Alongside NVIDIA's last remaining architecture disclosures about Tegra 3, ASUS is revealing more information about the world's first Tegra 3 tablet. The Prime is much thinner than its predecessor, even thinner than the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and iPad 2 at 8.3mm. It's also the second lightest 10-inch Android tablet we've seen at 586 grams, a tad heavier than Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (565g).

Unlike the original Eee Pad, the Transformer Prime is all aluminum. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime will be available in two colors: champagne gold (pictured above) and amethyst grey (in the gallery below). ASUS is using the higher quality chassis as a justification for driving prices up by $100. The Transformer Prime is now priced identically to the iPad 2, although you get twice the NAND (32GB/64GB instead of 16GB/32GB). The original Transformer will remain on the market at $399, the Prime simply occupies the space above it.

The display resolution remains unchanged at 1280 x 800. It turns out that all of those high resolution tablet panels we've been waiting for are in very low supply and very expensive right now. Whatever is in good supply appears to be bought up by Apple for the next iPad. The display is an IPS derivative ASUS is calling Super IPS+. You still get the wide viewing angles, but ASUS is promising up to 600 nits in its brightest mode. If ASUS can indeed achieve this we'll be looking at the brightest 10.1-inch Android tablet on the market. I am skeptical however, especially considering the difference between ASUS' measured brightness and what we recorded in our Zenbook review.

ASUS is using an oleophobic coating on the glass surface of the display, which should at least make fingerprints easy to wipe off. Apple includes a similar coating on the iPad/iPad 2's display, however fingerprints are still a fact of life when it comes to even its touchscreens. 

There are two cameras on the Prime: 1.2MP front facing and 8MP rear facing (f/2.4) with LED flash. 

Despite the decrease in overall dimensions, the Transformer Prime features larger speakers than its predecessor (6% larger according to ASUS). 

The Prime comes with an integrated 25Wh battery, similar to its predecessor. Also like the original Transformer, you can purchase an optional keyboard dock for the Prime for $149 that will nearly double its battery capacity (+22Wh). The new dock is obviously slimmer than the old one and gives you a full keyboard, track pad, USB 2.0 port and SD card reader. 

The Transformer Prime is expected to launch in the US in December with Android 3.2. ASUS is hinting at more details on Ice Cream Sandwich availability at the launch of the Prime next month. Based on what I've heard, I wouldn't expect ICS on Tegra 3 until early next year.

While I would've liked to have seen a higher resolution display, ASUS appears to have addressed many of our complaints about the original Transformer. We'll obviously have to wait until next month to find out for sure, but it looks like there may be a killer Android tablet out before the year is up.

ASUS will launch the Transformer Prime in the US before the end of the year. The tablet's specs are below:

Tablet Specification Comparison
  ASUS Eee Pad Transformer ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Apple iPad 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Dimensions 271mm x 175mm x 12.95mm 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm 256.6 x 172.9 x 8.6mm
Display 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 Super IPS+ 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 IPS 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 PLS
Weight 675g 586g 601g 565g
Processor 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (2 x Cortex A9) 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (4 x Cortex A9) 1GHz Apple A5 (2 x Cortex A9) 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 (2 x Cortex A9)
Memory 1GB 1GB 512MB 1GB
Storage 16GB + microSD card 32GB/64GB + microSD slot 16GB 16GB
Pricing $399 $499/$599 $499 $499

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  • slatr - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Not a toy at all. I use Citrix Receiver to connect to work. I have Outlook, RDP ect accesss via Reciver and I also have webex client loaded. Can a laptop use reciever , sure. Can I connect as quickly .. no way. I am in the system in about 20-30 seconds or less on the Transformer. I'd only hope my laptop stil had a charge and then I'm still booting into windows.

    On top of that:gmail, kindle app, and so on.

    I am looking forward to it. Hopefully stock is good and I won't have to wait like I did on my original Transformer.
  • freedownloadaz - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    can you tell me Apple iPad 2's cost on eBay, I am often buy on eBay. thanks
  • freedownloadaz - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Check information here:, you can find cheap iphone for you
  • ATOmega - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Still a good $200 more expensive than what it should really be.

    When are tablet makers going to stop trying to skin us?
  • BrooksT - Thursday, November 10, 2011 - link

    Sounds like you could make a fortune by bringing a similar product to market for $200 less. I'm all for it. When do you ship? And will you be a non-profit, or are you aiming for 5% margins?
  • softbatch - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    I'll wait for the next Iconia. No Full sized powered USB on tablet ... NO BUY!!
  • jrs77 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Seriously. I really like the Transformer with the dockable keyboard and it's additional battery, but without integrated 3G/4G it's absolutely useless.

    At home, where I have WiFi available, there's no need for a device like this, and when I leave the house, there's no WiFi around 99% of the time.

    So, either they have to implement the possibility for using USB-netsticks, or they need to integrate it into the device.

    With all that said.... I'm happy with my MBA 13".
  • Zink - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Looks "better-than-iPad" great as long as they don't screw anything up, learn from mistakes in the original transformer etc. For tablet productivity and gaming this looks like it will be the best you can get for a long while. 720p resolution seems plenty high enough for gaming and productivity but wonder if Apple will be the first to use a 2k+ resolution tablet screen and if it will add actual functionality or just make text look nicer.
  • Skott - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Held off buying the original Transformer due to their announcement of the second one soon after the original released. Disappointed the cost is as high as it is but it would have been fine if they had integrated 3G/4G into it to make up for the extra cost. As it is I would like to see it at least $100 cheaper. I'm still very interested in it though and I'm looking forward to full review and testing once it releases.
  • datobin1 - Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - link

    Not sure if this is a glitch or normal I didn't see it here when I checked this morning and then later in the day was goggling for prime info and stumbled on to it.

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