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Published 29th July 2012 by

The ASUS Transformer Prime TF201 is the mid-range offering in the Android tablet from ASUS and despite its price it still offers a lot more that the competition.

The Prime's main advantage over iPads and other Android tablets is that it comes with a removable keyboard which doubles up as an extra battery. This not only provides laptop levels of usability on the move and considerably extends the already impressive battery life. The 10.1" screen runs at a resolution of 1280x800 with more than enough backlighting to maintain visibility even in direct sunlight. The NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU which powers the tablet does a very good job and provides impressive results in both 2D and 3D applications. 32GB of storage provides more than enough space to store music, videos documents and applications, but if you do find yourself running short there is a microSD slot for additional space.

The docking station keyboard also extends the tablet by adding a full-size SD card slot, and a USB slot which can accept a mouse, USB CD/DVD drive, memory card readers and USB sticks.

Overall I have been very impressed with the Prime and its versatility has been invaluable in the past few months. In fact, I have been able to do everything I could on my laptop on the Prime with a few carefully selected free apps from the Google Play Store.

The Prime scored 11580 on Antutu benchmark which is pretty impressive for a stock ROM, unrooted, non-overclocked device. I'm sure it will go much higher with an optimised kernel, streamlined ROM and a mild overclock.

I do have a few criticisms about the prime, first is ASUS use of a proprietary USB connector meaning an extra cable on the desk, and I have to buy another one to keep in the case for when I'm out and about. Second, you cannot charge the Prime from USB only from the mains charger which also means you need a second cable - one for charging and one for data transfer. Thirdly, the design of the microSD slot could be much better - I've nearly lost my SD card a few times as the card sticks out somewhat and is easily ejected. It obviously isn't designed to be used as permanent storage. I think this would have been better if it had a recessed slot and protective cap like most smartphones have.

Proprietary USB connector of the Prime (top) and iPad (bottom)

Proprietary USB connector of the Prime (top) and iPad (bottom)

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