Late last year ASUS announced the Transformer Prime, the first Android tablet to use NVIDIA’s new quad core Tegra 3 chip. They said it would ship before Christmas, and it did … but in numbers so small that you can’t really say that it sold in any significant volume. What’s holding things up? Some folks are blaming NVIDIA, but we honestly think that ASUS just wants to wait until they can ship their customers the Transformer Prime with Android Ice Cream Sandwich onboard instead of Honeycomb. The few people who were lucky enough to get the Prime before everyone else soon discovered that their WiFi performance was flaky and that they couldn’t get a GPS signal no matter how hard they tried. To make matters worse ASUS announced a new Transformer Prime, the TF700, less than two weeks after said customers received their now outdated 2011 Transformer Prime.
Technology moves fast, we get that, but obsoleting a product less than a month after you start shipping it? Seriously? This new Prime looks a lot like the old Prime, except that is has a higher resolution 1920 x 1200 pixel screen and a redesigned back panel that fixes the WiFi and GPS issues people were having with the original model. We know it’s going to cost around $600 because that sharp screen comes at a premium, but what about the most important piece of information: When is this damn thing actually going to ship? According to the official ASUS UK blog:
“In relation to the recently-announced TF700 model, this product is unlikely to be available in the UK before June at the earliest and no pricing details have been announced.”
Now the UK isn’t the rest of the world, obviously, but it’s usually a country that gets first dibs on pretty much any new piece of consumer electronics gear that comes out, so that should tell you something. By June the iPad 3 will most certainly be out, so will people even care about the Transformer Prime anymore?