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ASUS Transformer Prime NVIDIA Tegra 3 / Kal-El quad-core chip Android tablet announced

Product Launch by Dan Seifert on Wednesday November 09, 2011.

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After teasing us with the successor to the Transformer Android tablet last month, ASUS has finally released more details about the NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered Transformer Prime, including an expected shipping date and price. The Prime is notable not only as the first quad-core tablet on the market, but also for its remarkably thin design and modular keyboard dock.

NVIDIA partnered with ASUS to put the 1.3GHz, quad-core Tegra 3 processor that we have been hearing about for months as "Kal-El" into the Transformer Prime before any other devices. NVIDIA claims that the Tegra 3's performance is five times that of the Tegra 2, which powered the original Transformer and most all of the Android 3.x Honeycomb tablets that have been released to date. The speedy new processor is paired with 1GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage.

ASUS appears to be using the same 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display on the Prime as on the original Transformer, but it claims to have improved outdoor visibility. The Prime is significantly thinner than the older model, measuring 263mm x 180.8mm x 8.3mm (10.35in x 7.12in x 0.33in) and weighing in at 586g (20.67oz, 1.29lbs). As with the original Transformer, the Prime can also be paired with an optional keyboard dock, which has been slimmed down from the older model, as well. The Prime is said to last 12 hours in between charges with its own battery, and that extends to 18 hours when it is paired with the dock.

The exterior of the tablet itself has been significantly improved, too, with a brushed metallic finish and oleophobic coating that resists smudges and fingerprints. There is a new 8 megapixel camera with flash on the back of the tablet, while a 1.3 megapixel unit is up front for video calls. The Prime is equipped with a micro-HDMI port and a microSD slot, while the dock houses a full size SD card slot and two USB ports.

ASUS will be launching the Prime with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, but it promises that an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be available shortly after launch. The company says that the Prime will be shipping in Amethyst Grey and Champagne Gold color options in December, with the 32GB version costing $499 and the 64GB model ringing up at $599. Both versions are Wi-Fi-only, and ASUS has not revealed plans for a 3G version at this time. The keyboard dock will cost $150.

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About the author

Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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