Final Words

I stand by my original conclusion to our Eee Pad Transformer Prime review—this thing is definitely the best Android tablet on the market and it cements ASUS' image as being a company that is good at both engineering and design.

I also stand by my conclusion that the Prime isn't perfect. The Prime definitely needs Ice Cream Sandwich. The hardware upgrades alone are enough to make Honeycomb more than sufficient, but it's clear that we're bumping into the limits of the OS itself—particularly when it comes to multitasking. I am hoping that ICS brings about greater responsiveness in those areas where Honeycomb suffers today. On the bright side, stability is much improved over the initial releases of Google's tablet OS and it's totally usable for netbook style workloads.

ASUS' willingness to rush the launch is still inexcusable, and despite my third review sample working properly I'd like to see evidence that all (or at least the vast majority of) retail samples will be similarly well built. What I'm afraid of is seeing some of the issues I encountered with my first two samples out in the field. I do hope ASUS proves me wrong.

I still need to spend more time with the TF Prime in varied WiFi conditions to get a good feeling for how big of a deal the range limitations are. The fact that ASUS included WiFi antenna diversity in the TF Prime indicates that it knew the aluminum construction was going to be an issue. As to why ASUS didn't opt for a plastic RF window similar to the Apple logo on the iPad, your guess is as good as mine. If all of the retail units behave like mine, however, as long as you're in a place with good WiFi signal you should have no issues with network access on the Prime.

The Prime's aluminum chassis also proved to be a problem for GPS reception. ASUS has since removed GPS support from the Transformer Prime's list of specifications as a result of poor GPS performance. If you're looking for an Android tablet to function as a GPS receiver, the Transformer won't fit the bill.

Power efficiency has been improved by a tangible amount. Battery life is now in the realm of the iPad, whereas before there was a more distinct divide between Honeycomb and iOS tablets. While some may argue that it's disappointing to still see battery life numbers below the iPad 2, at least we finally have something more competitive.

As far as NVIDIA and the Tegra 3 are concerned, this is honestly what the launch platform for Honeycomb should have been. I do have concerns about the SoC's ability to scale to even higher resolutions, but for a 1280 x 800 display Tegra 3 works well. I'm still not sold on the move to four cores, but they aren't a detriment to performance or power consumption so I can't really complain. To be honest, I'd much rather have four A9s than just a higher clocked Tegra 2 so I'm mostly okay with the move. My preference would be for a brand new architecture, but we won't get that until 28nm hits. If Qualcomm can deliver what it's expected to, however, Krait may be a formidable competitor in the not too distant future.

The Dock Experience
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  • kishorshack - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    That graph is still a bit difficult to understand
    a typical graph comparing two transformers would have been great :|
    Reply
  • freedom4556 - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    While your video reviews are really cool and you should definitely keep doing them, I think you should have some sort of a sign-off at the end of them. The way it just cuts is really abrupt. You know, something simple like along the lines of "I'm Anand Shimpi and this has been the Eee pad Transformer Prime" or something. It'd add a little polish.

    Good review though, I much prefer listening to reading
    Reply
  • Matias - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Sign in too, something like "Hi, my name is Anand from Anandtech and today I'll be reviewing..." you know?

    20 minutes is ok, good video.
    Reply
  • Andrew Rockefeller - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    I think this passage from an interview with Anand may sum up his feeling on extranious self promotion:

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/14/2560801/5-minut...

    "...when I first started attending industry events I noticed everyone always introduced themselves as Name from Publication. It always rubbed me the wrong way. If I'm asking a question, and my question is appropriately phrased, the publication I write for is irrelevant information."
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    In asking the question at an industry event, I agree with your view and Anand's. Its a really KISS MY BUTT thing to do, like should you get a difference answer because who is asking?

    But this is about the video. A proper closing (perhaps with a fade to black) would be nicer and more polished. Even the video editor in Windows7 can handle such jobs easily - and I think his Macbook can as well.

    Also, his video can be embedded onto other sights, people may not know WHO is talking or where it came from.

    It is the end that is at issue.
    Reply
  • bungfinger - Tuesday, January 03, 2012 - link

    "Also, his video can be embedded onto other sights, people may not know WHO is talking or where it came from."

    yeah! because it's unfair to all the illiterate folk... who cruise geek sights for reviews on tech.. who can't read... that small inconspicuous sign over your left shoulder... wait... what?
    Reply
  • MrTeal - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    I know I always enjoy being told to stay classy. Reply
  • Graag - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    That would be a *great* sign off line.

    "That concludes our review. This is Anand Shimpi for Anandtech.com reminding you to stay classy."
    Reply
  • Belard - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    Also... OMG! He lost his hair! I remember about 10 years ago when he had... hair, on HIS HEAD!! Put a wig on man, please!!

    Don't take it personal Anand... I knew I would be balding when I was a teenager and my hairline started thinning in my mid-20s. I tried that Rogaine (sp?) crap for about 2 days, but that sticky nasty stuff felt horrible and the IDEA of putting sticky crap on my head every day for the rest of my life (at about $25 a month) seemed stupid.

    I shaved my head that day. And I keep it shaved. I've haven't seen my curls in years, I don't need a comb. Makes me look a bit tough too :)

    PS: Asus has done a great job with their tablets... It amazing how HP, RIM, Toshiba and others have screwed up.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 15, 2011 - link

    To be honest, there was about another 30 seconds at the end of the video that ended up being cut out which contained a more gradual sign off. I appreciate the feedback for sure :)

    I try to do these things in one take, it significantly reduces editing time and helps me get them done given the already insane schedule we have to work on at times. This one suffered as a result but I'll do my best to avoid the abrupt ending happening again in the future :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply

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