Asus has announced the Transformer Prime, a quad-core tablet which comes with a mobile dock. The tablet looks like this:
but it docks with a keyboard to become more like a laptop:
The dock includes a keyboard, USB port, SD card slot, and an additional battery. Asus claim a battery life of 18 hours for the tablet when docked, or 12 hours for the tablet alone.
Specs for the Transformer Prime include 32GB storage, 1GB RAM, micro HDMI port, front and rear facing cameras (the rear camera can take full 1080p HD video), light sensor and gyroscope, GPS, combined audio and mic-in jack, and of course wi-fi and Bluetooth.
The real star of the Transformer Prime though is NVIDIA’s new Tegra 3 SoC (System on a Chip).
Tegra 3 includes a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU and a 12-core GeForce GPU, compared to its predecessor the dual-core Tegra 2 with its 8 core GPU. It also supports double the amount of RAM: 2GB rather than 1GB. Anand Lal Shimpi has a great overview here.
The Transformer Prime is set to arrive in the UK in early January with a recommended price of £499 inc VAT. It will run Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
Perhaps I have spent too much time with the Windows 8 preview over the last month, but I cannot help thinking that this would make an excellent Windows 8 tablet. I like the idea of the keyboard/dock which also forms protection for the tablet screen; with Windows and Office this might be the only device I need when travelling.