Asus makes a big leap from being a motherboard manufacturer to competing head on with the likes of Apple – and it does so in a pretty impressive way with its Transformer Prime featuring Tegra 3 processor beating iPad 2 in virtually every respect. The business of motherboard returns very low profit, if at all. If ASUS can make motherboard and be profitable in it, there was no reason, why it could not graduate to make Tablets, making its venture more profitable.
Transformer Prime with 32 GB memory is priced at $499 – the same at Apple iPad 2 entry model. If it has to sell it at this price, it must have something competitive to offer to be able to knock off Apple, or at least aspire to be able to sell its Tablets. Asus does not has the marketing muscle that Apple with several 10s of billions of dollars in cash has. But Asus has done it. Its Tablet is at least 20% faster than the Apple iPad 2. Its graphics is superior in performance, its weighs less than Apple iPad 2 and is slimmer ( 8.3 mm Vs 8.8 mm). It provides double the storage and double the RAM ( 512 GB Vs 1 GB). What cab be a good reason to prefer Apple’s iPad 2 when it does not provide HDMI output ?
Apple was the original Tablet designer. It was a trendsetter. Even though a large number of Tablet manufacturer have tried to mimic Apple’s iPad, no one has been successful in creating a brand name that Apple has. Tablets have become a synonym of iPad in the same way google is synonym for the search. When Samsung, HP, Toshiba and Asus make a Tablet they are essentially trying to emulate a success story that Apple has created.
As a user, you may however, may benefit with the competition – you now have a choice. And Apple must feel the heat of the competition. On price level, it needs to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has an impressive offering at $199, something Apple would never like to match, unless it has somthing to sell on its market place exclusively tied with the iPad. On the performance level, it now needs to compete with high performance Transformer Prime, which trash it every benchmarking result and trashes it well.
In spite of this Apple will continue to be market leader. Its user interface is not only attractive but also addictive. Apple users swear by the product they possess. No other company has been able to garner as much brand affection as Apple does. The Apps market are controlled and provide a sense of quality product, unlike Android’s uncontrolled market. The iPad is relatively free form malwares, thanks to the complete ownership of the eco system inclusive of the Hardware, operating system and the Applications.
Asus had earlier sensed a success when it launched the original Transformer – the one with Tegra 2 at a price $100 less than iPad 2. While Tranformer competed well will iPad 2 in price front, the Transformer Prime competes and competes will in the performance. At same price, it offers better resolution ( 1280 x 800 Vs 1024 x 768), a Super IPS+ screen, though not necessarily a better user interface, UI and casual looks of graphics. Add a Micro SD slot that you can use to transfer large data ( for example a movie file) and you get more value for your bucks than iPad 2 gives you.
With Transformer Plus, Nvidia has scored by being the first in the market with a Tegra 3 inside it. HP took the lead in the Tablet market by being first with the Tegra 2. Asus is also the only Tablet maker that launches with the release of the Tegra 3. And this should give it substantial market share in high end Android Market.
Transformer Plus comes with Honeycomb, but it looks like the Tablet is ready for Ice Cream Sandwich in future. Transformer Prime has improved in many areas that the original Transformer lacked. It is not only thinner than iPad 2, but also slimmer than its own Transformer or the Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.
Asus promises to have better display than any other Tablet in the market – and this includes the Apple’s iPad 2 ( Apple is still better though in terms of UI and its addiction).
As most other tablets ASUS has inbuilt wifi and bluetooth. Asus has used Broadcom’s BCM4329 chipset for for WiFi and Bluetooth. The BCM4329 integrates 802.11 a/b/g/n system and with Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) in a single silicon die to offer cost and space advantage. Additionally it also provides power saving advantage that would not have been possible with separate silicons or modules.
We can devide the CPU performance in two broad category – multithreaded intensive and the single threaded intensive. Single threaded applications see 50% to 60% performance improvement while multithreaded applications see a whopping 100% or more performance improvement over the Tegra 2 or Transforer Tablet. It is not off the mark to say that CPU performance doubles in Transformer Prime when compared to the Transformer.
Since the Tegra 2 performance, architecture is similar to the Apple’s Core A5 ( give or take a bit here and there), we may not be to far off to colclude that Transformer Prime is about 1.5 to 2 times as fast as the Apple’s Core A5. You may not able to feel it if you are using the Tablet just for simple browsing – but, if you are looking for quicker response, movie playig – Transformer Prime is ultimate.
Asus powers the cores only when required – preserving the battery life while never letting you lack the CPU power when you need.
It is hard to beat Apple in quality of the display. When iPad 2 turns on, it gives a display that seems to be just still mesmerising its users. Transformer Prime, has however, come up with a display quality that is even better than the Apple’s iPad 2. True, the homepage does not look as impressing, thanks to the lacklustre Honeycomb, but go past the home page and open browser and compare the screens for two pages that are identical, you will appreciate the Super IPS screen from Asus.
Some quick facts, just going by the specifications.
1. Apple iPad has a resolution of 1024 x 768 while Transformer Prime measure it at 1280 x 800. Based purely upon resolution, you get 30.2% extra pixels.
2. The size of the Tranformer Prime is 10.1 inch diagonal giving you extra space over iPad 2’s 9.7 inch
3. The pixel density of the Asus Transformer prime is 145 pixel per inch bettring the iPad 2’s 132 Pixel Per inch.
Besides these improvement in the metrics, Prime has a better performance in daylight. Its Super IPS+ screen gives out 683 nits enabling you read the Tablet content in daylight condition better than you can on an iPad.