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HDMI Output And Camera Quality

Asus Transformer Prime TF201: A Tablet With A Higher Calling
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HDMI Output

While the Transformer Prime supports output over microHDMI, it cannot push 1080p through the wire. This is due to constraints imposed by display mirroring, and most Android-based tablets can only do 720p. We don't want to be overly critical of this limitation, though. While it would certainly be nice to watch movies at 1080p, compressing high-def content to fit on a tablet gives up enough in the way of quality anyway. The difference shouldn't be significant.

Our only real complaint is that you can't enable HDMI output while the Transformer is closed in dock mode. This is an Android-imposed issue that Asus can't really help, but it means the Tegra 3's graphics hardware has to work harder to mirror the display. If you're planning on using the tablet to game on a television, the resulting output sometimes ends up choppy in more demanding titles like Shadowgun.

Mirroring Display, HDMI Output: Choppy Gaming Graphics

Nvidia continues to put a lot of effort into attracting game developers to its Tegra platform, and those relationships yield some unique benefits when it comes to a tablet like the Transformer Prime. If you're willing to carry around a tablet and perhaps a controller, you have what amounts to a portable game console under your arm. Hook it up to an HDTV and you're off, constrained only by the amount of content currently available. As ISVs ramp up their efforts, the Transformer Prime increasingly serves as a great example of converging notebook, tablet, and console technologies.

Camera Quality
(Click to enlarge pictures and browse our gallery)

The Transformer Prime shares its predecessor's front-facing camera. So, if you're using the tablet for VoIP-based communications, image quality won't have changed. However, the rear-facing camera is worth a fresh look because Asus integrated an 8 MP sensor and LED flash. Here are a few examples of photos we took:

Overall, the pictures are pretty crisp. In low-light situations, however, you end up with some of the same lens flare effects seen on Apple's tablets.


By default, the Transformer Prime uses a setting called "continuous auto focus." This works best when objects are within three feet. When you shoot objects further away, switch to the plain "auto" setting instead. Below, the image on the left was taken using "auto" mode, while the one on the right was in the "continuous auto focus." Notice the quality difference; "auto" mode seems to result in a more natural picture.

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