updated 04:45 pm EST, Fri November 11, 2011
Transformer Prime said to be fast, loud and clear
The ASUS Transformer Prime has already received a hands-on test thanks to Brazilian site ZTOP. The reviewers found the first quad-core tablet, using NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3, to be very fast and exhibit great sound quality. While US prices are said to be $500 for a Wi-Fi version with 32GB of memory and $600 for a 64GB version, and the docking keyboard costing $150, Brazilian prices remain unknown. The tablet will ship in Brazil during the winter, however, likely arriving by March.
The model in these hands-on photos was an early engineering version, so a few bugs were encountered, mainly related to software. Android 3.2 was preloaded, though the device will get an update to Android 4.0 as soon as possible, if not by launch. The team also found the original Transformer keyboard won't accommodate the Prime, and the new keyboard won't work with the original Transformer. The keyboard houses another speaker and subwoofer, contributing to the impressive sound delivery.
The reviewers found the thin 8.3mm size impressive, but its stainless steel brushed exterior finish collected many fingerprints.
ASUS is aiming for a release before the end of the year, although it might wait until December if it intends to ship with Android 4.0.