ASUS is one of the few companies on the market that has been successful in the Android tablet space. Samsung competes on a par with it, while for the rest of the major manufacturers this is not yet the most promising business. The reason for the positive experience of the Taiwanese manufacturer was an unusual, if not unique device among commercial products – Eee Pad Transformer. The combination of characteristics (IPS-display, powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC at the time of release, capacious battery), fairly affordable price and the presence of a keyboard docking station that turns the tablet into an Android netbook, made the device a real bestseller. Yes, there are questions about the software component, the device is quite massive compared to the iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, made mostly of plastic (good quality, by the way), but the consumer voted for it with a ruble. I am sure that many people who do not want to deal with Apple products or for some other reason prefer Android, as well as active users of the gadget mentioned above, sometimes imagined a kind of dream tablet: metal, thin and similar to the Eee Pad Transformer in design. Well, dreams do come true – ASUS has officially unveiled the successor, Transformer Prime.
The first thing that catches your eye is that the tablet has become very thin, and the body is made of metal! The thickness of the device is only 8.3mm, which is smaller than the iPad 2 (8.8 mm) and the previous record holder, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (8.6 mm). The mass is also quite small – 586 g (about 600 for the iPad 2 and 564 for the plastic Tab 10.1). 10.1-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels is made using technology IPS+. The matrix differs from the usual IPS in more juicy color reproduction and brightness increased to 600 nits (on average, 400 nits for standard IPS panels). The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, plus covered with an oleophobic coating that reduces the amount of dirt and sebum that appears on the screen, plus makes it easy to get rid of them with a couple of easy movements.
I note that the aluminum case has the same coating, for which ASUS is a fat plus. The keyboard dock also “lost weight” to 10.4mmits mass is 537 g. That is, the assembled device weighs a little more than 11.6-inch Air, but the autonomy of the tablet is higher. According to the manufacturer, Transformer Prime can work up to 12 hours in video playback mode, and the dock adds another six hours – not bad. Naturally, the question arises, why such a high level of autonomy? The tablet is very thin, light, there was no breakthrough in the field of batteries, which means that the matter is in the filling.
Transformer Prime was the first tablet based on NVIDIA Tegra 3 and, in fact, the first device of its kind with a 4-core processor. Despite my rather skeptical attitude towards this development, or rather, the methods of its promotion, I can not help but note that NVIDIA has done a great job of optimizing the SoC’s power consumption. Theoretically, a 4-core, or more precisely, a 5-core system on a chip is more economical than a 2-core one. It is worth thanking for this the very fifth companion core, whose capabilities are enough even to play video at 1080p resolution. Basically, only it works, and as the load increases, the remaining cores are gradually connected. The company’s press release also flashed a figure of 12 hours of video playback when using the companion core. But video content has not only a certain resolution, but also a bitrate, and if it is too large (I assume more than 10 Mbps), then additional cores will be connected and you can forget about 12 hours of autonomy. On the other hand, who will spin BD-rips with such a resolution and a size of more than 10 GB on a tablet? That is, in the usual operating conditions, you can really count on the whole daylight hours of watching videos, but you should wait for real tests.
SoC frequency is 1.3 GHzplus there is 1 GB DDR2 RAM and 32 or 64 GB flash memory. The keyboard dock houses an SD card slot and a full USB port, while the tablet has a 3.5mm headphone jack, micro HDMI output, a microSD card slot and stereo speakers with support for proprietary technology. SonicMaster. On the front there is a 1.2-megapixel camera for video chat, on the back there is an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, f / 2.4 aperture and back-illuminated CMOS sensor. There are Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR modules, a GPS receiver, but no 3G modem.
As for the software component, the device will go on sale in December with Android 3.2 on board. But before the end of the year, ASUS promises to release a new firmware based on Android 4.0 and now this is a very interesting point. After all, it has happened more than once that excellent hardware is leveled by problematic software. Being at one time an active user of the Samsung Galaxy SII, more than once I caught myself on what I really want to see on its chic 4.3-inch iOS display instead of Android slowing down in places. Below is another example of software-level problems on cool hardware and we are talking about the first generation Eee Pad Transformer:
For some unknown reason, when the lid was closed, the tablet paired with the keyboard did not go into “sleep” mode, but when opened and a second thought, it still bothered to update the contents of the desktop. That is, the mechanism works, but incorrectly. By the way, after one of these “outputs” Android forgot about the existence of the keyboard dock and the cursor. I had to take it out and put it back in. Not the most pleasant experience from a device you just bought, is it? By the way, the first thing that the freshly launched system offered me was to update the keyboard dock firmware. With pleasure. It’s nice that the process did not require a reboot of the entire device. But immediately after that, the system offered to update itself. Ten minutes later, the normal cursor turned into a braking circle, and the smoothness of the interface (which was not enough before) dropped sharply. When scrolling in the settings, there was a noticeable lag. And the circle itself flashes with slowdown. Here is the official update for you. It’s funny, but I’m not alone: almost every user has already complained about this update. Thank you ASUS! And Google.
Nevertheless, the tablet still had to go through a couple of forced on-off cycles. The app store, called “Market” on Android, refused to install anything at all. The problem eventually disappeared by itself – but, sorry, I have never seen such arbitrariness on the iPad. But I have not even begun to get acquainted with the functionality of the device.
From a comparative review of the Eee Pad Transformer by Nikita Goryainov that never saw the light of day
I really hope that ASUS Transformer Prime does not have such problems, and the transition to Android 4.0 should at least give an increase in the smoothness of the interface, because Google has finally implemented its hardware acceleration. Unfortunately, ASUS does not intend to dump on the tablet market, like Amazon, for example. The cost of the 32 GB model is $50064 GB – $600you will have to pay more for the keyboard dock $150 above. Pay attention to the color of the devices: not banal black, white or silver, but gold and purple, unusual for metal gadgets.
ASUS is one of the few companies on the market that has been successful in the Android tablet space. Samsung competes on a par with it, while for the rest of the major manufacturers this is not yet the most promising business. The reason for the positive experience of the Taiwanese manufacturer was an unusual, if not unique device among commercial products – the Eee Pad Transformer. The combination of characteristics (IPS-display, powerful at the time of release…
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