ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime review: The world's first quad-core Android tablet is here
- Excellent design and aesthetics
- Keyboard dock is a great add-on
- Slick software and good performance
- Very top-heavy when docked
- No 3G
- Poor GPS performance
If you don't want an iPad, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the tablet you do want. It has a great design, a nifty keyboard dock, slick, up-to-date software and great performance. The lack of 3G is a pain and there are a couple of other issues that need ironing out, but all in all the Transformer Prime is the best Android tablet on the market.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
A quad-core processor, Google's Ice Cream Sandwich software, an ultra-slim design and a handy keyboard dock that provides up to 18 hours of battery life. These are essentially the key points of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android tablet, a successor to the original Eee Pad Transformer. Although the keyboard dock isn't perfect, the combination of improved software and a gorgeous design make the Transformer Prime the current king of Android tablets.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime: Design and display
The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime sounds like it belongs in a Transformers movie, but the device obviously gets its name from the keyboard dock which can be detached from the tablet itself. In Australia, ASUS sells the tablet and the keyboard dock together as a bundle, so unlike other markets, you can't purchase the Transformer Prime without the dock. Although this adds plenty of functionality, including a physical keyboard and a built-in battery, it does significantly raise the cost of the unit.
The Transformer Prime's dock is one of its key features but there is plenty to like about this tablet without it. For starters, the Transformer Prime is just 8.33mm thin and weighs only 586g. Yes, that's thinner and lighter than the market leading iPad 2 and even thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The latter is admittedly 21g lighter, but this doesn't make a huge amount of difference in day-to-day use.
ASUS deserves plenty of plaudits for the Transformer Prime's build quality. The back of the tablet is constructed from sturdy feeling aluminum and has an attractive swirl design (Australian models of the tablet are available in a "Champagne Gold" colour). This design is borrowed directly from the company's ZenBook ultrabook notebook. Unlike the original Transformer, the aluminium backing exhibits little to no flex when some force is applied and it doesn't creak or rattle. The bezel surrounding the screen is rather large and does quickly become a fingerprint magnet, however, and the metal edges can dig into your fingers. Our only other complaint with the design is the position of the speaker — when holding the tablet with two hands your right hand covers it almost entirely, effectively muffling the sound.
At 10.1in, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime's screen is the same size as most Android tablets, though ASUS has opted for what it calls a Super IPS+ (In Plane Switching) LCD panel. The screen is bright, crisp and clear and feels smooth to swipe. It also has very impressive viewing angles. At full brightness ASUS claims the Transformer Prime is ideal for outdoor use: we found it significantly brighter than most other tablets on the market. To save battery life when using the Transformer Prime indoors, you can disable the Super IPS+ mode to extend the battery life. This is a handy, one-touch option in the quick settings menu.
Without the dock, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime doesn't have a full-sized USB port or a micro USB connector. On the left side you'll find a volume rocker, a micro-HDMI port, and a microSD card slot, while the top edge houses a small power/lock button and the right side a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. The proprietary ASUS dock connection may be an annoyance, but it offers two benefits: it connects the tablet to the keyboard dock, and charges much faster (around an hour and a half) than a regular micro USB charger would. Either side of the dock are two holes that attach to the dock: they come with rubber inserts, so you'll need to remove these before you attempt to dock the tablet.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime: Keyboard dock
Like it's predecessor, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime really comes into its own when it's connected to the included keyboard dock. The dock adds a full-sized USB port, a full-sized SD card slot and a trackpad, as well as its own built-in battery. ASUS says the battery offers an additional six hours of use. If both the tablet and the keyboard dock batteries are fully charged, the Transformer Prime draws power from the keyboard dock first in order to preserve power for tablet-only use.
When connected, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime folds over onto the keyboard dock and acts like a regular notebook. Connecting the two does feel a little clunky, though the arrows on both the dock and the tablet are a nice touch: line them up to ensure a smooth and hassle-free connection.
The Transformer Prime's keyboard makes typing easier and more effective than any touchscreen, but it's not without faults. The keys aren't backlit, which makes typing at night time rather difficult, and they are also pretty small and cramped. We did like the travel on them though, and tactility is better than many netbooks of similar size. We love the addition of dedicated Android shortcuts including home, back, search and settings keys, along with a wealth of quick toggles for the trackpad, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness, Browser, screen shot and media controls. There's also a button on the keyboard to lock the screen, which is handy if you want to keep the Transformer Prime in its open position.
The Transformer Prime's keyboard dock also has a touchpad, and you can use two fingers on it to scroll up and down on Web pages. It's very easy to accidentally bump when typing though, so we suggest turning it off via the shortcut button when you aren't using it. We would have appreciated an automatic setting that disabled the trackpad when you type. You can't use gestures on the Transformer Prime's trackpad, so pinching to zoom, for example, can only be performed on the screen.
Unfortunately, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime is very top-heavy, so it's almost impossible to position it on your lap without it toppling over. It's fine for use on a desk or table, but trying to sit it on your lap is a delicate process.
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Apple iPhone X
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung announces a new ruggedised Tablet optimised for business users
- Samsung Introduces the New Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
- Alcatel PLUS 12 Takes Portable Productivity to New Heights with First 2-In-1
- Tech Timeline: The iPad first goes on sale
- New 9.7-inch iPad teardown reveals it's basically an original iPad Air with minor tweaks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCProgram ManagerNSW
- FTAPS 6 Scrum MasterACT
- CCMining Planning System EngineerQLD
- CCDigital Project Manager - AdobeVIC
- FTData Analyst / Reporting Analyst - $496.00 per dayOther
- CCHFC Project Manager (Delivery) - 6 mth contract - Nth SydneyNSW
- CCCRM Business AnalystQLD
- FTInfrastructure PMO AnalystOther
- FTTibco DeveloperOther
- CCService Desk AnalystWA
- FTKnowledge AnalystOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTIT Security OfficerACT
- FTBusiness Analysts - apps developmentACT
- CCIT Service Desk Specialist - BrisbaneNSW
- FTContinuous Improvement ManagerNSW
- CCDesktop/Field Services EngineerQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer - Aruba/PaloAltoWA
- TPJava DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Digital Producer/Digital Program ManagerOther
- FTAgile Business AnalystACT
- FTCyber Security Team LeadOther
- FTVarious DevelopersACT
- FTTechnical Lead | .Net | FintechOther
- CCProject ManagerVIC