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Asus Unveils Quad-Core Transformer Prime Tablet 274

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the shiny-gadgets-are-shiny dept.
MojoKid writes with an article in Hot Hardware about the fancy new Asus tablet/laptop hybrid. Quoting the article: "Asus and nVidia have collectively taken the wraps off the next-generation version of Asus's well-received Transformer tablet line. The new system aims to carve out a slice of the premium tablet market that Apple's iPad has dominated for so long. On paper and in pictures, the Prime impresses. The Transformer Prime incorporates NVIDIA's new Kal-El (Tegra 3) processor and is one of NVIDIA Tegra 3's upper-end launch systems. The new ARM-based CPU contains a fifth 'companion core' to reduce and manage idle power consumption and contains 12 GPU cores, up from the eight GPUs in Tegra 2. NVIDIA claims that Tegra 3's GPU is up to 3x faster than Tegra 2, thanks to additional architectural enhancements. Asus is also rolling out a new LCD they're calling 'Super IPS+.' The display's normal brightness tops out at ~500 nits, but the Prime offers an alternate Super IPS mode that pushes display brightness up to 600 nits for use in bright outdoor environments."
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Asus Unveils Quad-Core Transformer Prime Tablet

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  • Intruiged (Score:4, Interesting)

    by esocid (946821) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:51PM (#38000718) Journal
    When the first one came out, it was the only tablet that piqued my interest. I like the idea of a dual use, "dockable," tablet since I don't imagine I'd use a tablet much longer after the novelty wore off. Asus has really done something great with this incarnation too, it looks like.
    • When the first one came out, it was the only tablet that piqued my interest. I like the idea of a dual use, "dockable," tablet since I don't imagine I'd use a tablet much longer after the novelty wore off. Asus has really done something great with this incarnation too, it looks like.

      I won an iPad for free - it sits on my nightstand mostly unused, the 13" laptop still rules: it has a keyboard, it has Windows instead of iOS, and Hulu is free on Windows...

      When I do pick up the iPad, it's for things like Angry Birds, Pocket Frogs, etc. It _can_ browse the web, but not as well as the notebook. It does win out occasionally for things like working on the car where it's nice to have the reference handy without worrying about breaking the more fragile notebook, but then it loses again when it

      • by DinDaddy (1168147)

        When Win8 comes out, if Asus sells one of these running that OS, it would be a pretty tempting machine. Assuming the Metro ecosystem takes off at all.

      • Re:Intruiged (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:25PM (#38001204)

        I don't know why you choose to underutilize a very useful device, but not everyone has the same experience.

        I have an iPad2 and I use it a lot. I carry it with me between meetings and use it for email, calendar, reading documents, and an occasional terminal session to fix a problem with one of the servers using iSSH. The notepad application is pretty useful, and I've become spoiled with having my meeting notes already in my computer when I do make it to my office. Our office uses an internal wiki and we have web applications that I'm able to use with my iPad. I get exceptional battery life when compared against my netbook and I don't have to open and close the clamshell as I move from meeting to meeting or travel on public transportation.

        At home I'll watch netflix on it, or HBO GO. In addition, I can quickly reply to the emails that flood my inbox at all times of the day.

        This is my personal preference. I'm sure everybody's is different.

        • Why I choose to underutilize a relatively lame device, not everyone has the same experience:

          carry it with me between meetings

          A 13" notebook travels just as easily as the iPad

          use it for email

          I generally type more than one word responses to e-mails, and even find reading and sorting e-mail easier on a notebook, plus, I don't have to have my hands on the notebook while I read (iPad 2 has a better cover/stand, but still lacks compared to a hinge)

          calendar

          Granted, calendaring is on-par, perhaps even better in an iPad or iPhone or Blackberry, or even Smartwatch.

          reading documents

          I still

      • Ten inches is too big to be truly portable, too small to justify using as a replacement if you own an actual computer (especially if you own a laptop). I think for many non-tech types, tablets are replacing the PC--after all, they only bought a PC so they could surf the web and maybe play simple games.

        But that's not me. I don't carry a cell phone (my wife uses her iPhone constantly) but I'm interested in the 7" tablets... may pick one up this Christmas, though now that the Tegra 3 is out I guess I'm wa

    • by EEPROMS (889169)
      I have a tablet and a netbook and right now I hardly use the netbook unless I am at home. I think the issue is a tablet doesn't replace a laptop at home but if you are catching a bus/train to work it is an ideal compromise. The logic behind owning a tablet is really dependent on the owner having the time to use it and if they only use the tablet at home and they have a laptop then it is a waste of money in opinion.
  • Not buying until you can watch videos on a tablet without horrible scaling artifacts. Give me a native 1920x1080 tablet already!
    (I really hope someone does this before the ipad 3, because I'd really rather not buy ipad).

    • You're basically talking about Apple's "retina display" scaled up to a 10" tablet. That would require a fair bit of power to push those pixels around, a fair bit of storage space for 1080p video, and then you're just stuck scaling smaller video up.

      A more reasonable current goal would be better hardware scaling.

      • And that's not talking about the practical aspects of getting hardware cheap enough to be made in volume or reducing the power consumption to be usable. I suppose we all wish it but we don't think about the practicalities of it. Just like flying cars or how slashdotters wanted Wifi on the iPod in 2001.
      • by sarhjinian (94086)

        ^ This. It was really irritating to find out that all the Tegra 2 tablets can't play back hardware-accelerated H.264 high-profile content.

        I keep my PlayBook around mostly because this is one thing it can do.

      • by Surt (22457)

        ipad 3 is going to 2560. I just don't want to wait for it, nor do i want ipad. I just want android at that resolution.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @12:59PM (#38000824)
    I hope they make their tablets of a higher quality than their laptops.
    • by darjen (879890)

      I have an Asus w3v laptop that is nearly 10 years old. Still using it with Ubuntu today. The battery doesn't work any more, even with a new battery. so it mostly just stays plugged in now. but I don't really have a problem with that.

    • I've owned two eeePCs, and they both have wonderful build quality. Not the best screens in the world, but they feel very solid. Perhaps their laptops are held to a different standard than their laptops, but in my experience, ASUS builds their small stuff very well.
      • I concur- the eeePCs were very well made for the price.

        The screens do not take having a heavy Cuisinart electric griddler dropped on them from a height of 6ft... but other than that they're OK... and the computer part still works even if the screen doesn't.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        My Eee 100HA is very well built, so is my Asus G51vx.

        The only reason I went for a Samsung Tab 10.1 instead of a Transformer is because third-party charging cables for the Asus didn't exist yet, and official charging cables were insanely expensive AND out of stock everywhere. I was NOT going to buy a device that could become semi-permanently unusable just by losing one stupid cable.

        Yeah, the 10.1 also has a proprietary connector, but at least it is one shared with the original 7" tabs and hence was readily

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually the First Asus Transformer is pretty amazing. It is by far the best tablet out there for the price (lower in cost than the Ipad2, but with the same screen (only bigger 10.1) and has the same hardware as the Xoom but is faster). I spent several months researching different tablets until I found the Transformer. If the new one is anything like the first, it will be fantastic. It also has a really good battery life w/o the dock (which gives you an extra 7+ hours). It charges very quickly. You can

  • by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:18PM (#38001092)

    This is absolutely terrible news and I'm angry at Asus for releasing this tablet.

    Now, not only are most new laptops and netbooks more powerfull than my desktop- but now a tablet is too.

    Screw you Asus!

    Oh well, maybe I can afford to upgrade to a Raspberry Pi this christmas if I can catch it on a 50% off sale.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Don't worry, it has rounded corners so won't be on sale for long.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      This is absolutely terrible news and I'm angry at Asus for releasing this tablet.

      Now, not only are most new laptops and netbooks more powerfull than my desktop- but now a tablet is too.

      Screw you Asus!

      Oh well, maybe I can afford to upgrade to a Raspberry Pi this christmas if I can catch it on a 50% off sale.

      Hmm...you might also consider looking to get into a better paying job, so you can buy newer and better toys as they come out....?

      :)

      Remember, he who dies with the most toys....wins!!

  • by firester (1572129) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:21PM (#38001136)
    I'm waiting for the Transformer Megatron
  • by Tharsman (1364603) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:29PM (#38001266)

    Give me a big tablet, between 12 - 21 inches.
    Give me a tablet that runs windows.
    Give me a tablet that has a stylus, and turns off automatically touch display once the stylus goes out of it's enclosure.
    Give me that, for less than 700 (would pay up to 1000 for a 21")

    Let me clear one thing: I own an iPad. i wont replace it with an android tablet, and I doubt any potential iPad consumer will change it's mind towards an android tablet.

    Artists, though, may still find an iPad problematic because finger drawing is... not cool, and I dont want to wear a glove, and the thing is too small to do proper art.
    I also want to use my current art software for windows, photoshop included.

    Asus, ironically, has something close Link [asus.com], but its too expensive. They want 1050 for a 12" tablet. I'm tempted, but the price is just too high.

    I want a tablet that will do things that Apple will just not aim for. Stop trying to sell android tablets to people that want iPads and start making tablets for people that want more than just an iPad!

    • Wacom makes a capacitive stylus for drawing on the iPad.

      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        iPad still not big enough
        I still have to wear a glove if you dont want to have your hand accidentally touching the screen generating imput and messing up your stuff
        Also, although some fun drawing software is available for the iPad, no photoshop, no illustrator, etc etc.

        I have one of those styluses, does not cut it due to the previous 3 points.

        I love my iPad, but I also aknoledge it's limits.

    • by Telvin_3d (855514)

      So... you want a Wacom Cintiq? [wacom.com] All the way from 12" to 24". Of course they start at $1000 and top out at $2600. Why? Because making a photo-quality touch screen with high enough precision and low enough latency to mimic paper is damn expensive. It's also heavy and bulky, with the smallest 12" model weighing 4.4 lbs and 3/4 of an inch thick.

      And they still need to plug into a computer.

      And none of this will show up in tablets for the foreseeable future. Because if it could be done cheaper or lighter or more po

      • by Tharsman (1364603)

        I know of those.

        But I dont need the high resolution capabilities of a Cintiq, nor presure sensitivity (the real expense drivers on those products) and the computing pieces dont have to be any more powerful than a mid range computer shipped 3-4 years ago.

        Mind you, I love Wacom products and if they managed to somehow pull out a completely wireless Cintiq, i'd be all over it.

    • by Shompol (1690084)

      Give me a big tablet, between 12 - 21 inches. Give me a tablet that runs windows. Give me a tablet that has a stylus, and turns off automatically touch display once the stylus goes out of it's enclosure. Give me that, for less than 700 (would pay up to 1000 for a 21")

      Here you go! [dell.com] 23" for $599, prepare to pay less for "12 - 21 inches". Your dream came true years ago, where have you been?

  • What the hell is the battery life on one of these things? Three minutes?
    • by HappyHead (11389)

      Well, TFA says 12 hours without dock, and 18 with the keyboard attached. Since they also claimed 9.5 hours without and 16 with dock for the first model, and mine actually does manage that level of battery life on a regular basis, there's a good chance that it's accurate.

      Incidentally, the 16 hour battery life on mine involved actively using the tablet for the whole period, web surfing, playing angry birds and a few other games, downloading and watching a movie, transfering 600MB of music files via USB thumb

  • An off-the grid uptime of 9,5 and 16 hrs is pretty impressive. And it looks less shitty than the regular transformer. Andorid tablets are really starting to get interesting. And this device is a serious competitor to the Chromebook market. They weight probably is somewhere nearly the same as Chromebook/MB Air, the price is simular to the Samsung 5 Chromebook and the batterytime is twice as high as both. Plus it's a tablet with all the touch stuff for when you really can use it - like photo presentations and

  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @01:56PM (#38001702) Homepage Journal

    "Somehow, in all the excitement over the iPad 2, OEMs have apparently forgotten that netbooks became popular precisely because they didn't cost as much as full size noteboooks."

    Technology-wise, it looks like a great little device, but I just don't see it selling in worthwhile numbers. $499 for the tablet itself puts it squarely in "Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?" territory, and $650 for the tablet and keyboard puts it into "Why should I buy this and not a regular laptop?" land.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      Technology-wise, it looks like a great little device, but I just don't see it selling in worthwhile numbers. $499 for the tablet itself puts it squarely in "Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?" territory

      32 GB Transformer Prime - $499
      32 GB iPad 2 - $599

      16 GB Transformer - $399
      16 GB iPad 2 - $499
      16 GB iPad (if you can find one) - $399

      Also note that non-Apple products get much steeper discounts at retail. The original Transformer ($399 retail) could widely be bought for $350, and occasionally

  • An ARM platform fast enough to run Windows Mobile!

  • Seriously? I'm interested in ARM assembly programming, including systems programming, and if that beast would run Linux/arm, FreeBSD/arm or some other open platform OS' ARM port, it may get interesting. OTOH, if you have to jailbreak it first with some dubious hack or be stuck with some version of Android, I'm not (yet) interested.
  • Until Android devices become upgradable OS devices, they doomed to be throw-away toys. I want a device where new features can be added to the OS, at least for a couple of years, and not be stuck the only having the version of Android that it shipped with. And please don't reply with the 'app for that' crap! I want to buy a device with 3.0 that can be upgraded to 4.0.

  • by gblues (90260) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:30PM (#38002968)

    The ASUS enrichment center would like to remind you that the companion core will never threaten you and, in fact, cannot speak. In the event that the companion core does speak, the ASUS enrichment center urges you to disregard its advice.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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