In this so called post-PC era, we have been taught to recognize that specs aren’t everything…but in this case I can’t contain my excitement.
There are several quality tablets out there, but NONE have impressed me quite like the Asus Transformer…and now it’s 2nd coming is here with the Asus Transformer Prime. Here’s the specs…
-8.3mm thin (that’s skinnier than the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1)
-screen: 10.1″ 1280×800 Super IPS+ Gorilla Glass Display w/ a 178 degree viewing angle
-processor: quad-core Tegra 3
-battery life: 12 hours (or 18 hours when connected to the dock)
-1GB of RAM
-cameras: 1.2MP front, 8MP back
-the optional (but essential in my opinion) dock: multi-touch trackpad, full sized USB port and SD card slot
-operating system: ships with Android 3.2, but will be updated to Android 4.0 imminently
-available in 2 colors: amethyst grey or champagne gold
Let me provide some background info…The problem I keep running into with tablets is that although they are fun and provide a new, intuitive way of interacting with a computer like device, none of them provide the functionality that I need in order to use them as a laptop replacement. Subsequently, I’m faced with 2 problematic situations.
1. carry both my tablet and my laptop around with me…OR
2. make a decision between tablet vs. laptop everytime I leave the house.
Both of these just take way too much effort, and make having a tablet more of a hassle for me than anything.
The original Asus Transformer blew me away in terms of functionality. It was the best implementation of a tablet/laptop hybrid I had used to date. I used it as my daily computer for 2 weeks, and i was able to accomplish all my tasks without my actual laptop.
-the usual: emailing, blogging, wordprocessing, web browsing, etc.
-the more unique:
-full sized SD card for viewing/transferring pics from my camera – check
-full sized USB port for transferring files to and from flash drives – check
-keyboard with multi-touch trackpad – check
-ridiculously long 16 hour battery life – check.
These may seem like trivial features at first, but they complete the experience in a way that takes computing to the next level. A touchscreen tablet is nice, but it has its limits. After prolonged use, you don’t really want to hold it anymore. You don’t want to continuously be reaching to different parts of the screen or scrolling up and down pages with your finger, or be pinching to zoom in/out. It’s exhausting! Having the dock not only props up the tablet at a comfortable viewing angle, but also comes with a keyboard, touchpad, and additional battery power. The touchpad is the really killer feature because any tablet can have an optional bluetooth keyboard. A touchscreen / touchpad combination is a joy to use and feels so natural. It’s difficult to grasp the potential here until you use one for a significant period of time, because I tried it in the store for like 20 minutes and didn’t come away that impressed. It wasn’t until I used it for a couple hours doing my routine tasks that I realized how awesome it was. It felt like computing had evolved and I was using a device from the future.
Functionality wise, the Asus Transformer was the best of the best, which is one of the reasons why it was a best selling Android Tablet. However, there were some things holding it back from being a mainstream choice for people. It was a little chubby, not the best color, and had virtually no marketing support. Despite its awesome functionality, very few people were going to choose it over an iPad 2 or a Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Enter the Asus Transformer Prime. All the functionality of the original Transformer is back and better than ever, but now packaged in an incredibly sleek design that the mainstream audience should love. Even though I’ve never tried this device and it won’t be out for another month, I can’t recommend the Asus Transformer Prime more highly because of its strong roots. This will be the first device I have ever pre-ordered.