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Nov 9, 2011

Asus Details the Transformer Prime, Will Arrive in December for $499 (€361)

After waiting impatiently for the last three weeks, Android fans can now finally relax as Asus has officially announced the upcoming Transformer Prime tablet powered by Nvidia's quad-core Kal-El SoC, which will go on sale worldwide in December for $499 (361 EUR).

The official announcement of the Transformer Prime comes to fill in all the blanks left after Asus chairman Jonney Shih teased the tablet at last month's AsiaD conference.

As many of you already know, Asus' latest creation is built around an Nvidia Kal-El chip and 10.1-inch screen and is housed inside a sleek chassis measuring only 8.3mm (0.33 inches) in thickness.

This was designed to mimic the aspect of the company's Zenbooks as it uses the same spun aluminum finish and it will be available in two colors, silver and gold.

The basic model comes with 32GB of storage space, which can be upgraded via a microSD slot, but users also have the option of going for a beefy 64GB model.

The newly revealed specs of the Transformer Prime also come to reveal that the 10.1-inch screen uses an IPS+ panel with a native resolution of 1280 x 800, 600 nits of brightness and a 178-degree viewing angle, that is covered with Gorilla Glass for added protection.

Nvidia's fast quad-core processor is seconded by 1GB of RAM, and Asus' Prime tablet also sports an GPS, a gyroscope, SonicMaster audio and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera.

The rear 8MP resolution camera comes with auto-focus support, an f/2.4 lens, a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and is capable of recording 1080p video.

As far as battery life is concerned, the initial announcement said that we should expect about 14.5-hours of runtime, but now Asus has reconsidered this figure and dropped it down to “only” 12 hours.

Users can get another six hours of battery life by going with the additional keyboard dock that transforms the Transformer Prime basically into an Android-powered notebook, while also providing a touchpad, USB 2.0 port and full-sized SD slot.

Without the 540 grams (1.2 pounds) dock, the tablet weights 586 grams (1.29 pounds) and its thin 8.3mm (0.33 inches) profile make it a tad skinnier than the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Initially, Asus' Transformer Prime will be run the Honeycomb 3.2 version of the Android operating system, but later in December the Taiwanese company will introduce an Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Pricing will be set at $499 (360 EUR) for the 32GB version, while the 64GB model will retail for $599 (433 EUR). Going for the keyboard dock (the original Asus Transformer dock isn't compatible with the Prime) adds another $149 (108 EUR) to these prices.


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