Asus has announced that its forthcoming Transformer Prime tablet is available for pre-order from a number of online retailers, priced at £499 with a keyboard dock.
Various retailers, including Amazon, PC World, Currys, Carphone Warehouse, e-Buyer and even Asda, will offer the device. However, there is no set date for shipment and Asus told V3 that buyers can expect to start receiving the tablet during the first half of January.
The Prime is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and will be the first tablet to ship with Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor. The quad-core chip will boost graphics performance by three times compared to the current Tegra 2 chip and power consumption will be reduced by 61 per cent, according to the chip maker.
Key features of the tablet include a 10.1in LED backlit screen with Super IPS+ technology and a resolution of 1,280x800. The tablet will pack 32GB of internal memory and a keyboard dock will be included, allowing it to be converted into an Android netbook.
This Transformer Prime has a touted battery life of up to 12 hours for HD video playback and 18 hours when docked with the keyboard. It measures 263x180.8x8.3mm and weighs 586g.
Other features include a micro SD card slot, USB 2.0 port and micro HDMI port. Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+ EDRA. The unit has a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera and rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, and is capable of recording in full 1080p HD.
Despite shipping the device with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, Asus is confident that the Prime will be the first tablet to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via an over-the-air upgrade. Barring any delays, this is likely to be the case, as there have not been any other announcements about Ice Cream Sandwich tablets.
Asus also said that it has started a promotion on the current Eee Pad Transformer from today until 30 December. The firm is offering a standalone 16GB device for £299, and a 16GB version bundled with keyboard dock for £399.
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