On November 9th, Asus will release its latest dockable tablet, the Asus Transformer Prime onto the market with Tegra3 processor and a host of other goodies[see here for detailed specs]. Transformer Prime will be running Android Honeycomb, not the latest Andoid 4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Also given the pricing of the Amazon Kindle Fire at $199, the Asus Prime will have a pricing hurdle to clear. But ye Editor believes that the combination of form factors – a tablet that can be made easily into a laptop is a winning design in the consumer market going forward. And Transformer Prime’s generous screen size of 1280 x 800; the WiFi, HDMI, microSD, and USB ports; yet all the tablet sensors and multi-touch ease of operation – all add up to a very versatile and winning new mobile design, a Tabtop that can be transformed from easily carried and used tablet into a more powerful and productive laptop for school and office use.
Perhaps the most important of all the Transformer Prime features is the powerful quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU. This CPU offers 2-4 times the performance of the already formidable Tegra 2 processor while consuming 30% less power using clever clone core technology. This chip will deliver much faster browser load and operating times, improved audio and video rendering at highest resolutions, broader and better gaming experiences, and in general, better multitasking performance. And all for less power and better battery life than existing dual core chips. This is a better than Moore’s law improvement performance – better than doubling in much less than 1 year.
So it is Back to the Future last seen in the late 1980′s and 1990′s when the inexorable Moore’s Law improvements in CPUs and memory made rapid changes and the possibility of Microsoft Windows ,then hopelessly behind Apple Macs, grow into not just a viable but PC conquering operating system. Windows was big and rapidly getting bloated plus full of hacking holes but at first the latter did not matter and the former allowed Redmond to add features faster than anybody else and get developers on board. The same may be happening with Android with less security trauma. But the real Android payoff will be all sorts of apps waiting to roost on all the multi-touch, GPS, and sensor smarts built into the Tabtop that is Transformer Prime.
True,Windows 8 has the same multitasking and PC software roots as Android’s Linux; but it is an open question whether Microsoft can deliver before this time next year and with an unknown degree of reliability[Microsoft presence and announcement at CES in early January will be a must-see event]. But Apple appears not to have iOS in shape nor the CPU chip to take advantage of the enormous computing power available through quad-core CPUs.
Ye Editor has been arguing that Dockable Tablets is the winning form factor. And the British appear to agree giving Transformer Prime’s predecessor the EEE Pad Tranformer Gadget Design of the Year honors. This means that Smartphones morphing into Padphones and Tablets morphing into Tabtops will transform both the mobile and PC markets with new market-winning form factors/designs sooner rather than later. It is also ye Editor’s guess that Steve Jobs just did not have dockable tablets on his agenda[no idea whether current CEO Tim Cook has anticipated this disruptive movement]. So the upcoming market acceptance of the Asus Transformer Prime [and its PadFone cousin in early 2012] will test ye Editors notions of the importance of dockable tablets. See ya around Christmas time and then CES in the new year where I will be either enjoying an egg nog or wiping egg off my face.