Windows tablets are just a few months away, but for now Apple continues to dominate the tablet market with its new iPad, recently released. The Asus Transformer Prime, however, may be the one to spark up some real competition against the new iPad. Thought Asus' tablet was designed to challenge Apple's iPad 2, it also faces the third-generation iPad quite well.
The Asus Transformer Prime is a stylish-looking tablet, with ultra-thin 8.3mm profile and aluminum bodywork, featuring an interesting circular grain. The edges of the tablet slope gently, while the slightly rounded corners work very well with the rest of the design. There are no distractions on the back panel, except for the centered company name. It is available in two colors: Champagne or Amethyst Grey.
Meanwhile, Apple's new iPad is very similar in design to the iPad 2, but it's a bit thicker and heavier. It is 9.4mm thick and weighs 652g, with an additional weight of 10g for the Wi-Fi + 4G model.
The Asus Transformer Prime has a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor clocked at 1.3GHz on Nvidia's Tegra 3 chipset. Now it is updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so the results are even more impressive. Moreover, it has 1GB of RAM and microSD capability, supporting up to 32GB of additional storage.
The new iPad, on the other hand, uses Apple's upgraded A5X chipset with a quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU), and is allegedly four times as fast as the Prime's Tegra 3 chipset.
The greatest feature of the new iPad is clearly its amazing display - a 9.7-inch Retina Display, with a stunning resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels and a pixel density of about 264 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
Asus' tablet boasts a slightly larger 10.1-inch Super IPS + LCD capacitive screen, with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 149ppi. It has Gorilla Glass protection and the colors are very rich, but the iPad still wins at sharpness and color depth.
The new iPad features the same iSight camera as the iPhone 4S, with a 5-megapixel backlight-illuminated sensor (BSI). The additional lens, along with some upgraded apertures and optics allow for some really nice pictures, viewable on the whopping Retina display. It also has great stabilization features for both video and still images.
Asus' Transformer Prime has an 8-megapixel primary camera, sporting 3264 x 2448 pixels, a LED flash (the iPad's camera doesn't have one), autofocus, 1080-pixel video recording and geo-tagging. The secondary camera on the front of the tablet has 1.2 megapixels.
When it comes to battery efficiency, both tablets are pretty good, running roughly 8 hours in mixed use. The new iPad manages this due to the huge battery, double the capacity of the iPad 2's battery, necessary to support that amazing display. The Prime, however, has an optional keyboard dock with a secondary battery, providing 4 hours of additional battery life. It also charges more quickly than the new iPad, which takes about 6 hours to reach full battery.
Both tablets start at $499, but there is a great difference: Asus' Transformer Prime offers double the storage capacity for the same amount of money.
(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)