Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (TF201) vs iPad 2 | Speed, Performance and Features | Full Specs Compared
Mobile devices are becoming more and more computer like and are on the brink of replacing PCs in any major application altogether. The tablet PCs were invented as to bridge the gap between a PC and a mobile phone, which facilitated larger screen sizes, faster processors and more ease of use than the mobile devices. This lightweight tablet has marked itself as a prominent handheld device next to a mobile phone.
This trend grew exponentially with the introduction of much hyped Apple iPad, which was really an indigenous piece of art. Almost after a year of the debutant introduction of ipad, Apple has come up with a big brother for her, Apple ipad 2. Apple announced iPad 2 in March 2011 and released it on the same month. It was a much awaited arrival, but in certain ways, a heartbreaker too since it was nearly identical to iPad. But the fact is, it did not matter how identical they were, iPad 2 excelled and won the hearts of consumers in a wink. After about 6 months of silent observation, Asus has also come up with their own brand of Tablet PC, which was announced in October and expected to be released in December. It clearly shows that Asus has made good use of the observation time it took to come up with a state of the art Tablet PC called Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201, which is the successor of Prime TF101. Before we get wild with individual details, I’m going to start with the conclusion, and prove to you that it is indeed the case. In terms of technology performance and benchmarks, nothing beats Asus Eee Pad, not even close. It’s a pure beast tamed inside 10 inch vertices. But the fact stands that, in terms of usability and elegance, nothing comes close to Apple iPad 2. That is the truth behind the huge success it’s scoring wherever it goes.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
As I’ve stated before, Eee Pad is a Prime in its class. To be precise, the Optimus Prime of their race. Asus has embedded Prime with Nvidia’s 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 Processor. Transformer Prime is actually the first device to carry a processor of that magnitude and the very first to feature NvidiaTegra 3. It would be an understatement if I were to say that this isn’t the best processor found in a Tablet or a handheld device as of yet. We can safely assume that Eee Pad gives a sneak peak of the next generation of Android Tablets. The processor itself is optimized with Nvidia’s Variable Symmetric Multiprocessing technology, or in simple terms, the ability to switch between higher and lower cores depending on the task at hand. The beauty of it is that you won’t even notice that a switch happened from a higher core to a lower one once you close a game and switch into reading.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer also comes with breathtaking graphics, specially their featured water ripple effect. Nvidia states that the game developers have unified the additional pixel processing capabilities of the GPU with the calculation power of multiple cores to work out the physics underneath. The 1GB RAM plays a considerable role in the ultimate optimization and transformation.
Asus has granted their brainchild a 10.1 inches Super IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen, featuring a 1280 x 800 resolution with a pixel density of 149ppi. This has a higher resolution and a pixel density to that of Apple iPad 2. The Super IPS LCD screen enables you to use your tablet in the bright daylight without any problem. It has scratch resistant display with the strength of Gorilla Glass display, accelerometer sensor and Gyro sensor. Been a tablet, it is intended to be bulkier than a mobile phone. But surprisingly, it scores a thickness of 8.3mm, which is incredible. It only weighs 586g which is even lighter than iPad 2. Asus hasn’t forgotten the camera, as well. This directly offends Apple iPad 2. The 8MP camera was the best camera we have seen so far in any tablet PC. It comes with 1080p HD video capturing, autofocus, LED flash, and Geo-tagging with Assisted GPS. They have also provided a front camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.0 for the ardent delight of the video chatters. Since Asus provides internal storage of either 32 or 64 GB and the ability to expand up to 32GB using a microSD card, the space to store all high quality snaps you take won’t be an issue, as well.
So far, we’ve been talking about the hardware aspects of the Tablet, and what bids them altogether is the tablet optimized Android v3.2 Honeycomb. Transformer Prime also comes with the promise of an update to v4.0 IceCreamSandwich, which is all the more reason to rejoice. That been said, we got to say that Honeycomb flavor of Prime just doesn’t do his fair deal for the Prime. It has an imminent gap where the OS is only optimized for dual core processors, quad core applications are yet to be defined. Let us hopefully wait for the v4.0 IceCreamSandwich upgrade for better optimized solutions for multi core processors. Besides that fact, everything looks good in Asus Eee Pad. It comes in a pleasing look with an Aluminum back plane of either Amethyst Gray or Champagne Gold. Another differentiating feature of the Eee Pad is the ability to be docked to a full QWERTY Chiclet keyboard dock, which enhances the battery life up to 18 hours, which is beyond awesome. With this addition, Transformer Prime simply becomes a notebook whenever it’s needed, and that is just awesome. Not only that, but this dock would have a touch pad, and a USB port which is an added advantage. Even without the add-on battery of the dock, the standard battery itself is said to do 12 hours straight up. While Eee Pad defines it’s connectivity through Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with the ability to act as a wi-fi hotspot, it does lack the element of HSDPA connectivity at the places where wi-fi isn’t a possibility. While 1080p HD video playback would be a usual suspect, Asus has added an element of surprise with the inclusion of SonicMaster supreme sound technology. Asus has also introduced three performance modes and can be considered as the first Tablet PC adapted to such a strategy. It also features some demo versions of games that hold our breath, and hopefully there will be more and more games optimized for multi core processors and cutting edge GPUs.
Apple iPad 2
Having read the introductory conclusion, you may well come to doubt the conclusion. But the fact is that, Apple iPad 2 has such unmatchable user experience that nobody else in the market is capable of providing, at least for now. The much reputed device comes in many forms, and we are going to consider the version with Wi-Fi and 3G. It has such elegance with its height of 241.2mm and width of 185.5mm and the depth of 8.8mm. It feels so good in your hands with an ideal weight of 613g. The 9.7inches LED backlit IPS TFT Capacitive touchscreen features a resolution of 1024 x 768 with a pixel density of 132ppi. As the Asus Eee Pad, this means that you can even use the iPad 2 in bright day light without much of a problem. The fingerprint and scratch resistant oleophobic surface gives an additional advantage to iPad 2, and the accelerometer sensor and Gyro sensor come in built, as well.
The particular flavor of the iPad 2 we have chosen to compare has the HSDPA connectivity as well as the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. This is a differentiating factor in iPad 2. While Wi-Fi connectivity can be located in most of the places, nobody can guarantee the Wi-Fi connectivity wherever they go. That is where the HSDPA connectivity comes into play. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, a primary inspiration of a Tablet PC is the ability to surf internet. If we are not to have that primary attribute at all times, then there is a flow in the concept itself. Apple has been conscious to bridge that gap and address another niche market by releasing another set of iPad 2 where the only connectivity is through wi-fi.
The iPad 2 comes with a 1GHz dual core ARM Cortex A-9 processor withPowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU on top of Apple A5 chipset. This is backed up by a 512MB RAM and three storage options of 16, 32 and 64GB. You may think that compared to the hardware of Eee Pad, iPad 2 don’t even come close. Technically, I’ll affirm that statement without any second thoughts, but in an usability perspective, that just isn’t the case. As far as we are concerned, the gap lies in what controls the resources. Apple has their generic iOS 4 responsible for the controls of iPad 2, and it also comes with an upgrade to iOS 5. The advantage of the OS is that it’s correctly optimized to the device itself. It isn’t offered for any other device; thus, the OS does not need to be generic like android. iOS 5 is thus centric on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, which means it understands the hardware perfectly well and optimally manages every bit of it to give an awesome user experience without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Apple has introduced a dual camera set up for iPad 2, and while this is a good addition, there is a large room for improvement. The camera is only 0.7MP and has a poor image quality. It can capture 720p videos @ 30 frames per second, which is good. In a manner of compensation, Apple has been gracious enough to introduce some cool applications using the camera like Face Time and Photo Booth. It also comes with a secondary camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.0 that would please the video callers. This gorgeous gadget comes in either black or white and has a sleek design that just pleases your eyes. The device features Assisted GPS, a TV out and famous iCloud services. It practically syncs over any Apple device and has the element of flexibility included in it like no other tablet has ever done.
Apple has bundled the iPad 2 with a battery of 6930mAh, which is quite bulky, and it features an effective time of 10 hours, which is good in terms of a Tablet PC. It also features a lot of niche iPad based applications and games taking advantage of the unique nature of its hardware.
A Brief Comparison of Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 vs Apple iPad 2
• Transformer Prime features a Quad core 1.3GHz processor on top of NvidiaTegra 3 chipset, while iPad 2 features a 1GHz dual core ARM cortex A9 processor on top of Apple A5 chipset.
• Transformer Prime has a 1GB RAM while iPad 2 comes with a 512MB RAM.
• Transformer Prime has a 10.1 inches Super IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 12800 x 800 pixels at 149ppi pixel density, while iPad 2 has a 9.7-inches LED backlit IPS TFT Capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1024 x 768 and 132ppi.
• Transformer Prime is slightly thinner and lighter than iPad 2.
• Transformer Prime uses Wi-Fi as its only connectivity while iPad 2 is capable of using Wi-Fi, as well as, HSDPA connectivity.
• Transformer Prime comes with 16 and 32GB internal storage with 32GB expandable memory using a microSD card, while iPad 2 comes in 16, 32 and 64GB editions with no memory expansion slot.
• Transformer Prime comes with an advanced 8MP camera while iPad 2 only features a 0.7MP camera.
• Transformer Prime promises a battery life of 12 hours while iPad 2 promises an effective time of 10 hours.
As you’ve been reading, there might have been various things going through your mind. But I hope you’re satisfied with the pre-conclusion we laid down in the introduction. Let us wrap the second half of the conclusion around it. It is a fact that iPad 2 comes with an optimized iOS5 that ideally is for the hardware of iPad 2. This means the optimization is specific, rather than been a generic one. It also entertains a stand as a niche market hosting thousands of applications and games which are just optimized to be used in iPad 2. Adding to that, Apple also provides iCloud services and various other services around the clock to win customers. Apart from all that, iPad 2 has an overcoat of prestige and elegance and fame. The much reputed brand gives hype whenever it’s spotted. This is the challenges the Asus Eee Pad has to fight with. Of course, it has won in terms of performance fair and square. Yet, as we have noted in the paragraphs below, Android doesn’t come optimized just for Eee Pad. Added to that, it doesn’t come optimized to be used with the quad cores offered by Eee Pad as of now. This would mean one thing, a gap between what’s actually inside and how much of what’s inside is been used. When the day comes such that what’s inside is optimally used, iPad will have a very strong opponent he can’t beat in this iteration of iPad 2.