It's a tablet! It's a laptop! It's the first quad-core, Nvidia Tegra 3-powered mobile monster. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is most definitely here. We unboxed it at PCMag Labs, and we'll have a full review later today.
The Transformer Prime goes on sale in about two weeks for $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB). The keyboard dock, which is almost a must here, costs an additional $149.
Besides being built around a powerful quad-core 1.4GHz processor, tablet has an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 10-inch, 1280-by-800 super bright "super-IPS" LCD screen, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Asus and Nvidia say the new quad-core chipset will let the tablet play better games, run for longer on one charge, and play high-def video directly from external hard drives. We'll test all of these functions, of course, when we put the tablet through its paces for our full review.
The Transformer Prime and keyboard each arrive in a simple black box without many extra components; you do get a charger with the tablet, slim manuals and a blue cleaning cloth, but that's about it.
Thus far, the Transformer Prime is the most powerful Android tablet you can get, thanks to the Tegra 3 chipset, but it's missing a key element for 2012: Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android. That will arrive soon via a free, over-the-air update, according to Asus.
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