ASUS has today announced the Australian launch of its Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet. The tablet is now available outright through major Australian retailers including Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys.
Initially unveiled in November last year, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the successor to the original Eee Pad Transformer. It's the world's first quad-core Android tablet and like its predecessor, it boasts a detachable keyboard dock that transforms it from a tablet into a notebook-style device.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is now available in 32GB ($799) and 64GB ($899) models through major Australian retailers. In other markets, ASUS provides the keyboard dock as an optional accessory, but Australian models of the tablet include it as standard. ASUS is not selling the dock separately in Australia.
ASUS says the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor that powers the Eee Pad Transformer Prime results in five times the performance of the Tegra 2 CPU used in many current Android tablets. It also promises much better battery life — the company says the Transformer Prime is good for 12 hours video playback by itself, and up to 18 hours if the keyboard dock (with built-in battery) is connected.
ASUS ships the Eee Pad Transformer Prime with Google's Android 3.2 operating system, but says an over-the-air update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available. A new camera UI includes a new panorama photo mode, live effects and backgrounds, and basic photo editing is now includes. Other new features include offline browsing, a Wi-Fi Direct feature to transfer files between Wi-Fi enabled devices, a new Roboto font, as well as the ability to create folders on the home screen by dragging one app on top of another.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime has a 10.1-inch Super IPS + display that's coated in Gorilla glass. The screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 and ASUS also claims the use of technology that enhances brightness for better outdoor viewing. The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is powered by 1GB of RAM and has a microSD card slot for extra storage. It also has a micro-HDMI port. The keyboard dock adds a full-sized USB port, a full-sized SD card slot and a multi-touch trackpad. The Transformer Prime doesn't have 3G connectivity, so its a Wi-Fi-only tablet.
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is 8.33mm thin and weighs 586g. The back of the Transformer Prime is constructed from aluminum and has a swirl design. Australian models of the tablet will be available in a "Champagne Gold" colour.