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New ASUS Tablet Has Quad-Core Chip
New ASUS Tablet Has Quad-Core Chip

By Mark Long
November 22, 2011 5:43PM

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The new tablet's Transformer Prime moniker is due to the device's optional detachable docking station, which hinges to the tablet's main body. Among other things, the docking station sports a full-size QWERTY keyboard, a multi-touch touchpad, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 4-in-1 SD card reader.

ASUS is prepping a December U.S. launch for the world's first media tablet to feature a quad-core processor. Called the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the new mobile device uses Nvidia's new 1.3 GHz Tegra 3 chip, which is based on ARM's quad-core Cortex A9 technology.

Measuring 10.4 x 7.1 inches and just a third of an inch in thickness, the tablet weighs 1.29 lbs. Though shipping initially with the Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, the tablet also is upgradable to the new Android 4.0 platform, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

"Google has done a great job on ICS and has made the platform open to the ecosystem and easy to develop on," said Nvidia blogger Will Park on Tuesday.

"Thanks to Google's developer support, Nvidia's experienced software team was able to work with ASUS to quickly bring up ICS on the Transformer Prime," Park wrote.

Already available for pre-order on Amazon for $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB), the ASUS Eee Pad is equipped with a 10.1-inch multi-touch screen made with Corning Gorilla Glass. The high-definition, 1280x800-pixel display also works at viewing angles of as much as 178 degrees.

Transformer Prime

The new tablet's Transformer Prime moniker is due to the device's optional detachable docking station, which hinges to the tablet's main body. Among other things, the docking station sports a full-size QWERTY keyboard, a multi-touch touchpad, two USB 2.0 ports, and a 4-in-1 SD card reader.

Available from Amazon for $110, the 1.41-lb. docking station also includes a reserve battery that adds six hours to the tablet's battery life. Additionally, the docking station doubles as a protective cover for the tablet's high-resolution display.

Beyond having Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 chip, the Eee Pad integrates 1 GB of DDR2 memory, both Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth radios, a micro SD card reader and the user's choice of 32GB or 64GB solid state drives. The new tablet also has two cameras: a rear 8-megapixel camera with flash as well as a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera for video conferencing sessions.

On the software side, the Eee Pad offers support for the full range of Android-based apps and mobile services from Google, including support for Adobe Flash. Also on tap is a SonicMaster codec for delivering a rich and acoustically accurate audio experience.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Though the source code for Google's new Android 4.0 platform was released just last week, Nvidia has already posted an early demo showing ICS running on the ASUS Eee Pad. Among other things, Park showed off some of the beautiful transition effects between the apps and widgets menu that Google has built in to the new platform.

"Another cool thing is that Google has built into the home screen the folder capability," Park said. "So you can actually drag and drop one icon into another icon to increase the folder."

Nvidia also demoed video playback at high-definition resolutions. "What we are showing here is full 1080p high profile video playback, [which is] flawless," Park said.

Additionally, Nvidia showed off a new gaming demo. "The cool thing about Riptide is that it is using all four cores built into the Tegra 3 and it really has these great water-effects built into the game," Park said.

With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has finally addressed the fragmentation of Android across smartphone and tablet form factors, said Gartner Research Vice President Carolina Milanesi.

"Android can count on strong support from key OEMs, has a sizable developer community, and its smartphones application ecosystem is second only to Apple's," Milanesi said.

Tell Us What You Think



Posted: 2011-12-12 @ 8:12pm PT
Can someone please tell me if the samsung galaxy works with XRM or CRM programs? If not does anyone know a GOOD tablet that does?


Posted: 2011-11-24 @ 9:37pm PT
Its available today - Black Friday at Best Buy for $299! You can buy it online and get the docking station for only $25 more. I just picked up two of them!!


Posted: 2011-11-23 @ 12:19pm PT
sounds great!!

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