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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The Asus Transformer Prime comes equipped with the excellent Google Maps, allowing you to explore the world from the comfort of your own home, plan routes, check traffic and even get turn-by-turn navigation instructions.

Asus Transformer Prime review

The Transformer Prime comes with GPS and Wi-Fi, however there's no mobile network compatibility present, so you won't be able to take the Prime on the road with you as a sat-nav.

We were able to pin-point our location on the map within a couple of seconds, and the large, bright 10.1-inch display on the Transformer Prime makes viewing maps a pleasure, and the quad-core processor means the tablet is able to keep up with speedy panning and zooming actions.


As the Asus Transformer Prime runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, you've got access to hundreds and thousands of applications via the simple to use Google Play store.

Asus Transformer Prime review

There's a wide range of free and paid-for apps available in Google Play, with quite a few offering free "lite" versions to give you a taste of what the full, paid version may be like.

And it's not just apps which Google Play deals in; you can also download games and books, as well as rent movies and TV shows from the store.

Asus Transformer Prime review

First, there's a MyLibrary app for ebooks, magazines and newspapers. Then not quite as extensive as the Amazon Kindle Store (OK, far less extensive), the Asus @Vibe store, which is really just a portal to Versent Books, lets you buy major bestsellers such as John Grisham's The Litigators.

Asus Transformer Prime review

Pricing is suspiciously the same as most Amazon Kindle store bestsellers. Some books were noticeably missing, including the latest Michael Lewis book called Boomerang, which is featured prominently in the Kindle store.

Asus @Vibe Music is a welcome addition. With functionally similar to the Google Music app, this music app works like in that you can search for an artist and play their songs.

Each "station" lets you play random songs by that artist. The @Vibe store also lets you play songs you have purchased from the store, as long as you have used a supported Asus laptop or netbook.

Asus Transformer Prime review

Asus MyCloud is a handy cloud storage portal similar to Dropbox. You get a decent 8GB of storage for free, but keep in mind that the service limits file size to 500MB per file for the free account.

Also, while the app lets you offload files to the cloud, you can also access files on one computer that is sharing files through the service.

Asus Transformer Prime review

The Asus MyNet app works exactly like the Samsung Allshare service, in that you can set up a connection to and from another computer on the same router network to share music, photos and videos. We tested the app with a Sony all-in-one desktop PC and could easily share files between the tablet and the desktop computer.

Asus Transformer Prime review

The Transformer Prime also includes the Polaris Office app for opening and editing word processing and spreadsheet documents. It's completely compatible with Microsoft Office.

The app does add value, especially since competing office apps like Openoffice cost £9.99 or more.


If you fancy pushing the Transformer Prime to the max in terms of speed and graphical power, head to the Nvidia's Tegra Zone store, pre-installed on the tablet, where you can download games specifically developed for the quad-core processor which sits inside the Prime.

Asus Transformer Prime review

While games found in the Tegra Zone are generally of a better quality than the simpler time-wasters found in Google Play, it good to see that the prices stick pretty closely to those in the standard Android store.

One important point to make about gaming on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is that the games look astounding - the best we have seen on any tablet. ShadowGun in particular uses water effects that look ultra-realistic for a portable device (although nothing like, say, Battlefield 3 on a console).

Asus Transformer Prime review

The most interesting comparison we discovered was between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Transformer Prime playing the same game, Riptide.

On the Prime, the water effects were much more convincing, with waves flowing back and forth and whitecaps that change as you drive your jet ski.

Asus Transformer Prime review

At the same time, the Apple iPad 2 may not play games as smoothly, but there is a much wider selection of games, and many are arguably more in-depth. For example, the gameplay for Infinity Blade II on the iPad 2 is far more advanced, with magic ring power-ups, duel-wielding options and collectible gems.

Many of the games on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime are more like visual effects demos, with limited gameplay value.

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.