Asus burst onto the tablet scene with its Eee Pad Transformer in mid-2010 and the device was one of the few Android devices seen as a worthy alternative to Apple's iPad.
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed hybrid tablet has been highly anticipated ever since Asus announced that it would be packing an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a Super IPS+ 10.1in Gorilla Glass display, 8-megapixel camera and 18-hour battery life.
The Transformer Prime is definitely one of the most beautiful and well-crafted hybrid devices that we have seen. Both the tablet and dock have a machined-aluminium casing that provides protection and gives them a premium feel.
In its standalone form, the Prime looks similar to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. There are no buttons on the front of the device, with the webcam being the only noticeable feature on the bezel. The back is similar, with only the 8-megapixel rear camera taking up space.
With a thickness of 8.3mm and a weight of 586g, the Transformer Prime is comfortable to grip and lightweight enough to hold with one hand. The total weight of the device is bumped up to just over 1.1kg when docked with the keyboard. This is in-line which most other 11in devices such as the Apple MacBook Air and Asus Zenbook UX21E. However, the thickness and weight of the Prime is all the more impressive when you consider that the screen and keyboard dock house individual batteries.
When slotting the tablet into the dock, it locks into place with a satisfying click and feels very secure, especially when compared to other hybrid devices such as the Acer Iconia Tab W500. The hinge has a reasonable amount of flexibility, although it doesn't quite tilt back as much as we would have liked.
Superb IPS+ display
The 10.1in Super IPS+ display comes with a 1280x800 resolution. This is the same resolution that is found in competing tablets such as the Motorola Xoom 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
We found the text and images to be reproduced superbly on the Transformer Prime. Colours pop out of the screen and video playback is one of the outstanding features. Brightness is excellent when turned up to full, and there is an 'Outdoor' mode that cranks this up even further to minimise the impact of sunlight.
Having handled all the high-profile tablets that are available, we found the Prime has the best tablet display on the market at the moment, including the iPad 2.