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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 Review

The 586 gram Prime feels really good in your hands, with emphasis on the plural of hands here. A 10.1 inch tablet is just too large to operate with one hand unless you are holding it to read a book or webpage. It also feels really thin in hand and not just because of its 8.3mm thickness, while this helps greatly, the edges are also tapered off to meet the front of the tablet.

Up front keeping things interesting is the 10.1 inch Super IPS+ display. The capacitive touchscreen is capable of 10 finger multi-touch and has Corning’s Gorilla Glass keeping things scratch free. Although the strengthened glass front is rather attracted to fingerprints, the front of the Prime can be cleaned by a microfibre cloth or if you don’t have one on hand, a damp tissue will do the trick.

Looking at the 1280 by 800 resolution display’s capabilities, colours are vibrant and saturated without being over-saturated at all. Viewing angles are near perfect as well, we did not notice colours inverting at all, even when viewed from extreme and completely unrealistic viewing angles.

Part of the Super IPS+ display benefits is a generous brightness boost to over 600 nits, making the Prime a lot more usable in sunlight. In fact, the only place I can genuinely complain about the Prime’s display is it’s resolution. While the 1280 x 800 resolution is currently standard compared to most other tablets a whole collection of Full HD tablets are going to flood the market later this year, including Asus’ own Pad Infinity.

Where the Transformer Prime has a PPI count of 149, Full HD tablets will step it up to 224 PPI, a marked improvement (assuming 10.1 inch tablets remain standard). While pixelation can be seen if you look close enough, the High Definition resolution and viewing distance really does the trick to avoid any complaints. For comparison’s sake a 23 inch 1080p desktop monitor has a PPI count of 96.

Surrounding the four sides of the display is a bezel that is a constant 22mm thick. Along the top edge is where the 1.2 MP front facing webcam is located slightly off-centre. A bit to the left of this is where the light sensor hides. In the top left corner of the display is a simple Asus badge.

If you are wondering where all the hardwired Android buttons are they are non-existent on the vast majority of Android tablets. Instead you have to rely on software buttons which definitely has its own drawbacks.

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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