The Asus Transformer Prime is known as “the King of Android tablets,” meaning that it is the best tablet running the Android OS to date. In this comparison, then, the newest tablet (Microsoft Surface) will compete against “the iPad competitor” to see which tablet dominates.
The Microsoft Surface has a weight of 9.4mm (676g), as compared to the Asus Transformer Prime’s weight of just 8.3mm (586g). The Asus Transformer Prime wins the contest here, as the smaller weight will ensure that the device feels comfortable in your hands.
Display Screen Size
In terms of display size, both devices seem to be large—which makes consumers feel as though they are getting more for their money. The Surface screen size is larger (10.6 inches), as compared to the Asus Transformer Prime screen size (10.1 inches). Display screen size affects how much of the web browsing experience a user can appreciate or enjoy. With both devices having 10-inch screens, the web browsing experience will seem similar to that of a mini laptop—which means that you will not face the problems of small screens as found in many smartphones and Apple’s iPod Touch. Here the Transformer Prime wins in terms of its screen size, although the win here is rather negligible. Most consumers will feel the screen size and its “heaviness” once they hold them both in their hands, so these tablets are not made to fit in your hands. They are more than likely manufactured as mini PCs, a point that will be covered further in this review.
The Asus Transformer Prime has a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a perfect graphics presentation for gamers who rely on graphics to enhance their experience of the game. In contrast, the MS Surface has a screen resolution of 720 pixels. The Surface experience is not as enhanced as is the Asus Prime experience. However, if you are a consumer who does not care about gaming, does not rely on graphics for gaming or movies, and only wants to view YouTube videos every now and then, the Microsoft Surface tablet is ideal for you. However, gamers and movie watchers will appreciate the difference in the Prime’s graphics and screen resolution. While this does come down to preference (gaming and movies vs. alternate activities), it can never hurt too much to have an impressive screen display. In this one, the Asus Transformer Prime wins again.
To add to the screen resolution, both the Asus and the Microsoft tablets are made out of Corning’s Gorilla Glass—a sturdy material that prevents scratches and protects the tablets themselves. In this, kudos goes to both Asus and Microsoft as they seek to protect their consumer purchases.
The Microsoft Surface for Windows RT has unique accessories with its tablet. It comes with a smart cover/built-in keyboard and a stand that juts out at the back of the tablet to allow for ease of display and work. The smart cover/keyboard stand is one of the signature accessories of any tablet on the market currently, so Microsoft gives itself an edge with the smart cover feature. The built-in keyboard and back stand prevent consumers from losing more money to these features in an electronics store or online.
The Asus Transformer Prime, on the other hand, has a small keyboard dock that you can lock the Prime tablet into to work on a mini-laptop. The keyboard dock costs extra and supplements the price of the tablet itself. In this factor, the Microsoft Surface tablet wins hands-down. The Surface offers you a stand, smart cover, and keyboard while the Prime offers you a keyboard dock only. If you do not want a keyboard, but only a stand on which to raise your tablet for access, you are forced to look for a stand that works for you—providing headache that the Surface eliminates. Consumers tend to stick with devices that provide more accessories with their products than allow consumers to purchase accessories from other companies. Microsoft knows that the convenience of Internet access coupled with the convenience of its accessories go hand in hand.
The storage capacity of both the Surface RT and the Asus Transformer Prime stands at 32GB or 64GB, which makes them both enticing tablets to purchase above Apple’s new iPad with retina display as well as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2.0. Hard-core gamers will enjoy the immense space with which they can download and play games on their personal devices. This category is a draw, since both offer the same amount of storage on their devices.
Other Factors to Consider
While the Asus Transformer Prime is thinner, has a smaller screen size, and better graphics and screen resolution, the Microsoft Surface tablet PC has more accessories, larger screen size (0.5 inches more than the Prime), and equal memory storage to the Asus Prime. Since both tablets cost $600 (according to reports on the Surface), the decision comes down to the factors that stand out to you most—factors that mean the most to you. The Microsoft Surface may not have the screen resolution of the Prime, but it has a tablet/PC desktop feel that you may find more comfortable than the Prime tablet. When you consider that the Prime’s keyboard will cost you an additional $150 as compared to the inexpensive nature of a smart cover with an embedded keyboard, the Surface may be more appealing to your wallet. When you add up the tab, $750 (for the Prime) may not offer you as much as the $600 Surface will (keyboard embedded within the cover for a smaller price). Current market tablets are abandoning the necessity of traditional keyboards, which explains why keyboards now cost extra as opposed to the collective pricing of keyboards and monitors in the desktop PC era.
You may enjoy the fact that the 10.1-inch Asus Prime feels more comfortable in your hands than the overwhelming 10.6-inch Surface RT, but you may want to get more for your money and enjoy the extra half an inch of screen display for $600. The feel of size and weight of the tablet may influence your decision.
Additionally, the Surface and the Prime run on two different operating systems: the Surface will run on Windows while the Prime will run on Android’s current operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0). The Android OS will update to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) later this Fall. You may like Windows OS better, while someone else prefers Android. This will make a difference in which tablet you purchase, although some consumers can overcome their dislike of an operating system if purchasing a less expensive tablet will put money back in their wallets. Personal preference will determine which tablet you buy, but remember this: once you buy, you must live with it.