Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime spec and price announced for UK

We'll have to wait until January, but with this spec sheet, Asus's new tablet convertible is worth holding out for

After scooping Gadget of the Year with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer at the Stuff Gadget Awards 2011, Asus has gone and made a stunning sequel with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. And the mind-boggling specs are enough to fend off those tired Optimus Prime Transformer gags we've been saving up. Phew, eh?

The Eee Pad Transformer Prime may be a bit of a mouthful, but it'll come with Nvidia's new quad-core Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip (as seen in the recently leaked HTC Edge), with an as-yet unspecced processor that could run at up to 1.4GHz and which is capable of running background duties (such as music playback) with negligible battery drain. Tegra 3 also boasts (and we use the word advisedly) a 12-core GeForce GPU. Coupled with the Transformer Prime's 1GB RAM, that spec sheet is going to make some other tablets look like they've shipped straight from the Fisher-Price factory.

Then there's that stunning metal shell – a mere 8.3mm thin and tipping the scales at 586g. Add an iPad-bothering 12 hours of battery life, not to mention a further six from the keyboard dock, and an f/2.4 8MP camera with 1080p video skills (LED flash). Ice the Eee Pad Transformer Prime with a stunning 1280x800 resolution Super IPS Gorilla Glass screen that manages a glimmering 600 nits brightness (other tablets top out at 400) and it's hard not to declaim the Prime (on paper, at least) as the world's best tablet.

In the UK, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime will be available only as a 32GB model (64GB may be available elsewhere) and will have support for microSD expansion, plus USB and SD card slot on the dock to augment the HDMI on the tablet itself. It's arriving in early January 2012 for £500 and – we'd hope, given the timeline – running Android Ice Cream Sandwich at launch (although Asus maintains it will ship with Android 3.2, with a 4.0 update available).

We'll be getting our hands on Asus's new super slate as soon as we can for hands on action and a full review. Meanwhile, we'll be putting on the distant longlist for the Stuff Gadget Awards 2012. It's sure to get a look in.

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