ASUS Transformer Prime vs. iPad 2
Before it hit the stores, ASUS’ Transformer Prime was being praised by individuals who were lucky enough to give it a try. This is not including those people who were limited to reading its specifications. What makes the Transformer Prime special, and why are tech enthusiasts giving it the edge over the perennial iPad 2? Here’s our take on the ASUS Transformer Prime vs. iPad 2 after the jump.
The Transformer Prime is currently the most advanced tablet in the market when it comes to specifications. No tablet ever had a quad-core processor before the Prime which runs NVIDIA’s Tegra 3. Having a quad-core processor on a tablet is like running a laptop with i5 or i7 inside – better multitasking and web browsing. Multiple programs running on the background is an everyday routine for Android systems which often results in lags and sluggishness. A quad-core processor definitely helps in this regard. Here are some benchmark results from Slashgear (higher is better):
iPad 2 users know that their tablet’s A5 brain is no slouch even if it is not quad-core like Tegra 3. The clock speed (1 GHz for iPad 2 compared to 1.3 GHz for Prime) difference is also not that significant. However, when it comes to heavier apps a tablet with a higher RAM always win. In this case, the Transformer Prime, which has a RAM that is twice that of the iPad 2 (1 GB to 512 MB) is better when it comes to running high-end applications. The Tegra 3 also has the ability to throttle its CPU speed depending upon the use, which is great for saving battery life.
The iPad 2 is older and successful, making it a basis for comparing with other tablets released after it. ASUS clearly wanted to outdo Apple in all areas of their tablet, including the display. Both the Transformer Prime and iPad 2 use an IPS display and the former utilizes a simpler LCD panel while the latter uses a LED-backlit TFT screen. But the higher resolution of the Prime (1200 x 800 versus iPad’s 1024 x 768) and its larger screen (10.1 vs. 9.7) make viewing graphical information better on ASUS’ tablet.
There are actually four operating systems involved between the Transformer Prime and the iPad 2. The original OS for the iPad 2 was iOS 4 with an option to upgrade to iOS 5. Similarly, the Prime came with Honeycomb when it was first released and users can upgrade it OTA with Ice Cream Sandwich. As to which OS is better, you can check out our iOS 5 vs. Ice Cream Sandwich post.
At 7.61 mm and 586 g, the Transformer Prime is among the thinnest and the lightest tablets ever released. The iPad 2 is already very thin and very light at 9.64 mm and 607 g but somehow ASUS found a way to outmatch it. The design is almost similar except for the extra ports that the Prime has.
One of the iPad 2’s glaring weaknesses is its camera. The 0.7 MP rear and VGA front cameras are really not fit for a multimedia device. The Prime eats the iPad in this category with its 8 MP rear and 1.2 MP front cameras. The rear camera can also record a 1080p HD video with no problems.
The Prime found a way to increase its battery life with the addition of the optional dock station. With the dock connected, the Transformer Prime could last up to 18 hours of continuous use. Even if the dock is not present the 12 hour battery life is still impressive. The iPad 2, in contrast, lasts for 11 hours.
Most features like sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, compass) and GPS are present in both devices. The difference lies on the ports present on the tablets. The Prime contains a micro-HDMI and a microSD slot, which are both absent on the iPad 2. This means you can connect the Transformer Prime to any HDTV with HDMI port as well as expand its memory by using a microSD card. Adding the dock opens more features as you can utilize the full-sized SD slot and the USB 2.0 port.
|ASUS Transformer Prime TF201-B1-CG 10.1-Inch 32GB Tablet (Champagne)|
$419.99used from: $579.99
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Verdict – Transformer Prime vs. iPad 2
The Transformer Prime beats the iPad 2 when it comes to hardware features. It has a better processor and display as well as a better battery life and more ports to work with. Despite the impressive specs of the Prime, it is cheaper than the iPad 2. Maybe the only downside of the Transformer Prime is the number of apps that are made for the ICS system. Actually, any Android tablet is defeated when it is clashed with the apps on the Apple App store. But besides that, the Prime is the best choice if you want to buy an Android tablet. Not only will you own a high-end tablet but also a high-end laptop computer as well.
Check out how the Transformer Prime compares with other tablets on our top ten tablets post.