Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime vs Apple iPad 2

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It’s fair to say Apple’s iPad 2 has enjoyed relatively unimpeded dominance in the tablet market. The device is powerful, user friendly and just oozes with Apple appeal, making it a sure-fire hit. But now we’re starting to see tablets from Apple’s competitors roll-out with some striking design features of their own.

Foremost among these contenders to the iPad 2’s crown is Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime, a device that may have a silly name but is rather more smart when you dig below the surface. Will it offer enough to topple Apple’s tablet from its lofty perch, though?

Display

The screen is the heart and soul of any decent tablet and both of our contenders are able to give plenty in the display department.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime offers up a 10.1-inch Super IPS+ LCD that operates at a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and has a pixel density of 149PPI, which is pretty impressive.

The screen is striking, with sharp detail, vivid colours and pleasing viewing angles and it’s big enough to enjoy movies and other media, without having to screw your eyes up and resort to painkillers after 15 minutes.

The iPad 2’s display is equally as impressive. It’s 9.7-inch LED-backlit IPS TFT operates at a resolution of 768×1024 pixels and has a pixel density of 132PPI which is good, but on this occasion not good enough.

The iPad 2’s screen performs exceptionally, though, and is responsive to the lightest of touches making it a pleasure to surf the Web.

Winner – Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Power

Beneath the stunning screen technology lurks the engine room, and what is secreted therein usually makes or breaks a tablet in today’s market.

Apple’s iPad 2 is imbued with a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU clocked to 1GHz and also offers a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU to take care of the eye-candy and gaming.

Disappointingly, though, the iPad 2 only has 512MB RAM, leaving it well behind the leading tablets from other manufacturers.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a heavy hitter. Far too heavy for the iPad 2. The device is driven by a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A9 CPU and offers up a ULP GeForce GPU, which will have any game you throw at it running full-tilt.

On top of the monster processor the device also boasts 1GB RAM and 32 or 64GB of on-board storage, compared with the iPad 2’s 16/32/64GB options.

It will come as no surprise to you that the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime wipes the floor with the iPad 2 in the power stakes and we’re quite sure it would out perform many laptops and desktops too.

Winner – Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Software

The iPad 2 runs on Apple’s iOS platform, the latest iteration of which, version 5.0, is simply fantastic.

It’s so easy to use a toddler could get things done in short order and has enough visual appeal to excite the most discriminating design student.

In addition to its simplicity and power, the device also has at its disposal Apple’s App Store, which is brimming with apps, many of which have been designed with the tablet in mind.

Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime runs on version 3.2 of Google’s Android OS, which is a specially tweaked version of the OS, designed for tablets only.

It’s attractive, powerful, offers a ton of customisation options and benefits from Google’s Android Market, which is full of apps, many of which are free.

Where it falls flat, though, is tablet-specific apps, or more appropriately the lack thereof. Many of the titles on offer, though, excellent in smaller resolutions, appear misshapen and out of whack on the tablet’s screen and this is a massive let-down for a device that’s otherwise incredible.

Winner – Apple iPad 2


Camera

The iPad 2 has a 0.7-megapixel primary camera (yes, you read that correctly) which is, to be fair to it, quite the let-down.

The device does capture 720p video and offer a secondary VGA camera for video-calling but 0.7-megapixel? Come on, Apple!

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is much more in keeping with current form and offers up an impressive 8-megapixel snapper with LED flash, autofocus and geo-tagging as well as 1080p video capture and a 1.2-megapixel camera for video-calling – much more the ticket!

Winner – Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

Form and Build

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime – 263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm, 586g
Apple iPad 2 – 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm, 607g

Straight off the bat it’s easy to see that both tablets are well built and pretty to look at.

The iPad 2 positively reeks of Apple’s design standards and its minimalist facade and simple good-looks lend a certain style to the tablet that has often been copied but not yet bettered.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is no ugly duckling, though, it’s thin, sleek and looks premium, in fact it looks very much like the iPad 2 which is no bad thing.

Overall, the iPad 2 just has that je ne sais quoi that Apple strives so hard to breed into its devices, and for that reason we love it. We don’t dislike the Transformer Prime mind, but it just isn’t an iPad 2.

Winner – Apple iPad 2

Conclusion

So Apple’s tablet has had its cards. Its time at the top of the tablet tree has come to an end, and Asus’ new Eee Transformer Prime is the new device in residence.

With a superior chipset, brighter, clearer screen and quality camera the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a fantastic piece of hardware, one which is going to be very difficult to top.

Apple’s iPad 2 can hold its head up high, though. It’s still a brilliant device, but technology has moved on and it now needs to concentrate on growing old gracefully – we just get the feeling that Apple’s pricing policy won’t allow that to happen.

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