I don’t have sales figures, but based on buzz and reader commentary, the Asus Transformer was a pretty popular Android tablet in 2011. It’s a new year though and Asus has kicked things up a notch at CES with the Transformer Prime and Nvidia’s Tegra 3(s nvda) processor. The Tegra 3 is a quad-core chip with a fifth core for light tasks, which helps battery life. And there are a dozen GPU cores as well, which makes for the best gaming on a tablet I’ve seen yet.
Here’s a quick look at the Transformer Prime, which now runs on Google’s(s goog) latest version of Android: 4.0.3, or Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet can run for up to 12 hours on its own, but the keyboard dock option adds another 8 or more hours, making for an all-day tablet. The keyboard is quite usable; similar to the keyboards on Asus netbooks, and docking the tablet adds a mouse pointer on screen. My initial thoughts on the trackpad are mixed: It works but isn’t quite as smooth as I’d like.
A full review will follow, but for now, enjoy a tour of the thin and light hardware, as well as some browsing, high-definition video viewing, gaming with an Xbox(s msft) controller and a highlight of some Asus customizations. I’m curious if this tablet and keyboard combo can replace a laptop for people with minimal traditional computing needs.