Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet in stores in December
Asus is looking to take the tablet market, and its tablet sales, up a notch, and it's betting on a combination of Google's Android operating system and laptop-like features to get itself there.
The Transformer Prime will feature a 10.1-inch touchscreen with resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 1-gigabyte of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as both an HDMI port for hooking the tablet to HD TVs and a microSD card slot for expanding storage.
Asus is taking the swirl-brushed-metal look from its Asus Zenbook line and applying it to the new Transformer Prime's back. The new device will hit stores in early December and start at $499 with 32-gigabytes of built-in storage and $599 for a 64-gigabyte version.
A $149 keyboard and trackpad dock will be sold, which positions the tablet horizontally, making the setup look very much like a laptop and extends the device's battery life from 12 hours to about 18 hours. The tablet or laptop feature has been a trademark of Asus' Eee Pad Transformer lineup since it launched in March.
The Transformer Prime will ship with Android Honeycomb, Google's first operating system built specifically for tablets, installed, but an upgrade to the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS will arrive sometime after launch.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Images: The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and its keyboard dock. Credit: Asus