Asus Transformer Prime review

It may be getting on, but don't underestimate the Prime

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
This very thin Android 3.2 tablet rivals the Apple iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

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Although the Prime may well not be the latest tablet from Asus anymore, that doesn't mean it's past its best.

In fact it's still an excellent tablet and as it's now nearly 9 months old, you may be able to pick it up for a bit of a steal if you're happy to shop around a bit.

We liked

We liked the Tegra 3 processor on this tablet - it's fast and nimble, speeding up the whole operating system. HD movies played smooth and fast, without the typical stuttering (for the most part) of other tablets.

The Transformer Prime is a thin and light tablet, offering decent portability, although when coupled with the keyboard dock it can be a bit on weight side, however there's the added benefit of the additional 8 hours of battery life from the dock.

Games were visually superior to every other tablet. Smoke and water effects looked convincing, and frame rates were exceptionally high. Most apps ran faster than we've seen on any other Android tablet, without any stuttering, memory pauses, or crashes of any kind.

We disliked

We're fans of the IPS display tech, because it means getting more use out of tablets in a variety of lighting conditions and at a side viewing angle, but it means the Prime's screen is slightly less colourful than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Internet speed was a little disppointing, as we were expecting a lightening fast browsing experience thanks to the quad-core processor, however it failed to truely knock our socks off.

In terms of apps wars, Google Play still hasn't quite caught up with the offering on Apple's App Store, and although the gap is narrowing all the time, you can't help but feel a little deflated when even Facebook haven't bothered with an Android tablet version of its app yet - although we can't really hold this against Asus or the Transformer Prime.

Final verdict

If you're looking for a full-blown Android tablet experience, with the added functionality and usability of a netbook-sized QWERTY keyboard then you can't go far wrong with the Asus Transformer Prime.

Sure the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity has got an improved screen, but that's about it and we're not sure it's worth the extract money.

The Prime was once the king of the Android tablets, and although this is no longer the case it's still a strong contender and does Google's Ice Cream Sandwich platform proud.

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.