The iPad 3 and ASUS TF700 Transformer Prime are two of the most anticipated tablets of the year, but which one is worth the wait?
ASUS has the head start having already unveiled its TF700T tablet, boasting a 1920 x 1200 HD resolution that beats most laptops and doubles that of its predecessor, which comes with a 1280 x 800 pixels.
The iPad 3 will likely be unveiled at the Apple event on March. 7, but as far as popular rumors go, the next generation of iPad will come with a 9.7-inch Retina display and 2048 x 1536 resolution.
The ASUS TF700 runs on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which is one of the most heralded features of the latest Transformer Prime Eee Pad for its speedy, smooth navigation. It operates on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich system.
The iPad 3 will likely come with a more powerful chip, perhaps the quad-core A6 chip. The first-generation iPad came with an A4 Chip and the iPad 2 followed with an A5 chip, which suggests the iPad 3 will follow suit and run on the A6 chip.
An A6 chip would double the power of the A5 chip that is currently used in the iPhone 4s and the iPad 2. An unnamed source, who claims to have an iPad 3 prototype, sent Boy Genius Report pictures of a diagnostic tool called iBoot, which states a chip model number that appears to be that of the A6 chip.
The iPad 3 needs to come with a significantly upgraded camera if it wishes to compete with the ASUS TF700. The iPad 2 was strongly criticized for sporting a feeble 0.8M.P camera; it has a long way to go to reach ASUS's 8.0MP 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, and LED flash primary camera. The tablet also comes with a secondary 2MP camera.
As far as rumors go the iPad 3 will likely come with a much-improved camera, matching the quality of the 8MP camera of the iPhone 4s or better. The iPhone 4S not only improved its pixel capacity by 60 percent compared with its predecessor, but it also came with a larger custom lens that heralded a 2.4 aperture. More, the camera boasts advanced color accuracy, face detection and reduced motion blur.
ASUS is yet to make an official statement about the official price of the TF700, but the rumored price is $500 for 32 GB and $600 for the 65GB model.
While rumors continue to circulate about the possibility of two iPad 3 models -- one cheaper than the other -- it is likely there will only be one, which will fall under the same price range of its predecessor at $499 for its entry level model. According to MacRumors the new iPad could be up to $70 more expensive than its predecessor. If this happens the iPad 2 will likely drop to $399 and if Apple continues to sell the original iPad it will probably start at $199.
The iPad still falls among the more expensive tablets in the industry; the Amazon Kindle Fire is priced at $199, while the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet came in at $249.
It's likely the iPad 3 will come out before the ASUS TF700, if last year's pattern is anything to go by. The iPad 2 hit shelves at the end of March, ASUS, however, has announced on its blog that the TF700 will not be out until June. The Eee Pad TF201 just launched recently in December, and experienced severe delays in its U.S distribution.
It's difficult to predict if the iPad 3 will come with Apple's popular voice assistant that debuted in the iPhone 4s, but it seems more likely than not. Siri is undoubtedly the most appreciated feature of iPhone 4s with her ability to understand voice commands, send texts and find local pizza joints. She was the main reason Apple iPhone 4 customers upgraded to the 4s despite there being little difference in the phones design. The implementation of Siri in the iPad 3 could give iPad 2 owners a similar incentive.
While the Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 is the first tablet to herald the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, with an ultra-thin body at 8.3mm-- weighing only 586g--it came with a view shortcomings that ASUS claims to have addressed in the TF700. Most of the tablet's glitches have been fixed, changing its back-panel design to increase the performance of GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, according to ASUS.
It is hard to predict how the tablets measure up before the iPad 3 is officially unveiled, but as the TF700T currently stands, it appears to be an extremely strong tablet that will outdo many of its competitors and that people will increasingly turn to in place of their laptops.