dont even offer a higher capacity battery really irks me.

    I rant and rave about how my ipoop can barely even load a youtube video. I set it down so it can buffer for a few minutes, and I come back and the screen is locked and when I unlock it I have to reload the stupid video. These things are just so much junk its not even funny. As I said all along ...
    Reply
  • billus - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    My original iPad-1, pre-ordered and heavily used since day one, plays video for 11.5 hours straight...still...with 3G off and Wi-Fi on.

    YouTube videos don't reload when the display locks, at least not with iOS 5, and video playback takes only 2-3 seconds to start for me.
    Reply
  • Sevenfeet - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    First, congrats to Anandtech for a great review as always, despite the time constraints.

    So here's the takeaways I get from reading this:

    1. Asus really managed to get a well designed piece of physical engineering out the door and in people's hands. That's better than HP, Motorola and a host of other iPad wannabees. Well done.

    2. The screen is nice and apparently class leading. Again, well done, although you shouldn't pat yourself on the back too much for surpassing something that Apple built two product cycles ago and will likely blow away next quarter. Just sayin... For right now, it's the leader, and will continue to be in 3, 2, 1....

    2. As with everything in the Android world, it was necessary to ship early rather than complete. With Ice Cream Sandwich literally making the scene now, it would have been a great addition to this machine. As it stands, it's yet another upgrade users have to do...assuming they every get it which is sadly the way of things with Android upgrades from manufacturers. Lots of promises, poor execution. I could understand it if the issue was shipping ahead of Christmas but the window for that was a number of weeks ago, not early December. Even Amazon was pushing it by having the Kindle Fire launch around Thanksgiving.

    3. The NVidia Kal-El chip has been the talk of tech blogs for months. Quad-core + one low power core sounds pretty cool. But a chip clocked at 1.3 Ghz with 4 cores is barely outrunning a 1 Ghz dual-core A5 that Apple designed a year ago, and gets mostly worse battery life despite the smaller die size of the SOC. Really Nvidia? This is the best you got? The real story should be how Apple is managing to get their performance out of underclocked CPUs and still gets better battery life.

    4. Which brings me to video. Again Nvidia, this is your core competency...graphics. When your butt is getting kicked by a product designed a year ago, that tells me you still have a ways to go in the mobile space before you are truly competitive. The playing of m4v and high profile formats is way cool...props there. But you're still getting boat-raced in the one space where you should be king. C'mon, man...

    Yes, I do like my iPad but I also want these tablets to get better because it makes the entire industry better. But watching some of the comments in these parts strikes me of the upmost in homerism. True, some like being able to warp Android into whatever they want, but many of us grownups have families and frankly, things to do. I don't have the time to fool with tweaking stuff I used to 20 years ago. I want the thing to work the first time. Which brings me to my next point...all that configuration potential is terrible for certain applications. I have an iPad for my special needs son and iOS is the gold standard for special needs applications. Why? Because my son can understand it and not break the thing. Sometimes I don't think many of you realize how hard simplicity really is to achieve. I could never put an Android device in front of him without him putting through a freaking window.

    Lastly, iTunes isn't the world's greatest app but considering all the things it has to do, I amazed it works as well as it does. Most of you have no idea how difficult it is to manage a storefront of its size communicating to what's probably the world's largest ERP system. Is is the best in performance? No, it could be much better. But it chokes on 200 gig of music? My library of 420+gigs of lossless music + another terabyte of ripped video content would like to have a world with you.

    Ice Cream Sandwich looks cool and we'll see Windows tablets sometime in 2012. But for right now, I still haven't seen anyone who can mop the floor with the iPad, no excuses.
    Reply
  • billus - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    One of the first comments that makes sense.

    I see so many people saying that they would never get their parents or kids an iPad. Hate to tell you, but you're not doing them any favors by getting them an Android tablet with the possible exception of the Kindle Fire. You've missed the entire point. Nobody except uber-geeks wants to deal with all that stuff. Say what you will, but for most people, iTunes works just fine and has a low learning curve.

    Now, ICS may be a better much for this tablet, but it's hilarious that, in terms of performance, the iPad beats an nVidia quad-core, has better battery life and even whips it in graphics performance. You've finally matched the original iPad and you're proclaiming victory?

    Regardless, why would I care about all quad-core vs. single-core as long as the darn thing works and is fast enough for me to not notice? My Galaxy is a pain in the *** compared to my iPad-1 and far less useful.
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    The original iPad? It was the iPad 2 in the charts. Reply
  • TareX - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    You said most what I wanted to say; I too have a busy career and don't have time to switch ROMS, and do the tweaking I used to do with my purchases. I have an Atrix and it's running Froyo for heaven's sake.

    I will be holding out till ICS gets released with the Prime. But I'm getting the Prime. I can't wait till next year; and I know I won't be getting an iPad.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    But what reason can you give for not getting an ipad? Too much software selection? Too great of an ecosystem? Too much wireless video streaming to your TV? Too high of resale value? Too easy to use?

    Curious minds want to know!
    Reply
  • BillyBobMcgrath - Monday, December 05, 2011 - link

    How about bad value for money? For the price of a 32GB Prime you get a 16GB iPad 2. It has roughly half the specs of the Prime: only 0.5GB memory, dual core processor v.s. quad core, lower resolution and screen size (which is REALLY annoying for watching 16:9 ratio videos, which is to say more than 1/2 shows/movies you can buy/download) and lack of expansion slots.
    In terms of software, iPad is smoother than android but at the same time you get a very limited browsing experience with iOS. I know HTML5 is the "future" but at the present is still dominant and will be for a while.
    As for apps, whilst there are less app choice, It has a good range - you may have less choice in each department than iOS but you will always find apps suitable for your needs.
    Build quality, at least for the prime, is also a lot better than the iPad's. Whilst both use aluminum instead of cheap plastic, the prime uses Gorilla glass rather than normal glass.
    For $500, the transformer prime gives you a much, much better product. Apple products are very good and generally blows away low-mid range non apple products but when you compare apple's products to similarly priced alternatives, they just don't deliver acceptable quality for your money.
    For example, a current generation MacBook pro 15" costs £1.6K. A HP 15" with virtually identical specs costs £800. The inclusion iOS does not justify a 100% markup on a windows PC. FOr £1.6k you can buy a laptop much, much more powerful than the £2k MacBook pro. The iOS may be better but is not worth £800. Furthermore to get full functionality out of a Mac you have to buy windows for bootcamp, which is another £120. By choosing a similarly priced alternative to apple products you "miss out" on an apple OS but gain much better specd products. I don't mind paying more for a better product but I expect the quality of the product to match the price and you just don't get that with Apple.
    Reply
  • simad57 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    One criticism of the original Transformer was that the charging cable was too short. Have they addressed that issue with the Prime? If not - is a USB extension cable a reasonable solution to address a too short cable or is there an issue with the about of current being pushed down the cable to charge the tablet in a shorter time than the mini usb. Reply
  • Stas - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    That is a fantastic screen! I'm very surprised and impressed. Reply
  • user777 - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    1) G3 USB stick test
    There were a lot of questions regarding the G3 version of the tablet.
    Is there a possibility to test any G3 USB stick on the Transformer Prime dock (example 50 USD/euro G3 usb stick from Archos G9)? It would answer all these questions.
    2) Skype video call test
    Skype is may be the most popular video app available for a lot of Android devices. Would it be possible to make a Skype video conference call test and confirm if the Skype app works with video on Transformer Prime?
    3) MX Video Player test
    I really like the MX Video Player which also has full support for multi-core processors, subtitles, mkv/m2ts/mp4/... file formats, etc. Is it possible to test MX Video player too?
    Reply
  • user777 - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    The possibility to play multi format video files is indeed excellent feature of the Transformer Prime.
    Since the video file are quite large in size playing them from a home DLNA server via WiFi is important too (example Vuse torrent client DLNA server and playing by any third party DLNA client app like Skifta, iMediaShare, Bubble UPnP). Is it possible to test the DLNA video streaming of 720p/1080p videos?
    Reply
  • lancedal - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    for tablet/smartphone market, except Apple. Why? because it's so software/os dependent. With an open platform like Android/Window, it's very hard to harvest the extra resources.

    If you look at the PC market, the quad-core is for heavy gaming and server while the dual-core is the most generic CPU for every laptop/desktop out there. And that is with a matured market with matured OS and application.

    I would doubt that Apple would go quad-core, but they are the only one can do it because they control both software and hardware. The rest? stick with dual.
    Reply
  • ProDigit - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    Having a quadcore fast machine is good!
    However, there are not sufficient programs out there, really needing all that performance!
    Most programs are smaller apps you can run with a single core running half the CPU speed!
    And most games, 3D games run perfectly fine on a cortex A8 or A9 processor.

    A pitty that software for Android is lacking behind!
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    That's the whole Asus Transformer Prime. It can use an integrated keyboard dock, to look much like a Zenbook. The hardware is similar. Reply
  • kamm2 - Monday, December 05, 2011 - link

    "Scrolling is rarely as smooth as I'd like it to be via the dock's trackpad. Many times the gesture just won't register on the trackpad or the trackpad will detect my two fingers but it won't scroll."

    We have this problem with my wife's Eee PC netbook. It is very annoying. We are looking to replace her aging notebook and will not be buying one without scroll bars on the trackpad. The probably means no Asus. The trackpad is also hyper sensitive so it makes accidental touches while typing a nightmare. There seems to be no sweet spot when adjusting the sensitivity. This is in contrast to the trackpad on her first generation Eee PC which is excellent.
    Reply
  • slayernine - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    My local supplied just notified me that Asus has officially delayed shipment of the Transformer Prime due to the same problems Anand experienced with the WiFi speeds. It is currently unknown when they will actually start shipping at this point in time. Reply
  • Romulous - Friday, December 09, 2011 - link

    It would seem this new computing space is growing a lot faster than the software is. Therefore, I cannot help feeling it's like having a sports car that you cannot drive anywhere. Great piece of kit, but really, how fast can you browse the web or read text ?

    I look forward to seeing some serious software vendors coming to the table for this platform. Also, no 3G... really, FAIL.
    Reply
  • jcompagner - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    http://phandroid.com/2011/12/09/asus-transformer-p... Reply
  • SydneyBlue120d - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I suggest to add this trailer as the king of Youtube benchmark:

    http://youtu.be/e-GYrbecb88?hd=1

    Can You run correctly at least at 1080p resolution? Thanks a lot
    Reply

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