Asus Transformer Prime tablet launches

The world's first quad-core tablet has been announced, going by the name of the Asus Tranformer Prime.

Packing the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, we're talking power to spare in this 10-inch tablet, but it's not the only selling point here. Housed in a device just 8.3mm thick and with a metallic spun finish is top-end audio, using Asus SonicMaster technology, as well as an eight-megapixel rear-facing auto-focus camera with LED flash and the ability to shoot 1080p HD video, a wide 178-degree viewing angle IPS display (protected by Corning Gorilla Glass) and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing.

In terms of storage, you'll get 32GB on-board, with a microSD slot to boost it further. As for connectivity, there's micro HDMI and USB, along with one of the big selling points of the Prime, the mobile dock, which turns your tablet into a traditional laptop-like device, should you want to go old school (or just want to knock out a pile of emails or create a long document – there's an app included to read and edit MS Office files). A battery life of up to 12 hours is promised too, which bumps up to 18 hours when using the dock.

As for the operating system, you're probably expecting the Ice Cream Sandwich variation of Android. Well, you're almost right. The tablet will actually launch with Android 3.2, but ASUS is at pains to point out that the tablet wil be upgraded to Android 4.0 in time. We don't know when, but we suspect sooner rather than later.

It hits the shelves in December worldwide, but we'll not see the Asus Tranformer Prime in the UK until January when it will launch bundled with the mobile keyboard dock for £499 (including VAT).

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