The iPad 2 may have won the Best Tablet category at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, but the iPad 3 will have to launch with significantly impressive features if it wants to measure up against the ASUS Transformer Prime TF700 Infinity, which was unveiled at the CES show in January.
Although many ASUS customers complained about technical glitches in the latest Transformer Prime TF201, which was launched in December, they were blown away by the unveiling of the TF700 last month, comparing its features to a host of lower-tier laptops as opposed to its tablet rivals.
Although the Infinity probably won't be launched until June, ASUS has already claimed a head start by unveiling the its features so close to the release of the latest Eee Pad. Here's how those features measure up against the most popular iPad 3 rumors.
The TF700T tablet boasts a 1920 x 1200 HD resolution that beats most laptops and doubles that of its predecessor, which comes with 1280 x 800 pixels.
The next generation of iPad is expected to 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 0.8-MP camera; it has a long way to go to reach ASUS's 8.0-MP, 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 is expected that the iPad 3 will be revealed at the Apple event Wednesday and therefore it will probably 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 in December, and experienced severe delays in its U.S. distribution.