Sony Tablet S vs Asus Eee Transformer Prime

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Asus‘ Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a tablet that is enjoying a lot of publicity in the run up to its expected December release. But this isn’t all that surprising when you consider its pakcing a next-generation chipset and bleeding-edge hardware.

It’s important to look past the ‘power is everything’ mantra though, as Apple’s iPad 2 has decisively proven, and with that in mind we’ve selected a stellar Android tablet – the Sony Tablet S – to hold up against Asus’ new creation to get a view of exactly how much it offers.

Display

The Asus Eee Transformer Prime ships with a 10.1-inch Super IPS+ LCD display with a resolution of 1280×800 and a pixel density of 149PPI, which is well above average in the current market.

Sony’s Tablet S is similarly well equipped too, with a 9.4-inch TFT operating at 800×1280 and boasting a pixel density of 161PPI.

While similarities are undoubtedly evident, the Asus’ Eee Transformer Prime’s more modern screen tech easily takes the tape ahead of Sony’s good, but unspectacular display.

Winner – Asus Eee Transformer Prime

Software

Both tablets run on Google’s very capable Android operating system, specifically version 3.2 (Honeycomb) which has been optimised to provide a solid experience on tablets.

The platform features re-designed core applications, new holographic-style UI which includes a new persistent ‘action bar’ for user alerts and a spiffy new keyboard to make typing from your tablet easier than ever.

Beneath the aesthetic refinements Honeycomb offers the same excellent basic functionality that every other iteration of the OS provided. It’s customisable, very easy to use and has a huge app catalogue for users to select from in the form of Android Market.

One area to watch out for is the lack of tablet-specific applications on Android. Sure, it’s something that Google is working with developers to improve, but right now Honeycomb is meagrely catered for in terms of unique apps.

Winner – Draw

Camera

Sony’s Tablet S features a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, image stabilisation, geo-tagging, face & smile detection and 720P video capture, which performs well and is capable of producing some top-quality images in good conditions.

The device also features a secondary 0.3-megapixel camera for video calling.

Asus’ Eee Transformer Prime ups the ante with an excellent 8-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging and 1080P video capture, as well as a secondary 1.2-megapixel snapper for video calling.

Images and videos produced by the Asus were way above our expectation and, in our opinion, the best quality that we’ve seen on any Android tablet to date.

Winner – Asus Eee Transformer Prime

Power

The Asus Eee Transformer Prime boasts a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU and ULP GeForce GPU, giving it a huge advantage over any other tablet on the market, and many laptops too.

As you would expect apps run at full-tilt on the device, and games are handled perfectly thanks to the cutting edge graphics technology.

In addition to its mammoth chipset the Transformer Prime boasts 1GB RAM, 32 or 64GB on-board storage and support for micro SD cards up to 32GB in size, making it easily the most powerful tablet on the planet right now.

The Sony Tablet S features a dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with ULP GeForce GPU and performs excellently as a result. The device also offers up 1GB RAM and either 16 or 32GB of storage for your consideration too.

On any normal day the Tablet S’ drive-train would be perfectly impressive, but the Asus Eee Transformer Prime is a bit of a bully in the power department, making Sony’s device look a little bit laboured.

Winner – Asus Eee Transformer Prime

Form & Build

Asus Eee Transformer Prime – ?, 8mm thickness, 586g
Sony Tablet S – 241.2 x 174.3 x 10.1-20.6 mm, 625g

Sony know a thing or two about design and its acumen is easy to discern when looking at the Tablet S.

The device is beautifully crafted and features a very unique fold-around form factor which balances it and adds to its ergonomic qualities superbly.

At 625g it’s no lightweight, but rather than feeling encumbered holding the device we felt that the little bit of extra ballast added to its comfort.

Great work, Sony!

The Asus Eee Transformer Prime is a nicely designed device and with its thick bevel and minimalist good looks reminded us of a certain other fruity tablet that shall remain nameless.

The Transformer Prime is a decent weight, and luxuriously thin at just 8mm too. We really couldn’t fault it aside from feeling that the Sony just felt more premium. Far from scientific, we know, but the feeling was something palpable and, heck, palpable matters!

Winner – Sony Tablet S

Well, perhaps unsurprisingly the newer, higher powered tablet has won the day.

The Asus Eee Transformer Prime is, quite honestly, a beast of a tablet. It’s fast, sleek and offers excellent performance on the whole, including peerless photographic performance.

It’s only let-down really is the lack of tablet-centric applications, but that can’t be attributed to the hardware. Once things improve in that department the Asus Eee Transformer Prime will be a true force to be reckoned with.

In defeat the Sony Tablet S is a fantastic device though. It’s nicely designed, well built and has solid performance across the board but it just couldn’t hold a candle to Asus’ next-gen device, and as such we really can’t recommend you choose one over the former, unless you can pick one up for a song.