A Closer Look: ASUS Transformer Prime Hardware Details


I told you guys in the announcement post that the ASUS Transformer Prime raised the bar for just about every Android tablet out there. Now, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the hardware of the Prime and explain exactly why. Starting with my favorite part, the sexy outer body and gorgeous 10.1-inch screen.

With a metallic surface and glossy display, it’s not hard to imagine that the Transformer Prime would become a fingerprint magnet. To keep your quad-core tablet looking good, ASUS had the foresight to apply a fingerprint resistant, hydro-oleophobic coating over the screen and metal surface. We’ve seen this before in the HTC Legend back in the day and we’re not exactly sure why it went extinct but we’re definitely happy it’s back and on the Prime. Bye, bye smudges and hello Popeye’s chicken!

If fingerprints covering your super-tab aren’t really going to keep you up at night, how about scratches or cracked displays? Yeah — we’ve all been there with our Android smartphones. Well, the Prime display features the, Android fan-favorite, Corning Gorilla Glass giving you the peace of mind that no matter how many spills your tablet may take, the screen will always come out unscathed.

ASUS has not only upgraded the durability of their display but the picture quality as well. They’ve introduced an all new Super IPS+ display that provides for a brighter, more vivid display allowing for better outdoor visibility and superior 178 degree viewing angles. When it comes to an Android tablet, I always say, “She better have great nits.”

The screen improvements don’t stop there. ASUS also felt the need to improve on touch-screen responsiveness, a feature that never even crossed my mind until today. The Prime manages to halve the normal response time from when a device detects your finger movement and follows along. I’ve seen this talked about in our comments section in past posts and was something I thought had more to do with software than hardware. It’s this kind of attention to detail that helps the overall user experience and something other Android OEM’s could learn a lot from.

Described simply as “amazing,” ASUS even managed to increase not just the megapixels — but the quality of the camera from the previous Transformer. The 8MP camera has been improved to shoot in full 1080p with a larger F2.4 aperture and back-illuminated CMOS sensor. Simply put — this camera rocks. While most people don’t normally take out their tablet when snapping some quick pics, the Prime just may change all that. And because the camera is on the back, those incognito shots of the hot girl at the coffee shop have never been easier.

One area you don’t normally think about when buying a new tablet are the speakers. I pretty much just pray they’re loud enough to watch videos with and hope for the best. Well, ASUS decided to up the ante with the speakers on the Prime equipping them with new speakers 6% larger featuring their ASUS SonicMaster Technology. Watching videos and playing music has never sounded better.

Last, but certainly not least, is an issue that is always on the minds of Android users everywhere: battery life. Some of you may have assumed that because the Prime is rocking a quad-core processor, that battery life would likely suffer. Wrongfully so. The included Nvidia Tegra 3 processor features a dedicated ultra low voltage fifth-core for handling non-CPU intensive tasks like email and Twitter. Think about it. Why use all you cores when you don’t have to? This results in approximately 12-hours of battery life for the Transformer Prime and when docked, you can squeeze out a full 18 hours (depending on usage). Color me impressed.

So you can see, ASUS didn’t just stop at safe — they stopped at extraordinary. They could have easily made a few aesthetic changes to the original Eee Pad Transformer and called it a day. Instead, they looked into all the details and introduced not only a worthy successor but an exceptional piece of hardware that raises the bar not just for Android OEM’s but Apple as well. I don’t know about you guys but I’m all hot and bothered. How about you?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Too cool.

    1. Too cool??? This is F-ing awesome! 

      Now if I can only get someone to buy my OG Transformer. Also I really wish that it came with some kinda USB on the side for charging and accessories.

      1. I believe the dock has 2 usb ports….doesn’t the original also?

        1. Yeah my OG one does them on the keyboard dock but I just wanted one that is actually on the tablet itself like on the Acer Iconia.

          1. I had the Acer for a while and that’s something I will admit I missed once I swapped it for the ASUS. Guess I’ll have to get the keyboard.

  2. I hope this one launches in India, or I will have to import one. Whatever, I am going to get one of these. 

  3. I just jizzed.

    1. I just let a little bit of wee out.

    2. Last week, I saw a film. As I recall, it was a horror film!

  4. This tablet sucks. Because I can’t buy it RIGHT NOW. Seriously, when?

  5. I just hope ASUS wises up about their bootloader policy. Unlocked/unlockable bootloader, I’ll grab one the day it comes out. Otherwise, I’ll wait to see what Samsung or HTC has to offer in 2012… You don’t truly own a device until you’ve rooted it.

    1. The unlocked bootloader is extremely important, but with Honeycomb, we haven’t been able to see what Developers can do, because it was not AOSP.

      When ICS hits, I believe the Android tablet market will explode. I can only imagine CM9 for tablets!

  6. Looks amazing, I love it. Maybe I’ll get this to take my mind off the Galaxy Nexus phone I’ve been pining over but probably won’t see on Sprint for a long time.

  7. I just ice cream sandwiched.

  8. This will be my first tablet most likely. Since no one else seemed to
    have stepped up to the plate like asus has. Only thing i might kinda
    somewhat like would be NFC, just to future proof it a bit more but it is
    not that big of a thing and i don’t care a whole lot.

    So yes looks to be my first tablet.

    however if this were to get 3G as well i would buy another one for the
    origination i work with to use as well. It needs 3G because it is in a
    internet dead zone right now. Another 2-3 years they tell us before they
    will install the lines. Of course they have been saying that for like
    10 years now, so yeah.

    Eitherway this looks like it will be my personal tablet for sure.

    1. What would you use NFC for in a tablet?  And as far as the 3g, why not just tether to your phone??

      1. Android beam would be extremely beneficial, tablet-to-tablet or phone-to-tablet.

        And tethering is not an option for everyone. I would love to look at a 3G/4G tablet, because my phone is provided by employer.

        1. Way to say it better and shorter then i did. lol thanks

      2. Anything a phone would be able to use NFC for? But if you want a real example. Currently we use phones ( mine and my mom’s) to use square to sell things at events for the place i volunteer at. If it had NFC we would also potentially be able to accept direct phone payments as well. As i said this isn’t a huge want or need but it would be a nice future proof feature as NFC is potentially used more.

        Now with 3G, good in theory not so good in particle. As i said currently we use phones ( mine and my mom’s). If we aren’t the ones doing the selling we have problems since not everyone who helps us sell have a phone that really works with square, so we have to leave our phones with them. Thus why we want to get a tablet for everyone to use when they need to. Now if they cant run a 3.5 head-jack dongle and an app do you really think i can get them to tether their phone to it as well? Built in 3G would just be easier and more convenient from that stand point. I don’t really care if i personally have the 3G or not though.

        Edit: ah Horace said it just as good really and shorter xD

    2. lmao i just imagined someone using an ipad on an oyster reader

  9. The lack of devices with #G-ability in Sweden was the reason i didn’t buy the first transformer as this is a deal breaker for me. Let’s hope this one ships with a 3G modem very, very soon!

    1. Forget that. In America that means I’d have to buy some stupid data plan for it. WiFi works well enough – especially when you can use your phone as the hotspot.

      1. yup. AND monitor my usage. no thanks.

    2. I’m with you…. PIA with no 3g!

      You could tether to phone? mifi device?

  10. I sure hope that this unit will ship with a 3G modem very, very soon as this is a deal breaker for me.

  11. This all sounds great but i am confused about one part of the spec. It lists 1 x stereo speaker. How can one speaker be stereo, surley you need 2? In general this is somthing that lets down many tablets and phones.

    1. Maybe they mean it the same way as 1 pair of socks.

  12. It seems too good to be true.

    So, what’s the catch? Come one, there should be some!


    Delayed update to ICS?

    Screwed update to ICS?

    Aaaa … I want one so badly!

    1. ASUS has been the fastest out of them all to get updates out. The transformer gen 1 is running 3.2 and will have ICS by end of year, or so asus says

      Catch is, no NFC…… and no 3g/4g/lte model coming

      1. and that’s a catch that simply doesn’t bother me. I can live with that.

        1. Me too….. so I guess we have winner winner chicken dinner on our hands!

      2. I’d rather have NFC on a pocket device like my phone.  3g/4g is something I do not want at all.  Last thing I need is another device with a mandatory monthly bill attached.  I have Wifi at home and at the office and at cafes and bars.  Anywhere else I just fire up the hotspot on my phone if it’s that pressing.

  13. I want this tablet. Never felt the need for one before, but this is something awesome : D

  14. If it has NFC so i can ‘beam’ stuff to it from my phone and from my phone to it then yes. 

    1. sadly no nfc

  15. Wow those are some nice specs and details. Getting my first Tablet and BOY is it good. From the name down to every last spec, this thing sounds, looks (and is going to) feel(s) amazing! 

  16. Does this have an SD slot?

    1. yes.

    2. The keyboard dock does.

    3. tablet unit has microsd, base unit has sd

  17. ha! I’m so pro Chris Chavez posts.

    and I will be saving my pennies for this beauty. Asus could have easily just made this thing more sleeker and I would have bite, but the VAST internal improvements for THE SAME PRICE as the original is just SUPER. i haven’t been this stoked about a device in YEARS.

  18. I can actually testify about fingerprint resistant glass – it does work. I have it on my RAZR, and there’s not a print on the screen after two days of use (imagine how intensively I’m using it now during the “honeymoon” period). Gotta love that.

  19. I wonder if this one will be able to sit in standby overnight without killing both the tablet & the keyboard’s battery.

    1. Sounds like you have one of the faulty docks.  Contact Asus for a replacement.

  20. I’ve held off an Android tablets… this is on the radar big time.

  21. Anyone know if Asus’ upgrade program also includes tablets?  As much as I love my Transformer, wouldn’t mind picking this up.

  22. Asus: way to go. You have waited so long to come out with your tablet that it became so last year

    Toshiba: oops

    Samsung: were you racing Sony to the bandwagon again?

    Asus: I told him he’s always late

    Samsung: unless your tablet is 400 bucks or less. Don’t sell it

    Toshiba: ill keep that in mind

    Apple: unless your tablet is $0 or less…don’t sell it

    Samsung: here we go

    Asus: who is this Guy?

    HTC: don’t worry about em man, just stay as far away from him as possible. He might Sue you

    Apple: I might as well. You all use my damn product anyway

    Samsung: he’s also dilusional

    Asus: dude I got 4 cores. Slimmer design. And longer battery life. And that’s just the half of it. How did I copy this Guy?

    HTC: don’t worry about it, that Guy is crazy. He believes he was the first phone ever created

    Apple: you can’t hide forever! That software is mine! All mine!

    LG: why the hell is this Guy out of his straight jacket?

    Asus: I guess he’s just mad because we’re the shit, and he’s just a piece of shit

    HTC: well put sir, well put

  23. Will the current TF Keyboard Dock work w/ the Prime?  <– Most important question, as voted by me.  

  24. ASUS needs a trade in program.  I would so snatch this up in a second, i just need to unload my first gen, first.

  25. This is more like the kind of improvements and “wow” factor I would like to be seeing on the nexus phones. Maybe Google should have Asus make the next nexus?

  26. Battery life won’t be as awesome as nVidia says it will, all of those hours of battery life are movie watching hours, easily accomplished since the decoding/scaling of the video is handled by the video chip/DSP. Just the same as how you can watch Blu-ray or really complex High Profile H.264/AVC on a crappy Pentium 4 with a Radeon card since the specialised hardware takes care of the video.

    Hopefully I’m wrong but I really doubt it will have good battery life with something that actually uses all those cores, even taking all of that into account, I think I would still get one on release day :-)

    1. Video is a battery hog which is why they do these tests…it gives an accurate account of battery

      1. It is not a battery hog when you have specialized video hardware in the low power companion core, the chip doesn’t even use a newer more power efficient 28nm manufacturing process, it uses the same old 40nm and so the chip is TWICE the size of that of Tegra2, all of the power saving comes from relying on the companion core, so if you do tasks which need more oomph than the companion core provides (VIDEO ISN’T ONE WITH THIS CHIP), you’re looking at bad battery life

        1. Not true at all. Please see the tegra 3 core switching demo.

  27. All these assumptions and you never played with the device poor writing

  28. This is how you introduce innovation, I dont need the nexus with this hardware and ics on board. I cant wait!!

    Google please take notes on how to impress buyers for your next nexus release.

  29. EL   TEE    E!
    EL   TEE    E!
    EL   TEE    E!
    EL   TEE    E!
    And Hugs to ASUS for running out of bubble gum. 
    (“They Live” reference anyone?)

  30. This will certainly the best 10″ tablet around.  

    Too bad Asus did not announce a release date for the Padfone…I wonder if that will also have a Tegra 3 chip?

  31. what awesome specs….10 years ago such specs were used to run SAP servers and IBM DB2s….

  32. hey ASUS, i want  Transformer Prime with 8,9″ screen size, quad core and Ice Cream Sandwich taste n wifi only. uuuuuuuuukhhhh so yummy, gad-damned!!

  33. I always check out this website before buying any products in the best android tablet – http://www.thebest-androidtablet.com. My personal favorite is ASUS Eee Pad Transformer because it better than any other tab.”

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