ASUS Transformer Prime Review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 01/26/2012 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
As you can understand it, as Tegra 2 already could playback 1080P content (well... fairly well), Tegra version 3 will have no issues with it. The Prime being a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel product it can play back 720P (HD Ready) really well.
Included however is a mini-HDMI connector, you can connect the tablet to your Full HD TV and play back 1080P content on it. The default player supports pretty much all the important file formats and containers like mov-, mkv-, vob- and ts-containers with the included and preinstalled player. If you seek a good player covering all formats then have a peek at DicePlayer by the way, it is fully HW accelerated.
Default formats supported are: H.264 1080p30/60i (HP @ 40Mbps), VC1-AP 1080p30, MPEG2 1080p30/60i, MPEG4 1080p/30, DivX 4/5/6 1080p30, XviD HT 1080p30, H.263 4CIF/30, Theora, VP8 720p30. So, content with bitrates up-to 40MBps are supported, and that's Blu-Ray level.
Audio wise you'll see that all common formats are supported including mp3, wma, acc, ogg, flac and even dts-audio.
We tested with a couple of MP3s and a 720P MKV file, and both function perfectly with the player. This we'll also show you in the video on page one.
To get data to the device simply use the mini USB cable, enable USB support on the tablet, and then in Windows you'll spot a 'MID' device added. Open it, make a video and a music folder directly, dump the files in there and the player on the tablet will find and add them.
Testing battery lifetime is always a tad subjective, and well... nearly nauseating to do time wise. It didn't disappoint but wasn't super either.
First off, there are three power states you can choose from on the prime.
Normal mode will deliver maximum performance and good battery life. This mode is recommended for tasks such as system benchmarking, advanced gaming, and CPU-intensive media processing apps.
Balanced mode delivers optimal performance and battery life. Balanced mode is recommended for common use cases such as Flash enabled web browsing, gaming, multi-tasking etc.
Power Savings Mode
Power savings mode delivers the best battery life without compromising performance for use in cases such as Web browsing, HD video playback, casual gaming, music playback, book reading etc.
However, there are two test modes as there are two batteries:
That severely complicates how one should test. We'll test in normal Balanced mode both docked and undocked. With freshly charged batteries we could get nearly 9~10 hours of continued usage out of the product in power saving mode on the dock. This test was based on usage of applications, a little browsing etc.
Undocked we lose nearly half the battery lifetime, this resulted in roughly five hours of lifetime.
Once you start to play back HD movies typically you need to worry about the battery, however the GPU seems energy efficient enough to deal with it carefully. We got 12 hours of content playback and 6 hours undocked.
Charging the device takes up a much longer time, several hours for a full charge.
Shortly after the USA release of the Prime, some news surfaced about the GPS receiver. Users reported problems with the GFS location fix. That had us a little worried, the rumor is that the aluminum housing of the device is limiting the GPS receiver in terms of its reception. But much like the reported WIFI issues we did not see a significant problem.
Outdoors we reach 16 GPS satellites on which it locks in on 12 of them, and granted, signal reception quality might have been be a tad better. Overall it takes 20~30 seconds from a cold boot outside to get a fix. Once a fix is established and you use the GPS again, the new fix takes merely seconds. Indoors we could not get a proper fix whatsoever, even close to a window.
We're not disappointed by the GPS module, albeit it definitely could be better.
Ever since the first Android tablets arrived a year or two ago things have been developing fast. ODMs and chip designers jumped onto the bandwagon fast as PC sales are declining, and much like the initial netbook market, the tablet market is on the rise. We test the The quad-core Tegra 3 based Eee Pad Transformer Prime, an unbelievable product. Fast, thin and huge in specs, but sure... very expensive.