Just this morning we were speculating about the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime and its potential release date.
Little did we know that Asus was just moments away from getting all kinds of official with its Tegra 3 tablet, giving us surely the best Android slate so far in the process. Galaxy Tab? Yawn...
In case you missed it, that's because it's a tablet that transforms instantly into a fully fledged laptop by clipping onto a keyboard-packing bottom half, complete with hinge thingy too. To be honest it's amazing something like this has taken so long to appear, considering how long tablets were actually thought of as laptops with the screen flipped over and the keyboard hidden.
Anyhow, back to the Transformer Prime, and if the form factor is interesting, the specification is pure excitement. That's mainly thanks to the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which promises PC-like processing speeds and a practical revolution in the kind of tasks you can perform on a tablet.
On the graphics front you'll get a good view on the Tegra 3's abilities in action thanks to the super-bright 1280 x 800-pixel 10.1in IPS display, plus you have twin 8-megapixel/1.2-megapixel cameras, with the main unit boasting an f/2.4 aperture and 1080p HD video recording.
Oh and did we mention that the Transformer Prime is just 8.3mm thin? That doesn't seem enough to cram in 1GB of RAM, a choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage and enough battery juice for 12 hours of tablet action, or an impressive 18 if you're hooked up to the keyboard dock. Needless to say those figures will need verifying, but if it gets anywhere close we'll still be mighty impressed.
In the end it speaks volumes for just how much an impact Asus' new toy has made on us that we're leaving it till now to mention the fact that it won't have the much-vaunted Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board at launch. Instead it will be Android 3.2 Honeycomb, with ICS arriving via over-the-air update at a later stage.
With everything else you do get, it hardly seems fair to complain about this one omission, especially given that it's a temporary one.
So what about availability then? Well, like we said this morning we're looking at December but that's for the US. Here in the UK we've been told to expect it in “early January 2012”. We can live with that, provided it shows up on time.
Price-wise it'll set you back £499 at launch for the 32GB model complete with keyboard dock, though it seems the larger 64GB variant isn't headed our way at all at this stage. Asus has confirmed that the Transformer Prime will only be available in Wi-Fi form at first, with a 3G version tentatively expected to follow in a few months.