ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is expected to get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update much earlier than promised. The battle between ASUS and Apple Inc. is predicted to become more intense, as both tablet makers are bringing out their best weapons.

ASUS launched its flagship tablet - Eee Pad Transformer Prime - which is the first tablet to have the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, while Apple is expected to draw the iPad 3 from their arsenal anytime in the next two months.

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime features a 10.1-inch Super IPS + LCD Gorilla Glass display with 1280x800 screen resolution. It is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU and offers 1GB RAM and 32/64GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded to another 32GB via microSD card.

It sports a rear-facing 8 megapixel flash camera with 1080p video playback and a secondary 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime optimizes Google Inc.'s Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS, which can be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

On the other hand, the iPad 3 is rumored to come with 9.7-inch or more 2048x1536 pixels Retina HD display with modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology that will give 330 dpi pixel density, a teardrop design with an aluminum plate casing, 1.2-to-1.5 GHz quad-core A6 chip with probably 1GB or more of RAM and 16/32/64 GB internal storage that could be further expanded with a 64GB microSD card.

It is believed the iPad will sport a rear-facing 5 megapixel or 8 megapixel dual-LED flash 3D camera, with 1080p video capture capabilities and a secondary 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. The iPad 3 could be optimizing Apple's iOS 5. It is still not known whether Apple will bring out its next OS, presumably called iOS 6, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. It is expected, in any case, that the iPad 3 will be upgradable to iOS 6 after June.

Here is a look at the specifications of ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime, in comparison with the expected features of Apple iPad 3...

Display: The Transformer Prime tablet has a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixels Super IPS + LCD capacitive touch screen display with Corning's Gorilla glass whereas the iPad 3 will feature 9.7-inch or more 2048x1536 pixels Retina HD display with modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology that will give 330 dpi pixel density.

Input Features: The input features in Transformer Prime are accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, ASUS Waveshare UI, multi-touch input method, touch-sensitive controls with rotating icons, G-Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, E-compass and GPS. However, the Apple iPad 3 is expected to come with fingerprint scratch resistant oleophobic surface, multi-touch input method, accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate and three-axis gyro sensors.

Memory: The memory found in the ASUS tablet is 1GB RAM and 32/64 GB storage capacity with a microSD card slot giving an extra 32GB support, while the iPad 3 is projected to have 1GB or more RAM with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal storage support. It is expected that Apple will embed iPad 3 with an external microSD card slot that would have up to 64GB card support.

Operating system: The ASUS tablet features the Android OS 3.2 (Honeycomb) with a layer of the latest Waveshare UI. The ASUS tablet could be upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the future. On the other hand, the iPad 3 could optimize Apple's iOS 5. It is still not known whether Apple will bring out its next OS, presumably called iOS 6, at the WWDC in June 2012. And it is expected that iPad 3 could be upgradable to iOS 6 after June.

Processor: The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet has Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU. On the other hand, iPad 3 is expected to have 1.2-to-1.5 GHz quad-core A6 chip.

WLAN/Bluetooth/USB: The ASUS tablet has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 version with EDR, and USB 2.0 version. On the other hand, the Apple tablet could come with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 version with A2DP and EDR, and USB 2.0 version.

Camera: The camera in ASUS tablet is an 8 megapixel 3264x2448 pixels with LED flash and autofocus features and a secondary 1.2 megapixel camera for video calling. Transformer Prime offers 1080p video playback capability. On the other hand, it is expected that iPad 3 would come with rear-facing 5 megapixel or 8 megapixel dual-LED flash 3D camera with 1080p video capture capabilities and a secondary 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.

Battery: When it comes to battery life, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime pad (with dock) has a 22 Wh Li-polymer Battery that is expected to give 18 hours of battery life on video playback. A DigiTimes' report cited sources at Apple's supply chain partners who said the new iPad was expected to have enhanced battery life, with a capacity of as high as 14,000 milliampere-hour (mAh) used in the new iPads.

Pricing: ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is likely to cost $499 for the 32GB version and $599 for the 64GB version. It is expected that Apple will price iPad 3 in the $499 to $699 range. Speculations are rife that when iPad 3 is launched, the price tag of iPad 2 might be dropped to $299.

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