Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (TF201) vs Sony Tablet S | Speed, Performance and Features Review | Full Specs Compared
In the digital revelation, competition is what makes companies thrive to achieve the best. Some try to differentiate by improving performance; some try it with software level optimization, and some with the look and feel. What do we have here today? Well, we have a company trying to differentiate their product in terms of performance and a company trying to differentiate their product in terms of look and feel. Asus has chosen the hard, yet intuitive path of boosting their performance, to grab their share of the deal, while Sony has redesigned the look and feel of their Tablet S, to grab their share. While both of these are strategically viable alternatives, let us look at them in the perspective of usability and compare what we can expect to get.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
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 Nvidia Tegra 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 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. 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 has not forgotten the camera, as well. 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 v2.1 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 that is beyond awesome. With this addition, Transformer Prime simply becomes a notebook whenever it is 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.
Sony Tablet S
The most noticeable difference in the Sony Tablet S compared to all the other tablets out there is that it’s look and feel. While almost all the Tablets come in a flat design, Tablet S has a wedge shaped design. It’s more like a folded magazine that is thick at one end and becomes slender at the other end. This is the differentiator Sony has come up with, and it is better and worse depending on the situation. It feels right home in your hand and comfortably fits if you’re holding the tab with one hand. It is equally great if you’re working on a desk because the Tablet would give you the feel of a miniature keyboard with a pleasing typing surface. That is what’s good about the wedge shaped Tablet S. What’s bad? Well, we found it extremely hard to manage if we are to hold the tablet with both hands and type using the thumb. While it facilitates a firm grip, the typing just doesn’t give a good user experience. The fact that when it’s on portrait orientation, Tablet S is always inclined in one way or other is not a pleasing sign either. While the Asymmetrical design gives rise to these issues, we can guarantee that, it actually feels different, when it’s in your hand and when somebody sees you with it.
Talking about the dimensions, Tablet S is almost the same size as Galaxy Tab 10.1 but has a varying thickness of 10.1 – 20.6mm, which is very much bulky. The weight is of course acceptable, and it comes with a 9.4 inches TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. It has a higher pixel density than Eee Pad, but the screen doesn’t come with the Gorilla Glass display, which makes it prone to scratches. Sony has included a dual core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor on top of NvidiaTegra 2 chipset with ULP GeForce GPU. It also has a 1GB of RAM and comes in 16 / 32 GB storages, which can be expanded using a SD card. The problem with the SD card is that, if you’re to stream a movie from it, you first have to copy it to internal storage before playing, which is a headache and a disappointment. Hopefully this may be fixed with the OS upgrade they promise from Android v3.2 Honeycomb to v4.0 IceCreamSandwich.
Sony has included a 5MP camera with auto focus and image stabilization as well as GPS-tagging with A-GPS. It can record 720p videos at 30 frames per second. The front facing camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.1 is a good value addition too. Sony comes with the GSM connectivity as well as HSDPA connectivity together with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. It also has DLNA that facilitates wireless streaming to big screens seamlessly. It promises a battery life of 8.5 hours which is pretty decent, as well.
A Brief Comparison of Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime vs Sony Tablet S
• While Asus Eee Pad comes with a 1.3GHz Quad-core processor on top of NvidiaTegra 3 chipset, Tablet S features 1GHz dual-core processor on top of NvidiaTegra 2 chipset.
• Asus Eee Pad comes with a larger 10.1 inches screen with the same resolution to that of the smaller screen in Tablet S (9.4inches / 1280 x 800 pixels).
• Asus Eee Pad comes with an 8MP camera with 1080p HD capturing while Tablet S comes with a 5MP camera with 720p HD capturing.
• Asus Eee Pad has a flat build while Sony Tablet S comes with a wedge shaped build.
Sometimes, wrapping up the review for a conclusion is not convenient. That is the case here too since the two tablets we compared has their own pros and cons. What stands in the way of the investment is the user experience and what you prefer to have. While we can assure that Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the best tablet available in the market in terms of raw performance and specifications, Sony Tablet S has added a new dimension of usability with its new design.