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Asus Announces the Transformer Prime – The World’s First Tegra 3 Quad-core Tablet, Priced at $499

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It’s official. The Asus Transformer Prime has been announced as the world’s first Tegra 3 quad-core tablet running Android. As the follow-up to the ultra-popular Asus Transformer, this device will take us into the future of what will most certainly become the standard. Who would have thought that just months after NVIDIA introduced dual-core mobile processors that we would already be using PC-like quad-core beasts? I sure couldn’t have imagined it, but here we are.

So other than the quad-core processor, what else will you find in this “premium” tablet? A 10.1″ Super IPS+ display with 178 degree viewing angles (protected by Gorilla Glass), 1GB DDR2 RAM, an 8MP rear camera (1080p video and F2.4 aperture, back illuminated CMOS sensor), 1.3MP front camera for video chatting, 32GB or 64GB of storage, HDMI and micro USB ports, and a battery that will last you up to 12 hours.

The tablet itself is only 8.3mm thick, weighs just 1.29lbs, and will see prices of $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB). There will be two color options available:  Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.

There will be a docking station similar to what we all enjoyed with the original Transformer priced at $149; this newest version will be much, much slimmer though. It will also take the battery life on the Prime from 12 hours up to 18 hours when docked.

As far as software goes, the Prime will ship with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) and will be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) shortly thereafter. We should know more on this situation in early December. In fact, Asus plans to show the device running ICS at their December launch event.

No release date has been announced at this time, but as we just said, they have a launch event planned for early December.

Gallery, full specs, and additional details after the break.  

Gallery:

Full specs:

Other Details (Super IPS+ info, fingerprint resistant coating, camera, premium sound, etc.):

 

 

  

Press Release:

ASUS Announces the Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Featuring the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 Quad-Core Processor the Transformer Prime is designed to greatly enhance the mobile computing experience

Fremont, CA (November 8, 2011) — ASUS officially announces the world’s first tablet with the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor – the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is ultra-thin at 8.3mm (0.33”) and lightweight at 586g (1.29lbs) while featuring a stylish metallic swirl design with class leading enhancements including ASUS SonicMaster audio technology, an HD 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash and battery life rated for up to 18 hours* when combined with the optional mobile dock. Pricing will range from $499** (32GB) to $599** (64GB), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149**.

Incredibly Slim yet Incredibly Powerful

Featuring an ultra-slim form factor, the Transformer Prime is only 8.3mm (0.33”) thin and weighs in at a mere 586g (1.29lbs without dock).  This makes watching movies, surfing the web, playing games, taking photos, finishing up homework or video chatting with friends or family so easy and natural that you’ll wonder if the Transformer Prime was designed specifically with you in mind.  Its innovative metallic swirl design is made of aluminum for a secure yet extremely comfortable grip that comes in two gorgeous colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold.

The Transformer Prime is the world’s first tablet to feature NVIDIA’s next-generation quad-core Tegra® 3 processor.  With the quad-core CPU, 12-core GeForce® GPU and vSMP technology, the Transformer Prime delivers an optimum user experience featuring smooth multitasking capabilities, lightning fast app loading, a rich and fluid web experience, full 1080P HD video for realistic media playback or recording and of course, incredible gaming performance that allows you to experience games in an entirely new way.

Fantastic Battery Life 

While the Transformer Prime is extremely slim and light, ASUS did not forget about battery life.  Thanks to the advanced power management features of the Tegra® 3 processor and ASUS optimizations the Transformer Prime has a battery life of up to 12 hours*, but when combined with the mobile dock, it lasts up to an incredible 18 hours*, the longest battery life of any current tablet.  That’s enough battery life for a trans-ocean flight, all-night game session, viewing several movies on a long road trip or even video recording, editing, and then playing back your child’s school play all in 1080P HD clarity.

Unrivaled Visuals

The Eee Pad Transformer Prime boasts a wide 178° viewing angle IPS display, protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass, which features new ASUS technology to enhance the brightness of the screen for a better outdoor reading experience while still offering a remarkably vivid and brilliant viewing experience of photos, books, videos, movies and web pages indoors. Thanks to Multi-Touch technology, you can use your fingers to do everything from swiping through photos, surfing the web, playing the latest games, typing emails, instant messaging, reading books or magazines, and starting your favorite movie.

A 1.2MP front camera allows for instant photos or high-quality video conferencing with friends, family or coworkers while an 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash takes brilliant photos or video thanks to a large F2.4 aperture, back illuminated CMOS sensor, touch-to-focus depth of field and low-light noise reduction to provide the clearest and sharpest photos or even 1080P HD videos.

Advanced Audio

The Transformer Prime offers impressive audio capabilities in a tablet, powered by ASUS exclusive SonicMaster technology, renowned for crisp and acoustically accurate audio. It produces crystal clear sound with a wide sound stage, increased audio fidelity, and distinct vocal enhancements for an immersive audio experience with your favorite music track, video, or movie.

Unlimited Productivity

The Transformer Prime is offered with either 32GB or 64B flash storage options for quick, efficient and reliable access to your applications.  Both models feature a micro SD card slot, 3.5mm combo audio jack and micro HDMI port so sharing both what’s inside and on-screen is quick and easy. However, the function that gives the Transformer Prime its namesake is the mobile dock, which gives new meaning to the term versatility. This innovative and convenient design seamlessly provides the user with a keyboard and touchpad, along with limitless expandability options via the USB port and SD card slot.

ASUS will include several innovative applications like SuperNote that is fantastic for its ability to take, draw or record notes and Polaris® Office which is great for staying productive with the ability to read, edit or create Word, Excel and PowerPoint (MS Office 97-2007) compatible files.  Thousands of top rated applications and games are also available at Android Market that fully takes advantage of the Transformer Prime’s amazing features and power.

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*Battery life will vary based on usage patterns and options.

**Pricing will vary by country and SKU. North American MSRP pricing listed.

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About ASUS

ASUS, the world’s top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world’s best-selling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, displays, desktops, Eee Box and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, tablet devices, servers, multimedia and wireless solutions, networking devices, and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,398 awards in 2010, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC™. With a global staff of more than 10,000 and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company’s revenue for 2010 was around US$10.1 billion.