ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is expected to hit the U.S. market in January 2012. However, the latest news suggests that pre-order stock available at both Best Buy and GameStop has been sold out and is currently listed as not being available.

GameStop expects pre-order devices to be shipped by next Friday. The reports suggest the Transformer Prime has become the most pre-ordered tablet (with the Honeycomb Android OS) in history.

However, the tablet has to deal with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is available in both Wi-Fi and 3G versions. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 was introduced by Samsung on Feb. 13.

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 32/64 GB internal storage, which can be further expanded by 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 could be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Transformer Prime is the first tablet to have the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The Tegra 3 brings a number of significant advancements over the dual-core Tegra 2. Technically, it has five cores and it's the fifth core that really makes the difference. This is called the companion core.

ASUS uses IPS technology in the Prime and maximum brightness is at 584cd/m2. It has a good screen on which to watch high definition movies and play games, delivering excellent blacks and viewing angles because of the Super IPS+ Panel technology packed inside.

The tablet weighs 586 grams and is 8.3 mm thick. With these dimensions, it can compete with Galaxy Tab 10.1, which weighs 560 grams and is 8.6 mm thick.

Price-wise, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is likely to cost $499 for the 32GB version and $599 for the 64GB version. This is lower than the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi, which costs $499.99 for the 16GB version and $599.99 for the 32GB version.

Here is a look at how the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime's features fare when compared to Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1:

Size: The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime has a dimension of 263 × 180.8 × 8.3mm, weighs 586 grams (pad only) / 263 × 180.8 × 8-10.4mm, weighs 537 grams (dock only), while Galaxy Tab 10.1 has 256.7 x 175.3 x 8.6 mm and weighs 560 grams.

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 Galaxy Tab 10.1 features 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixels WXGA PLS TFT capacitive touch-screen display with Corning Gorilla Glass.

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 Galaxy Tab 10.1 has accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, Samsung TouchWiz UX UI, multi-touch input method, touch-sensitive controls with rotating icons, Gyroscope, Compass and GPS.

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 Galaxy Tab has 1GB RAM with 16/32 GB internal storage support.

Operating system: Both tablets feature the Android 3.0 version Honeycomb OS with the promise of a upgrade to the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the future. ASUS uses its latest Waveshare UI layer in Transformer Prime, while Samsung uses its TouchWiz UX UI in Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Processor: The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet has Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU, compared to Galaxy Tab's 1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU ULP GeForce GPU Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 chipset processor.

WLAN/Bluetooth/USB: The ASUS tablet has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 2.1 version with EDR, and USB 2.0 version. On the other hand, the Samsung tablet has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 3.0 version with A2DP and USB 2.0 version.

Camera: The camera in ASUS' tablet is an 8 megapixel 3264x2448 pixels with LED flash and autofocus features, while the Galaxy Tab has only a 3.15 megapixel LED flash camera with geo-tagging feature. There is a secondary 2 megapixel camera in the Galaxy Tab, while the ASUS tablet has 1.2 megapixel camera. The Samsung tablet is capable of video playback at 720p, while the Transformer Prime offers 1080p video playback capability.

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, whereas the Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a Li-Polymer 7,000 mAh battery which gives 13 hours.

Pricing: The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is likely to cost $499 for the 32GB version and $599 for the 64GB version. This is lower than the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi, which costs $499.99 for the 16GB version and $599.99 for the 32GB version.

Other Features: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has features like E-mail, Push Mail, IM, RSS, HTML, Adobe Flash, SNS integration, TV-out, MP4/DivX/Xvid/H.264/H.263 player, MP3/WAV/eAAC+/OGG player, Quickoffice HD, Microsoft Exchange Active Sync, VPN Access, and Airline Mode.

The Transformer Prime has features like HTML, Adobe Flash, Email, Push Email, IM, Assisted-GPS support, micro HDMI port, MP3/WAV/WMA/AAC player, MP4/H.264/H.263 player, microSD card reader, 2-in-1 audio jack and Polaris Office editor. It also has special applications such as ASUS launcher, @Vibe Music, ASUS WebStorage, MyLibrary, MyNet, MyCloud, File manager, ASUS sync, SuperNote, App Locker, App Backup, and TegraZone.