Transformer Prime’s 1920×1200 display is more than meets the eye

Tablets are everywhere at CES this year, to no one’s surprise. Asus is showing off its Transformer Prime, which is receiving an early update to Ice Cream Sandwich. Android 4.0 was supposed to be pushed out to the device on January 12, but the update has already been released, and our sample just finished installing it. We’ve also learned that an ICS update is coming to the original Transformer in the February/March timeframe.

The big news for the Transformer family is a new version of the Prime with a high-density display. Yep, Asus has beaten Apple to the punch, at least publicly. The Transformer Prime TF700 features a 10″ IPS panel with a 1920×1200 display resolution. In addition to being able to show HD movies in all their glory, the high-res screen should make scaled fonts and images look especially clean and crisp. The individual pixels are difficult to see even with the screen inches from one’s face.

Apart from the upgraded display, the TF700 is very similar to the existing model. The ultra-bright SuperIPS+ mode remains, as does the Tegra 3 SoC. Asus has made a couple of changes to the chassis, taking the spin out of the aluminum back panel and inserting a plastic strip that’s supposed to improve Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS reception. The Prime’s front-facing 1.2MP camera has also been replaced with a 2MP unit to enable 1080p video conferencing.

This latest addition to the Transformer family is set to become available midway through the second quarter of 2012. Asus tells us the TF700 will cost $100 more than the existing model, which will continue to be sold after the TF700 arrives. After seeing the screen in person, that premium seems entirely reasonable. 1920×1200 offers well over double the number of pixels in the current Prime’s 1280×800 display. With a 2048×1536 iPad 3 rumored to be in the cards, it will be interesting to see how the TF700 fares against Apple’s next tablet.

Comments closed
    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Transformer Prime?
    Is it an autobot or a decepticon?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, we’ve never heard THAT joke before…

    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    Does it have a beefier GPU? Because it was already struggling in 3D apps at the old resolution… and by struggling, I mean its getting whooped on by a year old GPU in the iPad 2.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    *cries*

    I remember when monitors kept increasing in size on a regular basis right up to the point that CRTs fell with 2048×1536… LCDs took over and we’re still stuck with relatively low resolutions. :l

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      CRT’s dont do too well in a tablet format. It would be marginally more bulky than LCD’s…..

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        I had a [url=http://oldcomputers.net/pics/kayproii.jpg<]KayPro laptop with a CRT[/url<]. It wasn't [i<]that[/i<] bulky...

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        My post wasn’t about size, rather about the direction and advancement of monitors. Resolution was advancing at a regular intervals during the period of CRTs, but stagnated when HD TV came around and LCDs…

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    Long live 16:10 aspect ratio’s, thats all I have to say…

      • ew
      • 8 years ago

      4:3 or get off my lawn!

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        It must be tough living in a post-2005 world.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 8 years ago

        5:4 is feeling left out (1280 x 1024). Like 16:9 Vs. 16:10, it is/was just better all round than 4:3…

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    “a 10″ IPS panel with a 1920×1200 display resolution”

    That would make a real nice digital photo frame, in a market of TN panels and low resoloutions it could be a good money maker.

    • Kollaps
    • 8 years ago

    I’m on the edge of purchasing a Transformer Prime right now. I’m hoping this announcement helps with stock and brings the prices down to the MSRP. I’m still concerned about wireless performance but the increase in resolution is not a big deal for me. 1280×800 on a 10″ screen is fine and the way Android handles scaling doesn’t result in a increase in usable space.

    • gmskking
    • 8 years ago

    I am thinking iPad 3

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    Terribly glossy

    • Duck
    • 8 years ago

    Am I the only one that struggles to read TR without making the text bigger? I have a 1080p 23″ monitor. That resolution in a 10″ would be a nightmare.

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      The point is it would make the text the same size, but smoother.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      Learn to set your font size.

        • Duck
        • 8 years ago

        How? Make everything too big to make TR the right size? Set the minimum font size to something bigger?

        The second option is unworkable because it would screw with my TV guide. First option isn’t very appealing but is that the choice?

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          In FF the font size of sites is remembered per-site. Just Control+Mousewheel to your font preference, and you are set.

          On tablets and smartphones you can usually doubletap and it’ll zoom in to a readable size.

            • Duck
            • 8 years ago

            I finally settled on [url=https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/default-fullzoom-level<]this FF addon[/url<] plus using ctrl +/- to adjust certain sites.

            • ImSpartacus
            • 8 years ago

            Try Readability. Not only did they just make all of their stuff free to non-paying users (like a day ago), but they’ve always had an awesome bookmarklet that formats articles. Make an account and it will remember your preferences and stuff (or just change them every time you use it).

            Here it is:

            [code<] javascript:(function(){readStyle='style-newspaper';readSize='size-large';readMargin='margin-wide';_readability_script=document.createElement('SCRIPT');_readability_script.type='text/javascript';_readability_script.src='http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/js/readability.js?x='+(Math.random());document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(_readability_script);_readability_css=document.createElement('LINK');_readability_css.rel='stylesheet';_readability_css.href='http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/css/readability.css';_readability_css.type='text/css';document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(_readability_css);_readability_print_css=document.createElement('LINK');_readability_print_css.rel='stylesheet';_readability_print_css.href='http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/css/readability-print.css';_readability_print_css.media='print';_readability_print_css.type='text/css';document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(_readability_print_css);})(); [/code<] Just put it on your bookmark bar and you're set.

          • Hattig
          • 8 years ago

          Use ctrl+ on your web browser to zoom in. Fonts scale smoothly. I’m sure that web browsers will soon get Hi Res detection capability and default the zoom to 2x very soon as well.

    • dropshadow
    • 8 years ago

    it looks like they tried to address some of the issues with the TF201…successfully. why couldn’t they add one more speaker while they were at it???

    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    Sooooo….when are decent screens coming to laptops? They can put a screen like this into a $600 tablet but can’t even get a [i<]decent TN[/i<] let alone an IPS or high-res screen into 99% of laptops. *sigh*

      • apertur3
      • 8 years ago

      Seconded. The idea that you need some super awesome expensive screen in a tablet computer, while nice, slows the adoption rate of these things. Laptops, one of the most mature computer form factors available, are saddled with poor viewing angles, sub-par color, and the unfortunate 16:9 aspect ratio. Lest I forget to mention glossy screens. When are these guys going to fire their marketing people and wake the frig up?

        • SPOOFE
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]The idea that you need some super awesome expensive screen in a tablet computer, while nice, slows the adoption rate of these things.[/quote<] Except the two best-selling tablets in the world use these "super awesome expensive" screens, whereas tablets with cheapie screens haven't been doing so well. [quote<]Laptops, one of the most mature computer form factors available, are saddled with poor viewing angles, sub-par color, and the unfortunate 16:9 aspect ratio.[/quote<] You're right, it's mature, as in, standards of consumer acceptance have been well established; and they've been established with crappy screens.

          • Flatland_Spider
          • 8 years ago

          Operating systems haven’t helped anything. They aren’t resolution independent, and they look awful with larger fonts and icons. The higher the resolution the smaller everything got, and easiest way to make it larger, without looking horrible, is to reduce the resolution, or buy a low resolution display to begin with.

          This issue is just starting to be addressed, and high resolution displays should be less of a hindrance in the future.

          HD 16:9 displays are just the OEMs being lazy penny pinchers, and the display manufacturers optimizing their lines for TV displays.

            • SPOOFE
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]HD 16:9 displays are just the OEMs being lazy penny pinchers, and the display manufacturers optimizing their lines for TV displays.[/quote<] Sure, but on the other hand, that's how you make $100 screens.

        • indeego
        • 8 years ago

        We could look at it from the opposite perspective: When are tablets going to get processors and graphics that are even 30% of the power of AMD64’s mid-range? I’m waiting! My Javascript laaaaags on tablets. I can’t 7-zip very fast on tablets. Wah!

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      When laptops have touch screens, which people b*** and moan about every time it’s mentioned. Make up your minds.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 8 years ago

        You do know that touch screens and even a half-decent screen are two different things right?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 8 years ago

      Dang I’m on a roll with the +’s, totally feeding my ego.

      +14 as I write this, will there be self-+-bragging backlash or will the truth overcome that??

    • Forge
    • 8 years ago

    How did you get TR to fill full width on a 1920*1080 panel?? Even in wide mode, the desktop site uses ~50% of my 1920*1200 screen!

    Stupid Android!

      • morphine
      • 8 years ago

      Browser zoom?

      • Chloiber
      • 8 years ago

      Not sure if serious or just trolling…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    While this product does look good its price at 700 is a bit beyond what I’m willing to pay for such a novel product.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Asus has beaten Apple to the punch[/quote<] You Apple-haters just sicken me! [b<]Obviously[/b<], it doesn't really exist until Apple makes into A True Product That Makes You Look Cool At Starbucks, so Asus can't have beaten them when the category doesn't exist yet! [quote<]{from the 'copy Apple' story on the front page:}mobile apps like... Splashtop, which were first hits on iOS and have now been ported to Android and the Tegra 3[/quote<] Case in point: although I used Splashtop for about a year on PalmOS before the iPhone even existed, the app didn't really exist until it was ported to iOS, so Palm wasn't 'first' with it.

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      I see what you did there. Clever.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      In all fairness, it says it was a first a *hit* on iOS. Nothing on PalmOS was ever a “hit” because only 12 people ever bought one.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        “Ah, a touch, I do confess it…” It’s all relative, of course; in it’s day, the Palm Treo had something like 40% market share.

        EDIT: so, yes, the total market was 30 smartphones (assuming that Splashtop got 100% market penetration in the Palm segment). I knew 18 of them 😉

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          Did it really have that much? I though Blackberries owned the market until the iPhone.

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Palm owned the market for ‘the smartphone’ with the Treo 600 (which, combined with the Visor, largely defined that category) back when RIM just made a pager that delivered your e-mails.

            I had to laugh at the TV ads touting ICS’s ability to share information between Android phones, as I remember being at conventions when, to prove how cool you were, you pulled out your Treo and used IR beaming feature to exchange business card info.

            EDIT: Oh, to answer your question: I could only find data back to [url=http://lowendmac.com/inews/08inews/0404.html<]June 2006[/url<], but Palm brought out the Treo line in August of 2003.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            People tend to forget that Nokia actually created the smartphone market. I had one of these back in the day:

            [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_9000_Communicator[/url<] Checking email with a 9.6kbps modem was pure awesome.

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Ah, so it was [i<]you[/i<] that bought the other North American copy sold!

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            I got mine from Nokia when I was working for them in Finland.. so no; it was probably SSK who bought the other one.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Heh, it was a 386. Anyone try to hack one to run DOS?

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            See, the smartphone market was built on x86!

            And with the recent Medfield news, it looks like x86 will retake the market in no time. I’ll wait until the shortbread before I start trolling about it more, though.

            • Namarrgon
            • 8 years ago

            I had a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Ericsson_P800<]Sony Ericsson P800[/url<] back in 2002, with a 156MHz ARM9 running Symbian on a colour touchscreen with stylus. Lasted me until 2006, when I jumped to WinMob.

    • chuckula
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Android 4.0 was supposed to be pushed out to the device on January 12, but the update has already been released, and our sample just finished installing it.[/quote<] Any chance of an update to the review to see if there are substantial battery life / performance improvements with ICS?

      • deathBOB
      • 8 years ago

      This! I haven’t seen much reporting about ICS on a tablet. Please keep us updated.

      • adisor19
      • 8 years ago

      I second the motion. I’m curious whether the latest Android makes a difference as well.

      Adi

      • equivicus
      • 8 years ago

      Third! Please update the review to reflect changes from ICS (good or bad).

    • mutarasector
    • 8 years ago

    I rather like the finish on the backside, including the plastic strip and removing the spin from the metal finish. The spun finish is eyecatching at first, but seems to look rather gaudy in fairly short order. The Asus logo is also more tolerable being in the corner of the plastic strip area. All in all, its a cleaner and slightly less stated design that should preemptively sidestep any litigation notions on Apple’s part.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 8 years ago

      Except Apple used a similar design on the gen one iPhone. I don’t think the Transformer is moving in enough number to warrant a lawsuit from Apple.

      Anyway, this looks much better then the other Transformers, and that wide expanse of metal is begging for a sticker. 🙂

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    One shall stand, one shall fall……..

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      But it’s still only 1920×1200 on a 10.1″, right? Not impressed.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 8 years ago

        Considering 1920 x 1200 would be considered a good standard for most on a 26″ Monitor, I can’t believe your complaining about it being on a screen so small – IMO, it will look pretty decent – very crisp and sharp and better than anything else out there at the moment. The 2048×1536 res rumoured for the iPad 3 is hardly a massive step up over this screens res (0.8 megapixels) compared to say coming from 1280 x 800…

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          your sense of humor, you should grow it.

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Is it possible we’ve actually found a TR reader unaware of Krogoth’s standards? He must be a unicorn. Or a BeOS user.

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 8 years ago

            I had a sense of humor by-pass in 2009…

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            Amatuer; most people on here seem to have had a quadruple humor by-pass…

      • burntham77
      • 8 years ago

      “Why throw away your life so recklessly?”

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        “That’s a question that you should ask yourself, Megatron!”

    • ShadowTiger
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not really interested in tablets but the transformer has always stood out as a good value. Hopefully they wil push other tablets and even notebooks to go to 1920×1080.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      I’d be happy enough to get back to where notebooks were 5 years ago :S . So the only thing they’ve done “better” is crank the brightness up, everything else is either the same (TN) or worse(glossy screens and lower resolutions).

        • adisor19
        • 8 years ago

        You forgot to mention that the price went down compared to 5 years ago. Yes, the quality in general is atrocious these days(thanks Acer !) but the price is also dirt cheap.

        You want quality ? Get an Apple portable. They seem to be the only ones who care about that market segment anymore.

        Adi

          • axeman
          • 8 years ago

          Thinkpads at least have some higher res, non-glossy screens, but then you’re in Mac range for price for a pretty fugly machine.

            • Kollaps
            • 8 years ago

            I’m biased, I own a T420, but Thinkpads are not ugly. I’ve had a lot of compliments on mine. The charm seems to be the modern but old school look. The Thinkpad really stands out compared to the sea of glossy HP, Acer, Toshbia, and Dell laptops and the aluminum Apples.

            • axeman
            • 8 years ago

            Don’t get me started about the glossy mess. I was half-kidding about the Thinkpads, too, they’re at the top of my list. I don’t think they’re terrible “pretty”, though I like the industrial look. I think Lenovo has been slowly screwing it up though.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            I think Thinkpads look way better than iDevices, but I can be weird.

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