Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Tegra 3 Unleashed

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GLBenchmark is new to our 3D performance benchmark set.  The test suite is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark with a number of performance metrics incorporated in it.  We specifically use the Fill Texture Fetch suite to measure raw texture fill rate of a graphics core and the Egypt Off Screen test to measure 3D performance in frames per second.  The Off Screen test renders workloads at 1280x720 for all devices, but off-screen, so Vsynch and screen refresh are not limiting performance.

Graphics testing
OpenGL 3D Rendering Performance



Looking at the texture fill rate numbers, Apple's A5 offers a boatload of bandwidth, over two times that of NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor. Samsung's Exynos processor holds its own for that matter, in the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus.  Regardless, Tegra 3, at least according to GLBenchmark, has roughly three times the texture fill rate of Tegra 2.  Conversely, in the Egypt Off Screen test, Tegra 3 races ahead, besting the Apple A5 in the iPad 2 by a comfortable 25% margin.* In addition, in this test, Tegra 3 is living up to NVIDIA's claim, showing performance at almost 3X that of the Tegra 2 tablets here, about 2.6X actually but who's counting?

*Update - 3/9/12:  We became aware of an error in calculation for our GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen results here and have since updated the chart above.  As you can see, the iPad 2 boasts a significant performance advantage in this test versus the Tegra 3-powered Transformer Prime.

Graphics Testing
3D Graphics Testing

An3DBench XL is a benchmarking tool based on an Android port of the jPCT 3D engine. The app runs 7 tests in total that look at graphics processor fill rate and complex rendering workloads and scenes.


This is an Android-only benchmark, so unfortunately the iPad 2 couldn't play here.  We'll also note that the Emporer's New Clothes test seems to be limited by screen refresh (Vsynch) on the higher-end devices, which is why the bar graph is close to flat on that test.  However, looking at the more demanding Flower Power and Magic Island tests, we see some differences.  The Flower Power test shows the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus' slight fill rate advantage again, like it did in the GLBenchmark Fill test.  On the other hand, our Magic Island numbers show a sizable lead for Tegra 3, where the high polygon count in this test shows a nice performance advantage for NVIDIA's new chip.


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BTijs 3 years ago

So what about the sound quality of the Prime?

Of what I heared in some other previews, it's rather impressive for the size speakers it has. What's your opinion about this? Can you tell a bit more about it? For example how it is compared to de Transformer.

PGoodwin 2 years ago

Because the tablet has been reviewed fairly extensively, I will just address the highpoints and issues others have experienced. I am running Android version 4.0.3 (ICS) and it is pretty flawless so far (this udpate happened automatically when I first charged the tablet and took about 10 minutes). I don't know or care about the bootloader issue others have reported on. The only thing I noticed is that I cannot delete the stock photos in the gallery.

Screen and Resolution - Bright, vivid, awesome HD graphics, and smooth scrolling between panes/screens. No defects in screen or resolution (no light bleed). Glass picks up finger prints but very easy to clean and not really noticable whne screen is on. Gorilla glass seems pretty hard, so hopefully will never scratch with proper care and a case.

WiFi - no problems whatsoever. Signal is pretty good several floors from router and has not dropped. My tablet works as well as all my other wireless devices. The signal strength indicator does vary from 10-52 Mbps depending on where you are, but it never has any trouble downloading at regular speeds. My expereince has been that the WiFi on the tablet works fine, but could probably be better for those with weak signals.

Browser - The Asus browser works great! Loads as fast as any other WiFi computers on my 54 Mbps wireless(but slightly slower than hard-wired broadband computers, of course). I prefer the functionality of non-Mobile sites for Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes, so glad I can access these sites with a regular browser rather than a stripped-down App. Access is fast and trouble-free to all the major sites I have visited. I have encountered only a very few "browser not responding" boxes when loadig large pages, but as soon as you click "Wait" the page is immediately loaded and there have been no real "crashes" to report.

eReader - Using Kindle and MyLibrary apps, books and PDFs open and scroll fine. One exception is that I can't open password-protected PDFs...seems to be a ProQuest ezproxy compatibility issue with Android OS and not the fault of the tablet per se.

Apps - Have downloaded about 20 and all seem to work fine. No crashes.

Battery life - It goes through about 10% an hour with moderate use and "balanced mode" selected. I got 11.5 hours on first full day of usage and still had 10% battery left when I shut down. very hapy with battery life. The keyboard dock battery should extend this to 16 hours - very nice!

GPS - Did not buy for this feature, but it works fine with WiFi on or off. Inside or outside of house makes no difference either. Accurate to within 10-15 feet and updates in real time with your movements.

I have not yet received the keyboard dock yet, so I can't comment on that, but I hope that it allows for easier full screen viewing while typing. The Asus keyboard works fine for an on-screen keyboard (certainly easier than using the one on my android phone!) and does not have any noticeable lag (but I am not a speed typist by any stretch of the imagination!).

One thing I did not anticipate is how hard it is to hold with one hand for extended periods of time. It is not heavy, but it is thin and the back is not textured enough to provide good grip. I have ordered a case that should make one-handed reading easier and also converts for desktop stand use.

P.S. for best price if you're will buy it, I suggest have to compare prices at:

Overall I feel this is an excellent tablet.

realneil 3 years ago

Welcome to Hot hardware,.....

This is from the second page:

"One other small oversight we found was that there is only one speaker port on the Prime and nothing on the keyboard dock. Sound quality from that one speaker isn't bad actually, considering this is a slate PC, but it does have a distinctly directional output to it, depending on which way you're holding the device."

acarzt 3 years ago

Just a seggestion here.... But I was thinking that for the battery tests, instead of putting all devices to 50% brightness, why not measure the actual output and try to get all devices to that measured brightness level.

I think this would be a more accurate test of battery life.

This tablet supposedly puts out a much higher brightness than all the other tablets currently available, so half brightness for this device could be much higher than half brightness for an other device. This would result in the prime using more battery life than the other.

Most people don't just turn their brightness to a set level anyway... they adjust it to preference regardless of where the setting ends up.

Drake_McNasty 3 years ago

That is one sexy tablet, I like the gray better than the champagne. Gaming on the transformer/tegra 3 is really impressive, almost as impressive as Dave's controller skills! All kidding aside this was a great review, looks like asus has a great product here. I've been waiting for this to be released and they didn't disappoint. I would like to see this review all over again with ice cream sandwich loaded. Gotta love that hhware gold!!!

On a general side note.....can you really expect that much out of a tablet camera? IMO the tablet/phone cameras are for quick snapshots, I can only assume that people will use a real camera if they want perfect photos.

AKwyn 3 years ago

This was a great review and I have to agree, it looks sleek; it performs admirably and everything else I said in previous threads relating to the prime... I was expecting the camera to perform a bit better and the Terga 3 to have a little bit more power but you can't get it all perfect.

As I said before, this may be the tablet that changes everything; in terms of tablets being regarded as toys and tablets as a computational device, and the editors choice just reinforces that. Again, seamless transition, can be used as both; what more do you need?

Slightly disappointed that Ice Cream Sandwhich isn't on there but they are guaranteeing they'll update their tablets with it when it comes out right?

omegadraco 3 years ago

That is twice in a month that you have had to describe an ASUS product as Sexy Stick out tongue I guess that is becoming their MO. As for the sound if I am going to listen to something I want good quality sound from I am going to plug in a pair of headphones... at least that's my feeling.
BTW I like Acartz idea for the battery test.

This this is hot hot hot and certainly on my list of the tablet I want the most.

Thanks for the preview Dave :)

EEno 3 years ago

I'm missing a test of tegra3's video playback capabilities. The dealbraker for many wrt tegra2 was its weak to non-existent support for H.264 high-profile video.

Dave_HH 3 years ago

I hear ya, EEno. We're going to look at this as well as battery life in more detail, in the weeks ahead.

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"Great preview, great tablet. Plenty of power and very sleek. In the video you can appreciate the quality of the screen as well as its speed when handling different functions. By the time it officially launches I'm sure those updates mentioned will further improve battery life and other performance tweaks. I like the thinness too."

 **On a side note, both Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 are manufactured on TSMC's 40nm process technology, so NVIDIA achieved this efficiency in design and through innovation, rather than a process shrink.**

"Impressive, I though it was the other way around. @Drake , LMFAO, if Dave is your squad in BF3 or MW3, you are in trouble, just look at em running away @ 7:24. All jokes aside, this is an awesome tablet and I liked the preview a lot.  With all that power under the hood, and the support for gaming controllers,  I would imagine people at home, will rather output to a monitor and enjoy gaming on a bigger screen via the micro HDMI port." 

Manduh 3 years ago

Excellent review (of course)! I'd be willing to trade my iPad2 for one of these, just for the camera alone lol. I can't stand the camera on my iPad. And I definitely hate not having browser flash support :(

Wanna trade? haha

Dave_HH 3 years ago

Sorry Manduh... I have to hang on to this bad boy for future testing. :) Besides, you got yourself a badass rig coming your way! :D

Manduh 3 years ago

[quote user="Dave_HH"]

Sorry Manduh... I have to hang on to this bad boy for future testing. :) Besides, you got yourself a badass rig coming your way! :D


Hey at least you let me down easy LMAO!!  THANKS AGAIN heehee!!  Gawd I heart you guys!!

imAcpufan 3 years ago

It's exciting it'll be out soon, since I've been keeping an eye on it since it was first announced.  I'd like to show this off to my friends and classmates, although my college program (animation) has made it mandatory to purchase a ipad for first years.  Luckily I'm in third year so I still have my options open.  The only place I use apple products is at school coincidentally...but this tablet would be awesome for video and photo reference in class...

94_xj 3 years ago

I've been holding out on spending a good chunk of change on a proper tablet but this...this looks it may just end up taking my money.

gazd1 3 years ago

Good to see this review! Good to be informed!Yes

LBowen 3 years ago

That is such a wicked tablet. The introduction of quad-core on these is going to interesting. I am looking forward to getting one in the near future; maybe the next model ASUS which should be sometime next year if they keep on releasing new tablets like they have lately.

AKnudson 3 years ago

Really the best tablet for this year it has the edge on the ipad 2 because it ame so late in the season, but two thumbs up to asus for releasing this tablet within in a year of their last one.

Coming out just before the christmas holidays should gave asus a huge boost in revenue, not to mention nvidia with their new line of Proccesors i am excited for the prospects of what the future holds for asus and the transformer.

Probably the coolest part of the transformer is its universal integration, it works with psp, xbox, microsaoft, it really gives great funcitionality with its huge battery life and massive productivity capabilities but now asus has addresed te worst problem that the transformer 1 had and that is the respectability. the transformer was somewhat of a substandered tablet this year with a low selling point border line hardware and overall just a one hit wonder. nothing on it was nice or fancy except the keyboard dock. but asus has definetly upped the game and in reading reviews and watching videos it is always said, this tablet is sexy.

Cerf 3 years ago

Great review!

And i'm really excited to see this kick the sales sky-high. Hopefully it'll give iPad a gr8 run.

Samar 3 years ago


hieubot 3 years ago

Gotta hand it to Asus for breaking the barrier once again. Even for people who aren't impulse buyers will find it hard to resist this product. On the other hand, keeping up with technology and having the top-of-the-line product in the market is no easy task. For the majority of the folks who enjoy their Tegra 2 devices, I recommend they continue to do so because they can't really miss what they don't already have.

michelleariel 3 years ago

When will they be giving one of these away???lol.jk

rdi_caveman 2 years ago

A coworker has one of these.  I'm really envious.  With 32G plus a 32G SD micro card in the tablet and a 32G SD micro card in the dock - he's got almost a 100G of storage.  Unbelievable!  This is going on my wish list.  I couldn't imagine a tablet being useful enough to want one, but now I want my next laptop to be a tablet + dock/keyboard.  Much nicer than a net book.

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