updated 06:00 am EST, Wed November 9, 2011
ASUS to ship first quad-core tablet in December
The ASUS Transformer Prime has been detailed alongside the official launch of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip that powers the device. The tablet will be going on sale globally in December and will start at $500 for a 32GB Wi-Fi model with a 64GB Wi-Fi model going for $600. When it goes on sale, it will take the mantle as the world’s first quad-core tablet.
The device will center on a 10-inch 1280x800 Super IPS+ display protected by Gorilla Glass. It will have a wide 178-degree viewing angle with a maximum brightness of 600 nits. Its quad-core Tegra 3 processor will be matched with 1GB of RAM, while it will also have a GPS module, a gyroscope, SonicMaster audio and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Prime’s rear camera will be 8-megapixels and is capable of capturing 1080p video courtesy of its CMOS backlit sensor.
Although rumored to have a battery life lasting up to 14 hours, it will in fact last around 12 hours using its 22Wh battery according to ASUS. The $150 keyboard dock accessory will add an additional six-hours of battery life, while it will continue to sport a USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot. The tablet itself has a micro SD card slot, 3.5mm combo audio jack and a micro HDMI port.
The tablet is 0.33-inches thin and weighs 1.29 grams. When it ships, it will be available in two colors, Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.
One critical detail missing from the ASUS media release, however, is the version of the Android OS running on the device when it ships. Originally said to be shipping in early November with Android 3.0, ASUS has been rumored to be holding the device back in order to have Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) shoehorned on to it with the special assistance of Google.