first_imgThis holiday season, the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet have brought mid-range tablets to budget-minded consumers; however, some tablet shoppers still want to be on the cutting edge. One definition of cutting edge would be a device with a quad-core processor, like the Asus Transformer Prime. Asus has killed off months of rumors with the device’s official US release date: December 19.Asus’s original Eee Pad Transformer was one of the few bright spots in the crop of 2011 Android tablets. It didn’t break sales records, but it received positive reviews and collected less dust than other Android slates. The optional keyboard accessory, which turns the tablet into a faux laptop, appealed to those who like to hit two birds with one stone. The tablet’s $400 (minus the keyboard) price didn’t hurt either.Whereas the original Transformer found success as a unique device in a crowded field of lookalikes, the Prime has a much sexier selling feature: the quad-core Tegra 3 processor. After nearly a year of seeing Nvidia tease the Kal El chip, the Prime will be the device that brings it to market. Expect ridiculous speed.The mid-December slot is an interesting choice: it barely launches in 2011, and is squeezed out less than a week before Christmas. Big product releases commonly launch either before Black Friday, or after the new year celebrations. Asus may have plotted this to avoid getting upstaged by the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet in November, but still have breathing room before the expected iPad 3 release in March.If you’re curious what a Decepticon tablet factory on Cybertron looks like, you can catch a glimpse of one — as well as the Transformer Prime — in Asus’s promo video below:Asus, via Phandroidlast_img

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