Asus Transformer Prime Ice Cream Sandwich Update

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User Interface: Small Tweaks

While we didn't spend a lot of time working with the new face unlock feature, we did manage to grab a few screen captures of things like the data usage app, some of the enhanced settings and controls that Asus makes available on the Prime, and a quick look at the new tabbed browsing experience.

Data Usage Details

About tablet and Asus customized settings

The data usage app is going to come in handy if / when Asus decides to release a 3G-enabled version of their Transformer series.  For now, this feature is more suited to handsets than anything else, though it's nice to have available regardless, especially if you're tethering to a handset for the time being. As an aside, what you also might find interesting is that the "WiFi direct" feature introduced with ICS allows you to directly share or stream files and media between devices. Also, as you'll note above, Asus has rolled out the 4.03 version of Ice Cream Sandwich, which was released in mid December.  This update offers a few bug fixes, improved graphics performance, and better image stabilization in the video camera app, among other enhancements.

Apps icons appear bigger, bolder, more detailed

As they say, "it's the little things" that sometimes make the most difference.  Here you can see ICS' new Roboto font as well as the bolder, more detailed app icons that are just easier on the eyes.  Even the home screen fonts have better spacing and are easier to read in general.

Tabbed Browsing and Roboto Font

Tabbed browsing isn't anything new in the tablet arena for Android 3.x but it is new for the stock Android webkit browser on smartphones.  As you can see here, the Roboto font carries over to the browser in some areas, as well, like the address bar.  We'll also note that this version of the browser appears to have somewhat cleaned up the font issue we noticed on the Prime running Honeycomb while browsing in portrait mode.  Screen fonts in general are easier to read in our opinion in the browser as well. 

We'll also note that, in addition to these visual optimizations, which are more subtle, ICS offers a much more responsive UI experience overall.  Swiping between home screens, apps and widgets just renders faster and more smoothly and that experience carries over to the web browsing experience as well.  Scrolling is more fluid with less noticeable screen draw when browsing and pinch/zoom response time seems faster as well.  This is due to Android 4.0's new hardware accelerated UI capabilities taking advantage of additional resources in NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC. 

On that note, let's fire up some quick benchmark numbers now and see if Android 4.0 puts up scores that correlate to some of these performance enhancements as well.

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