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Asus Unveils Quad-Core Transformer Prime Tablet

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the shiny-gadgets-are-shiny dept.

Displays 274

MojoKid writes with an article in Hot Hardware about the fancy new Asus tablet/laptop hybrid. Quoting the article: "Asus and nVidia have collectively taken the wraps off the next-generation version of Asus's well-received Transformer tablet line. The new system aims to carve out a slice of the premium tablet market that Apple's iPad has dominated for so long. On paper and in pictures, the Prime impresses. The Transformer Prime incorporates NVIDIA's new Kal-El (Tegra 3) processor and is one of NVIDIA Tegra 3's upper-end launch systems. The new ARM-based CPU contains a fifth 'companion core' to reduce and manage idle power consumption and contains 12 GPU cores, up from the eight GPUs in Tegra 2. NVIDIA claims that Tegra 3's GPU is up to 3x faster than Tegra 2, thanks to additional architectural enhancements. Asus is also rolling out a new LCD they're calling 'Super IPS+.' The display's normal brightness tops out at ~500 nits, but the Prime offers an alternate Super IPS mode that pushes display brightness up to 600 nits for use in bright outdoor environments."

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274 comments

Intruiged (3, Interesting)

esocid (946821) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000718)

When the first one came out, it was the only tablet that piqued my interest. I like the idea of a dual use, "dockable," tablet since I don't imagine I'd use a tablet much longer after the novelty wore off. Asus has really done something great with this incarnation too, it looks like.

Re:Intruiged (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000836)

When the first one came out, it was the only tablet that piqued my interest. I like the idea of a dual use, "dockable," tablet since I don't imagine I'd use a tablet much longer after the novelty wore off. Asus has really done something great with this incarnation too, it looks like.

I won an iPad for free - it sits on my nightstand mostly unused, the 13" laptop still rules: it has a keyboard, it has Windows instead of iOS, and Hulu is free on Windows...

When I do pick up the iPad, it's for things like Angry Birds, Pocket Frogs, etc. It _can_ browse the web, but not as well as the notebook. It does win out occasionally for things like working on the car where it's nice to have the reference handy without worrying about breaking the more fragile notebook, but then it loses again when it's time to hook up the OBDII diagnostic tool to the USB port.

Re:Intruiged (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000874)

it sits on my nightstand mostly unused

You know I hear this often from tablet owners. Tablets have to be the ultimate impulse buy. Very few people actually use them often.

Re:Intruiged (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000932)

I have an HP TouchPad, which was also free. I use it to remotely control music and DVD playback, and I occasionally use it for light web browsing. The App Catalogue seems to be broken on it, or I'd be tempted to use it for RSS reading (it doesn't come with a built-in RSS reader, which is a bit of a WTF for something called WebOS). It's probably more use when travelling, as a portable media player. I think I'd use it a bit more if I had the TouchStone dock - having it sitting on a shelf displaying photos would mean that I'd bother to copy my photo collection to it, and then I'd use it, instead of a laptop, for showing people photos.

But, by and large, I think you're right. Tablets just don't do anything that laptops don't, and most of the stuff that they do, they do less well than a laptop. I mainly use mine via SSH, as it's the fastest ARM machine I have, and that's a pretty niche use case.

Re:Intruiged (4, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001814)

I have to say, I'm actually VERY surprised at how much I use my tablet.

I scored a new nook for cheap (about $135)...and boot it into cyanogen mod7 from the microSD card (will soon root it permanently when I get around to it), but I did it mostly as a fun experiment I saw a friend do..it was pretty much pocket change, so what the hell.

Well, I've found I'm pretty much tethered to it at home whenever I am at home. It follows me to every room I go to.....I'm constantly checking email on it...browsing for info (recipes, grocery store weekly ads, slashdot, shopping for newegg specials, etc).

I honestly didn't think I'd find a use for it...but I find that since I moved recently to a new place...rather than having desktops/laptops/netbooks fired up and running 24/7 in pretty much every room of the house, I now just use the nook tablet and carry it with me wherever I go in the house.

I've travelled with it before, and is fun to take to watch movies (I watched a bunch of riff-trax last trip which was fun) on the plane, etc.

My only complaint would be the lack of camera, gps and 3/4g would be nice for places without wifi when traveling, but honestly, I love the thing and use it like I never imagined. I truly thought once I did the rooting...it would just gather dust somewhere.

I'm thinking with the new nook tablets coming out, used original nook colors will start dropping in price..I might pick up and root a couple more of them to have around the house.

Also thinking of rigging one up to put in my car, and route through sound system for tv/movies/concert videos on the road...fixing up some kind of mount in there to hang it on in front of the stereo maybe.

I'd even considered getting some type of mi-fi maybe from verizon for the car..just to give it internet connectivity for trips out....

Re:Intruiged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000948)

I use mine daily. The odd webpage check, info lookup. A few games with friends, like scrabble or words. Reading via the kindle app. Last night i watched movies for a while since I couldn't sleep. My experience would disagree with this.

Re:Intruiged (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001172)

Which of those things can't you do with a (cheaper) notebook?

Re:Intruiged (2)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001422)

Unless you're sitting at a desk or table, reading documents is much easier on flat device without an attached keyboard.

Also, I used mine when looking to move and checking out houses. (Create custom map with home locations on Google Maps, log in and view map with GPS enabled on tablet.) The 10" screen is much better for things like maps and GPS navigation. Most laptops don't have integrated GPS and carrying a laptop around in a car or on foot is cumbersome.

Re:Intruiged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000952)

Web browsing usage stats don't really bear that out. You may know a lot of geeky tablet owners who can't live without 18 tabs and torrented TV shows/movies.

Re:Intruiged (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000954)

I have the first Transformer and I use it in front of the TV all the time to surf and play games during the evening. The only thing I use a laptop for outside of work is to talk to the family on skype. I only do that because my external webcam gives a much better picture than the Transformer's built in cam.

Re:Intruiged (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001672)

I have the first one as well. I like it.

I use it as a remote for my media station, and for a roving doc. Kitchen, workshop. Also to watch news/vids in the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be a lot cleaner with some mobile entertainment.

I'm getting my monies worth.

Re:Intruiged (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000992)

I use mine frequently, but then it's a first generation ASUS Transformer, with the keyboard add-on. I use it for looking up docs while working on things away from a computer, for reading e-books, as a GPS unit in the car, and when I'm in the server room, I use it to ssh into the servers to test settings. If I didn't have the keyboard, that last use would be nearly impossible, and I'd probably use the tablet less than a quarter of the amount that I do.

for me killer apps are video, reading in bed (2)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001246)

I got a touchpad on firesale. It came in handy for preloading videos to watch on long trips since the battery life is substantially better than my laptop. It's also *very* useful for reading at night when I've got a toddler in my lap and I don't want to turn on a light for fear of waking him.

Re:Intruiged (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001274)

it sits on my nightstand mostly unused

You know I hear this often from tablet owners. Tablets have to be the ultimate impulse buy. Very few people actually use them often.

Largely the story with my first generation Tablet - It's OK and has been designated as my travel computer, but is rarely used around the house for anything more than streaming football scores on the BBC while I'm doing other things.

Re:Intruiged (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001494)

You know I hear this often from tablet owners. Tablets have to be the ultimate impulse buy. Very few people actually use them often.

I use mine at least once a day. It's much easier to read than a phone when you are sitting on the can.

Re:Intrigued (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001608)

That depends on whether or not you have kids. It's hard for me to get my son to turn if off at bedtime. It's an expensive toy, I know.

In any case, I would use it a lot more if it had a decent text editor and facilities for compiling and downloading to various microcontrollers.

Re:Intruiged (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000916)

When Win8 comes out, if Asus sells one of these running that OS, it would be a pretty tempting machine. Assuming the Metro ecosystem takes off at all.

Re:Intruiged (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001204)

I don't know why you choose to underutilize a very useful device, but not everyone has the same experience.

I have an iPad2 and I use it a lot. I carry it with me between meetings and use it for email, calendar, reading documents, and an occasional terminal session to fix a problem with one of the servers using iSSH. The notepad application is pretty useful, and I've become spoiled with having my meeting notes already in my computer when I do make it to my office. Our office uses an internal wiki and we have web applications that I'm able to use with my iPad. I get exceptional battery life when compared against my netbook and I don't have to open and close the clamshell as I move from meeting to meeting or travel on public transportation.

At home I'll watch netflix on it, or HBO GO. In addition, I can quickly reply to the emails that flood my inbox at all times of the day.

This is my personal preference. I'm sure everybody's is different.

It's the Size (2)

Alaren (682568) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001252)

Ten inches is too big to be truly portable, too small to justify using as a replacement if you own an actual computer (especially if you own a laptop). I think for many non-tech types, tablets are replacing the PC--after all, they only bought a PC so they could surf the web and maybe play simple games.

But that's not me. I don't carry a cell phone (my wife uses her iPhone constantly) but I'm interested in the 7" tablets... may pick one up this Christmas, though now that the Tegra 3 is out I guess I'm waffling again. Combined with a bluetooth headset, I would definitely use a 7" tablet often.

Re:Intruiged (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001296)

Of course they're intriguing. Transformers are robots in disguise!

Wonder how that Parts supply chain is going (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000724)

Last I looked the floods were still going strong in Thailand. Nice pictures and a bit of a surprise they didn't wait for CES to unveil it (but that's a crowded place with a lot of chatter to rise above.)

Re:Wonder how that Parts supply chain is going (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000784)

It seems unlikely that this tablet will include a spinning hard drive, so I don't think the Thailand flooding has any real relevance. SSD supply was not affected.

Re:Wonder how that Parts supply chain is going (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001306)

It seems unlikely that this tablet will include a spinning hard drive, so I don't think the Thailand flooding has any real relevance. SSD supply was not affected.

A great many other bits and pieces are manufactured in Thailand, aside HDD and support.

Regarding other matters of substance, I sped down to the asian grocery and loaded up on foods I eat, which are from Thailand. Supplies will be drying up because logistics have been hammered as much as manufacturing.

Looks real nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000750)

One can only hope that this is the future of tablets.

Doubt it will cut into Apple (-1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000772)

Sorry, Apple has the mind share, if you are going to be paying the money you are probably still better off with the Apple iPad.

If I was them I wouldn't have used ARM processors (although they are quite cool) and stuck with Intel Processors to allow it to run Windows 8 (and allow old apps to run too) This seems less of an iPad competition but a MacBook Air competition where you can get a good target.

what the (1, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000816)

fuck is 'mind share' ffs. if you are going to be paying money you are probably still BETTER off with ipad, WHY exactly ? because it is a weaker, less capable device than asus's transformer in the article ?

you are saying that your ipad can run windows 8 ?

Re:what the (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000870)

"Mind share" is "even your grandmother knows about the iPad".

Re:what the (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001008)

so what is he trying to say ?

Re:what the (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001226)

What he is saying is that he thinks you should be a sheep and buy an ipad because you should want to look like part of the crowd. I personally don't understand why you should care whether grandma has heard of your tablet. I believe you should buy the product that meets your needs and your wallet can afford end of story.

Re:what the (2, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001258)

so what is he trying to say ?

That Apple fanboys would sooner go a-grave robbin' to suck Steve off some more, than purchase something that might actually be useful.

At least, that's what it sounds like to me.

Re:what the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001208)

"mind share" is why "video cassets" has been equivalent to "VHS cassets" for as long as I can remember.

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000820)

It's got twice the capacity at any given price point. From my perspective one of the first tablets that's both price and feature superior to the iPad. And I say that as an inveterate iPhone user that's never previously considered a non-Apple tablet.

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (1)

MaXMC (138127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001040)

It's the second tablet that is both price and feature superior to the iPad/2.

The first transformer was the first one, this is the second one..

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (2)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001802)

And it'll likely fail to come close to the iPad's sales figures.

It's not about price and feature parity, it's about interface and usability. Maybe, maybe ICS won't suck like Honeycomb or BlackBerry Tablet OS both did out of the gate, but I'm not holding my breath. Google and the OEMs don't seem to want to sweat the details, and the details are important in this market, otherwise the tablet becomes a rarely-used toy.

We've piloted all three. The iPads are the only devices people still use; the Android devices and the PlayBooks were returned because people found them too frustrating to use versus a normal PC and/or a smartphone.

Consumers don't care about Super-X-Hyper-AMOLED screens, Tegra-5-General-Zod chipsets or Adobe Flash/Java VM/Lisp/REXX (hah!) support. They that it works and isn't annoying, and they'll forgive a spec sheet difference. Tablets are not PCs, and can't use the fifty-percent-more-megahertz tactic. Hopefully Asus and Google will learn this before they're firesaling these at a loss while Apple's selling less-capable hardware at a premium.

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001210)

Windows 8 runs on ARM, and the previous Transformer was a huge success.
Deal with it.

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001326)

Asus sold 1.5 million of the first Transformer in 2011. Granted, it's not an Apple-magnitude number, but then Asus ain't Apple either. And I bet it still translates to some nice profits.

The "mind share" argument is quite weak in tablet wars. Even though iOS may look as dominant as Windows was back in the day, it does not really translate to significant difference in apps - pretty much everything worthwhile on iOS has just as good implementations on Android (whereas vice versa is not always true because of limitations on third-party apps in iOS). So things like price, form factor and quality are more interesting. And Transformer, of all Android tablets, has a lot of unique things to offer.

Re:Doubt it will cut into Apple (4, Interesting)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001500)

Asus sold 1.5 million of the first Transformer in 2011.

Added on to this point is that Asus was sold out of the first Transformer for the first six months after it was released - stores that got them in stock ran out within days, and online retailers were severely into back-order. (My own order was placed as back-order number 3754 for that product, with that reseller. Had I been willing to do without the keyboard, I would have only been back-order number 2000 or so in a different list.) If Asus had been able to produce more than 1.5 million units, they would have sold them.

All in all, I would say the product was worthwhile and profitable for them to produce, and their corporate shareholders were well served. From market interest and past example, they will likely spend the first few months of the new Transformer also sold out and back-ordered.

wainting for 1920x1080p (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000786)

Not buying until you can watch videos on a tablet without horrible scaling artifacts. Give me a native 1920x1080 tablet already!
(I really hope someone does this before the ipad 3, because I'd really rather not buy ipad).

how about just better scaling? (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001316)

You're basically talking about Apple's "retina display" scaled up to a 10" tablet. That would require a fair bit of power to push those pixels around, a fair bit of storage space for 1080p video, and then you're just stuck scaling smaller video up.

A more reasonable current goal would be better hardware scaling.

Re:how about just better scaling? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001738)

And that's not talking about the practical aspects of getting hardware cheap enough to be made in volume or reducing the power consumption to be usable. I suppose we all wish it but we don't think about the practicalities of it. Just like flying cars or how slashdotters wanted Wifi on the iPod in 2001.

Re:how about just better scaling? (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001840)

^ This. It was really irritating to find out that all the Tegra 2 tablets can't play back hardware-accelerated H.264 high-profile content.

I keep my PlayBook around mostly because this is one thing it can do.

Re:wainting for 1920x1080p (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001330)

Do you know how crazy that is? I have 1920x1080p resolution on my 17" laptop, and text gets insanely small. Now consider stripping 7 inches and reading that on a 10" screen. It'd be impossible!

What they need is better scaling algorithms, not higher resolutions.

Re:wainting for 1920x1080p (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001440)

Halfway decent graphics systems scale text to dot pitch. If your text is illegibly small, either you have your display set to 6pt or your display manager needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 1990s.

Re:wainting for 1920x1080p (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001590)

It's not illegibly small outside of websites (especially tech blogs, for some reason) that think they should still style their sites with pt size fonts, instead of em. Using CTRL+ helps, but it's still a bit ridiculous. I'm just saying that the same resolution on a 10" tablet would be insanely tiny, mostly for the reason of those same websites. Everything else might scale, but the web would still be an awful place to venture.

Re:wainting for 1920x1080p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001574)

You do realize they've had 22" 3840x2400 desktop monitors (IBM T220 and descendants) for a decade now? I have one, and use it, and set my goddamn fonts to an appropriate size instead of whinging about how small they are by default. Any manufacturer integrating a 1080p screen in a tablet will set the scaling right, so that's not even an issue.

And there's any numer of phones with 250-350 PPI (WVGA or so in a phone-sized display), and people can read text on them just fine -- because the text is scaled corrrectly.

Try being less of a retard, OK?

What a nice GPU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000788)

Still slower than the one on the iPad 2 though. :/

As an Asus laptop owner (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38000824)

I hope they make their tablets of a higher quality than their laptops.

Re:As an Asus laptop owner (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001000)

I have an Asus w3v laptop that is nearly 10 years old. Still using it with Ubuntu today. The battery doesn't work any more, even with a new battery. so it mostly just stays plugged in now. but I don't really have a problem with that.

Re:As an Asus laptop owner (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001050)

I've owned two eeePCs, and they both have wonderful build quality. Not the best screens in the world, but they feel very solid. Perhaps their laptops are held to a different standard than their laptops, but in my experience, ASUS builds their small stuff very well.

Re:As an Asus laptop owner (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001598)

I concur- the eeePCs were very well made for the price.

The screens do not take having a heavy Cuisinart electric griddler dropped on them from a height of 6ft... but other than that they're OK... and the computer part still works even if the screen doesn't.

Re:As an Asus laptop owner (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001148)

Actually the First Asus Transformer is pretty amazing. It is by far the best tablet out there for the price (lower in cost than the Ipad2, but with the same screen (only bigger 10.1) and has the same hardware as the Xoom but is faster). I spent several months researching different tablets until I found the Transformer. If the new one is anything like the first, it will be fantastic. It also has a really good battery life w/o the dock (which gives you an extra 7+ hours). It charges very quickly. You can also get the dock for about 100-115 from Amazon if you want it. I do not have it and do not use it, but the tablet I use all the time and love it. Asus also has had very good customer service for those that had issues with the Transformer and needed to RMA them.

hardware arms race trap (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000838)

Hardware will only take you so far. You need to build the ecosystem and differentiate yourself in software. Apple knew that. Everyone else competes in hardware specs.

Re:hardware arms race trap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001278)

Yes, the software which manufacturers puts on their computers makes a difference. I don't like neither OSX nor walled gardens so I don't buy Macs and other Apple gadgets. The hardware is good but I can buy about the same machine for less money from someone else. If they were just a manufacturer like HP or Lenovo I could be typing this on an Apple. That didn't prevent Apple from getting rich so I concede that you have a point. Anyway I'm very happy that there are manufacturers competing on hardware and on prices, because that's all I need.

Tablets are the way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000866)

The next time you see a guy with an iPad, ask him what he thinks of POVBJ videos.
If he knows what you mean, never touch his iPad.

Questions about this device (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000892)

1. What is about this device that will attract the average, non-technical buyer? (How are all these awesome tech features useful)

2. Will Asus continue to support this device with new Android release assuming they have to make some additions to each release to support the "companion core" for low power consumption?

3. Will Android automatically make use of all the additional horsepower in this computer or do applications have make explicit use of it?

4. What's the battery life with all the different CPU and GPU cores all ramped up?

Re:Questions about this device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001130)

For your first question:

1. It's the thinnest tablet in the market.

2. It comes with a nicely integrated detachable keyboard to write long emails and documents.

3. It can run the the latest games, and you can watch HD videos at great frame rates.

4. It comes with Android Marketplace, and integrated with Google Services.

Re:Questions about this device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001516)

I'd like to augment response #1.

I use an original Asus Transformer w/ dock as my mobile business device. This involves using office WiFi while going to meetings, or tethering to my phone. I use email natively on the tablet, but most of the work functionality comes from using our Citrix VDI setup. The trackpad and keyboard are extremely useful here, as I can use this tablet device to access a fully featured Windows desktop, if that's what I need.

So far, I'm mostly unimpressed with Apps on Android. I don't currently have an iOS device, so I have little to compare with.

Tablets are toys in general, but the Transformer bridges the gap to being a useful business device for me mostly because we have infrastructure in place to make it useful.

Re:Questions about this device (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001420)

they are what's required to run Windows 8. Since it's not ready yet, Android get the initial buzz but this is most likely designed so that Microsoft can say they have a table OS which competes with the others. I'll have to go back and look at how much RAM it'll have since there's little doubt that will have to be doubled or more for Windows 8.

IIRC,it was the Asus CEO who apologized for showing an ARM based Android netbook a couple of years ago and Microsoft was at his side.

LoB

Re:Questions about this device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001612)

IIRC,it was the Asus CEO who apologized for showing an ARM based Android netbook a couple of years ago and Microsoft was at his side.

It wasn't Android, it was Xandros Linux (not the best distro, mostly the choice was politics, which is never a good reason), on an Intel Atom processor (I think it was the EeePC 901 - this was an upgrade from the Celeron processor in the previous models, but still x86 based), and when they switched that line over to Windows, the price went up, and the sales went down.

Re:Questions about this device (2)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001640)

1. What is about this device that will attract the average, non-technical buyer? (How are all these awesome tech features useful)

As you've spotted, the public don't buy tablets on CPU/GPU power specs: tablet CPUs only come with two speeds: fast enough, or not fast enough.

The potential USP of this is the keyboard dock. However, methinks they need to get the price of the original Transformer plus the dock down to the iPad price of $499 rather than trying to sell on specs.

Must admit, the Asus tablet offerings have always looked more likely to tempt me away from an iPad to me than Samsung and Motorola's iPad clones - at least they're trying to distinguish themselves from Apple.

Re:Questions about this device (1)

bogolisk (18818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001752)

1. It has the best (claimed) battery life (when used with the dock) 18h. Kal-El, with 40Mbps video capacity, should (in theory) handle any kind of HD video including BR rips. NEON+quadcore should be good for games (NEON wasn't supported in Tegra-2).

2. The 4+1 is transparent to the OS, according to Nvidia.

3. Linux kernel will scale and spread tasks among avail cores. whether a game will spread intensive jobs to multi-threads? well it depends on the game...

4. Do you play games all the time? well get a console then.

Their doing it wrong... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38000908)

Why, why, WHY do they make the displays brighter and battery life shorter when you can put a transreflective display in?
Transreflective displays are sunlight readable. They are DESIGNED for high ambient light conditions. Sure, they cost more but wouldn't you want to cut your backlight battery drain by 90% in the sun?

Re:Their doing it wrong... (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001358)

It has a 12 or 18 hours (depending on the configuration) battery life. Extra life isn't that relevant.

Anyway, I don't understand why people use backlights on led screens. Shouldn't the screen already be bright enough? Also, as far as I know, transreflective display only works for LCD. For using that they'd need to make their device thicker, and somewhat less apealing.

Re:Their doing it wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001818)

This is not an LED screen, it's an LED backlit screen. If they were using OLED it wouldn't say IPS display.

Wouldn't you rather have 20 to 30 hours of battery life? If you were traveling for a week you might not need to take a charger. It just bugs me when the obvious superior solution is ignored for a bigger marketing number. Oooh look, 600 nits! It must be better than 500. I hope it dims down nicely. I like to keep my screens around 100 nits peak brightness when indoors. It's getting harder and harder to get a display that goes dim enough to not give me headaches. At least IPS displays have good color and contrast.

Re:Their[sic] doing it wrong... (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001474)

The tablet's barely competitive with the iPad's price point as it is. I'm sure the cheaper option for mass production was to boost the screen's brightness and pump up the battery time than invest in a different screen technology. Consider that it's probably not that much of a stretch for their production factories to switch from Transformer 1 to Transformer 2 with similar technologies, and you have the answer for much of your question right there.

Also, it's they're not their.

prease... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001036)

spreak Engrish when describing new tablet

Asus Transformer User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001038)

As a current owner of the first Transformer, I am highly anticipating the release of the successor tablet. As a consumption device, it does everything I need (browser, Netflix and communication apps) and the dock makes it even more usable. Also, I like to customize my devices with roms or completely different OS's which means I stay far from the Apple ecosystem. This next step in processing power means that my casual-use computer is less likely to be used because my tablet can handle it.

Value compared to normal laptop? (0)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001070)

The top model is $750? Couldn't you get a much more powerful ultrabook for that - with a real OS?

Re:Value compared to normal laptop? (2)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001280)

1) You could also get a much more powerful desktop workstation for that, yet laptops and tablets still sell. Perhaps because they're targeted at different markets and uses.

2) Android is a real OS. It runs on more than half of the smartphones out there, and nearly all of the non-ipad tablets. It has the advantage of running properly on ARM chips (which require less power and produce less heat), without losing 90% of it's application base like Win8 for ARM does. (Win8 can be run on ARM systems, but the majority of Win8 compatible applications won't, as they require x86 architecture.) The application base available for Android is very large, with a marketplace that is much more developer friendly (and thus has more content) than the apple equivalent for iOS.

3) The top model only sells to obsessive geeks (like me. I admit it - I have the top model of the first generation) and is of no interest to the majority of buyers, who would purchase the lower end model (less memory and storage), for a much lower price.

there are tradeoffs (2)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001502)

First there aren't a lot of $750 ultrabooks that I'm seeing. A Samsung series 9 is more like $1000.

Second, even an ultrabook is going to be heavier and physically larger (especially when opened) than a tablet and the battery life won't be as good.

It costs $650 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001088)

$750 with the extra RAM. It's a tablet priced like a full-size laptop, in this economy.

It looks nice, but it's toast.

Re:It costs $650 (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001476)

It is a powerfull computer, with a longer battery life and lighter than any full-sized laptop you'll find out there. Also, it has a touch screen, and can be used as a tablet. There is no mention of networking, but I bet it is capable of both WiFi and 3G

As cons, there is no option of spinning disk, no carring lots of data. And it is small (altough that can be a pro for some people).

I'd need to know if it is powerfull enough to run emacs on a TTY before buying one ;)

Re:It costs $650 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001564)

Wifi, but no 3G.

Terrible news... (5, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001092)

This is absolutely terrible news and I'm angry at Asus for releasing this tablet.

Now, not only are most new laptops and netbooks more powerfull than my desktop- but now a tablet is too.

Screw you Asus!

Oh well, maybe I can afford to upgrade to a Raspberry Pi this christmas if I can catch it on a 50% off sale.

Challenge for tablet makers (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001266)

Give me a big tablet, between 12 - 21 inches.
Give me a tablet that runs windows.
Give me a tablet that has a stylus, and turns off automatically touch display once the stylus goes out of it's enclosure.
Give me that, for less than 700 (would pay up to 1000 for a 21")

Let me clear one thing: I own an iPad. i wont replace it with an android tablet, and I doubt any potential iPad consumer will change it's mind towards an android tablet.

Artists, though, may still find an iPad problematic because finger drawing is... not cool, and I dont want to wear a glove, and the thing is too small to do proper art.
I also want to use my current art software for windows, photoshop included.

Asus, ironically, has something close Link [asus.com], but its too expensive. They want 1050 for a 12" tablet. I'm tempted, but the price is just too high.

I want a tablet that will do things that Apple will just not aim for. Stop trying to sell android tablets to people that want iPads and start making tablets for people that want more than just an iPad!

No 3G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001406)

What a shame.

My first thought (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001450)

What the hell is the battery life on one of these things? Three minutes?

Re:My first thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001542)

Upwards of 12+ hours.

Re:My first thought (2)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001816)

Well, TFA says 12 hours without dock, and 18 with the keyboard attached. Since they also claimed 9.5 hours without and 16 with dock for the first model, and mine actually does manage that level of battery life on a regular basis, there's a good chance that it's accurate.

Incidentally, the 16 hour battery life on mine involved actively using the tablet for the whole period, web surfing, playing angry birds and a few other games, downloading and watching a movie, transfering 600MB of music files via USB thumb drive and playing music for several hours, editing a spreadsheet, and doing programming on my server via ssh.

Current Transformer User (1)

Taimat (944976) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001452)

I picked up the Asus Transformer when it first came out earlier this year, and I love it. It works great. I do disabled the touchpad and use a usb mouse however, and then touch the screen when needed. Since VMware has a View client for android, I can take my tablet with me when travelling and use only it. I no longer need a laptop to take. I can watch movies, etc. The downside - HDMI output. (I've read this is a problem with the current Tegra chip in the transformer) That the scaling on hdmi output is slightly off - the top and bottom of my output is cutoff on all my TVs. Granted, they are not expensive TVs that can be adjusted to compensate for that however. They battery life is great, and the Dock constantly keeps the tablet fully charged, so when you disconnect, it's full. It has been very responsive. I think this tablet will end up being the biggest (how big is another question) competition for the iPad. I'm glad I got this instead.

Only 1GB of RAM? (1)

Resol (950137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001492)

Doesn't that seem a little light? Especially if the intent with the keyboard is to usurp the laptop?

What's the *actual* battery life (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001660)

12 hours; 25Wh Li-polymer Battery
18 hours pad with dock; 25Wh (pad) & 22Wh (mobile dock) Li-polymey Battery

If 22Wh gets me 6 (extra) hours battery, then 25Wh will get me ~7 hours.

7 hours is nearly enough, assuming that 7 hours is full wireless productivity. I'm guessing though, that as with most battery life estimates that's high and you'll get more like 6 (aka. not enough for a work day).

If I'm right about this, it means that I can't really go without the dock and this is a laptop that the screen can detach from. That's neat in and of itself and might be a product worth looking at but it's somewhat distinct from a tablet that happens to have a keyboard dock.

9,5/16 hrs tablet/t+keyboard. We're getting there. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001666)

An off-the grid uptime of 9,5 and 16 hrs is pretty impressive. And it looks less shitty than the regular transformer. Andorid tablets are really starting to get interesting. And this device is a serious competitor to the Chromebook market. They weight probably is somewhere nearly the same as Chromebook/MB Air, the price is simular to the Samsung 5 Chromebook and the batterytime is twice as high as both. Plus it's a tablet with all the touch stuff for when you really can use it - like photo presentations and stuff. Very neat. Personally, I'll take a serious look at it as soon as it arives.

Bottom line:
Well done, Asus. Nice piece of hardware that appears to be.

Great line at the end of TFA (4, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001702)

"Somehow, in all the excitement over the iPad 2, OEMs have apparently forgotten that netbooks became popular precisely because they didn't cost as much as full size noteboooks."

Technology-wise, it looks like a great little device, but I just don't see it selling in worthwhile numbers. $499 for the tablet itself puts it squarely in "Why should I buy this instead of an iPad?" territory, and $650 for the tablet and keyboard puts it into "Why should I buy this and not a regular laptop?" land.

Re:Great line at the end of TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38001806)

I bought my netbook largely because it was smaller and lighter. The lower cost was more or less a bonus.

Disappointed. (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001772)

I was expecting it to be painted red and blue and convert between a netbook and a Cab-over truck.

Really want something bigger than a 10in touchpad (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38001834)

I am willing and able to pay for a 12-14 inch touchpad if someone would make one, and I am sure I am not the only one. 7 inch is a joke, 10 inch is borderline functional, and I might as well beat the jokers to the punch with "THATS WHAT SHE SAID" :) Seriously, maybe instead of trying to be another metoo and knock off the iPad, how about a bigger touchpad?! This can be the itch that consumers dont even realize they have that some smart manufacturer can scratch. The marketing campaign practically writes itself with juvenile taglines like BIGGER THAN iPAD. Manufacturers seem to be afraid to cross the line in the sand drawn by Steve...
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