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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Review

Rating: 8.5.

Asus surprised everyone with the aptly Transformer tablet in early 2011 which combined a 10.1 inch Android tablet and a dock that added a keyboard straight out of a netbook and a battery pack for valued battery life. Since then Asus announced the successor to the original TF101 Transformer and gives us the what is today known as the Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201. So is it the Prime cut of meat we love to devour?

The Asus Transformer Prime was the first device to launch that ran Nvidia’s Tegra 3 mobile system-on-chip solution and surprisingly is still one of the only devices shipping with the quad core processor. The most notable other device being the HTC One X smartphone.

Keeping things running smoothly behind the show include a full gigabyte of RAM, a ULP GeForce GPU and either 32 or 64 GB of internal storage. The tablet is available in “amethyst gray” and “champagne gold” colour schemes; we reviewed the champagne gold, 64 GB SKU. Price-wise, the 32 GB models will set you back £499.99, which includes the keyboard dock.

Software wise, the Prime launched with Android 3.2 Honeycomb and was the first Android device of great interest to get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Endless specifications on paper will only get teach you so much however, so I advise you read onwards.

Key Specifications:

  • 10.1 inch Super IPS+ 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen display
  • 10 finger multi-touch support plus Corning’s Gorilla Glass
  • Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset
  • 1.3 GHz quad core ARM CPU with a ULP GeForce GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB or 64 GB (reviewed) of internal storage plus a MicroSD slot
  • Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 8 MP rear facing camera with F2.4 aperture and LED flash
  • 1080p video recording
  • 1.2 MP front facing camera
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth V2.1+EDR
  • Micro HDMI port
  • 25Wh Li-Polymer battery
  • Weighs in at 586 grams
  • Just 8.3mm thick, full dimensions are 263 × 180.8 × 8.3mm

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  • Davy

    Wow thats a hell of a review. so much information my brain hurts 🙂

  • Davis

    Its impressive, but the Ipad 3 has put a real dampner on these due to the low resolution and the catch up they all need to play now against Apple.

  • Rt23ds

    I think its a little expensive for what you get if I was being blunt about it, but its a nicely designed product and it seems powerful for even casual gaming. Retina display has pushed everything forward really which has made this look already a little out of date.

  • Guil

    Two weeks with this tablet were more than enough for me to experience all the issues already pointed out by other reviewers plus a brand new one: the shockingly poor build quality.

    Yes, the WiFi is faulty. I use both the TF201 and a Galaxy Nexus in bed and, although the signal is quite weak on the smartphone, it never disconnects and the browsing/downloading speed is very good. The same can’t be said about the tablet, which often disconnects and sometimes requires a reboot so I can use the internet again (and what’s a tablet with dodgy WiFi? A paper weight?).

    Yes, the GPS is useless. Asus dropped the ball twice here, first by not testing the unit properly and then by removing the function from the specs list. Shameful, to say the least.

    Now to the build quality: although the TF201 is a stunning device and both its screen and its metallic body look fantastic, my unit proved to be cheaply manufactured when the glass started detaching from the main body a few days ago. It’s a month old tablet and I’m extremely careful with my electronics.

    Right now all I can do is regret as I purchased this tablet in the US and brought it back to Ireland, so sending it back will be a costly pain in the neck both for me and for my wife’s friend who would have to drop it at UPS.

    I’m really disappointed with Asus and the current selection of Android tablets in the market. No wonder the iPad is flying off the shelves, all that Apple has to do is release products that don’t suck.

  • Cheers Davy!

    I have to agree Davis, perhaps the reason it is taking so long for other Tegra 3 tablets to come out is because everyone is running around trying to find a decent supply of FHD display to create a tablet that can go head to head with the new iPad’s

    It’s decent value to me Rt23ds, 20 quid more than the new 32GB iPad. It really depends if you’d prefer a higher resolution screen or the ability to type anything of length

    Guil, I encountered no Wi-Fi problems that I could attribute to my review unit (the dodgy router is to blame). Completly agree on the GPS points. The review unit I had could have been cherry picked but it has definitely been around the place and all it had to show for it was a few collections of scratches on the back. Have you tried getting in contact directly with Asus? Either way it’s really bad to hear you’re having issues with your Prime

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  • Its impressive, but the Ipad 3 has put a real dampner on these due to the low resolution

  • I’d have to agree Ieeko, it’s not majorly noticeable by itself by switching between a decent phone and the Prime the extra pixel density is noticeable. Shouldn’t be too long until we start seeing Full HD tablets though