We’ve been able to acquire the new iPad and I thought it might be apt to compare it with one of the leading Android tablets around, the Transformer Prime. And to be fair to the iPad 3, we’re detaching the keyboard dock on the Prime for this exercise.
Already wrote and posted some unboxing photos over at TechWireAsia as well as some first impressions so we’re done with that and we can go straight to the comparison.
Comparing the new iPad 3 to the Asus Transformer Prime might look easy on paper but actual features will vary and be in favor of the other during real-world use.
Let’s look at the specs first so we get a bigger picture, then we’ll dissect some of the key features.
First up is the display — clearly the new iPad, with its 2048×1536 pixel resolution, beats the crap out of the Transformer Prime which has only 1280×800 pixels. Well, this is true if you’re like less than a foot away from the display. If you zoom in closer, you’d see this.
This is not something new. We always see this difference between a lot of smartphone displays.
However, at around 2 feet or farther, the sharpness and crispness between the display of the two tablets are already indistinguishable. The Transformer Prime also uses a more advanced Super IPS+ screen compared to the regular IPS LCD on the iPad so the Prime got some redeeming factor here. Still, the iPad with its full HD display prevails.
The camera on both tablets boast of full HD 1080p video recording. On paper, the 8MP camera of the Prime beats the iPad 3’s 5MP shooter but in the end it’s the quality of photos and videos that will matter. So far, the photos on the iPad are much more focused, cleaner and sharper. It’s still too early to tell since I need to get more samples but for the time being, I’d say the iPad has the upper hand.
Pure processing power is the name of the game for Android tablets and the Transformer Prime boasts of the best chipset a tablet can have. On the other hand, there was also a lot of confusion about the processor on the new iPad — it’s actually a dual-core A5x chip with quad-core graphics.
Apple was clever to focus the marketing and make it sound like the iPad has a quad-core chip (hence, they tend to higlight it as an A5x chip with quad-core grahics). In comparison, the Transformer Prime uses an NVidia Tegra 3 chip — that’s a quad-core processor running at 1.6GHz paired with 12-core graphics.
Based on the number of cores alone, the Prime trumps the iPad 3 in this department. However, actual performance might vary especially that the two tablets use different operating systems. We’ll have to look for an even playing field to fairly measure this but for the meantime, I’ll give the point to the Prime.
The new iPad has features that are absent or lacking on the Transformer Prime — cellular features (LTE/HSPA+), built-in GPS (Asus dropped the GPS in their specs sheet) and a faster Bluetooth 4.0.
The Transformer Prime got a bit of an edge over the iPad with the following — higher entry-level storage (32GB vs. 16GB), option for removable storage (via mciroSD card slot), a thinner and lighter profile, and allegedly better battery life (needs to be tested). Again, we’re not counting here the benefits of the keyboard dock and extra battery that comes with it.
The biggest disparity though between the two is that the Transformer Prime has been around since first week of February (albeit on a limited release) while the new iPad has not yet been released in the Philippines.