Cy Cheze wrote:
It is supposed to be available soon and offer a four core processor. The $600 base model will have 32GB memory; perhaps premium versions will offer 64GB or 128GB. There are also supposed to be USB ports on the tablet and its companion keyboard, which will cost an extra $160 or so. The total cost is still less than that of an i7 netbook, and the battery life will be much more than what you get with traditional CPU / GPU systems with mechanical hard drives.
Specifications have been released for the ASUS Transformer Prime TF201: http://eee.asus.com/eeepad/transformer-prime/specification/ , and it available only with 32 and 64 GByte options and only 1 GByte of RAM; as well (which may be one of it's main limitations for photographic purposes), it does not have a full size SD flash memory slot or USB port on the main unit these only come when the optional keyboard docking port is attached. For purposes of being able to attach camera USB cables in order to direct read or for a tethering app, some sort of third party adapter would have to be developed for the "40 pin port" so that one could plug in full size SD cards, portable USB storage (FAT32 only as limited by Android) or cameras into the main device without the keyboard attached. The "Prime" is likely to be available in retail about the end of the year. The initial price is set at $499 for the 32 GByte model, $599 for the 64 GByte model, and the keyboard dock can be had bundled for an additional about $100; it seems that 3G is not yet an option on ASUS tablets available to retail.
That said, it appears the RAM will be only 1GB. The real question is whether cloudware apps will make any additional RAM unnecessary. You'd depend, though, on WiFi or expensive G3/G4 web connections for everything.
Some tablets read, but cannot write to, flash cards. Some with USB ports won't function with external drives.
Android tablets as of the Honeycomb version 3 can read and write to SD and USB flash as long as they are FAT32 as tested on the older ASUS Transformer.
A lot of new "apps" may appear in 2012. But it may take until 2014 before we learn if there is to be a "paradigm shift" to cloudware. We don't know yet what Windows 8 will offer in this area. Meanwhile, a four-core netbook with 4GB or more RAM costs only a tiny bit more than a 2-core iPad with a mere 64GB SSM.
Oh, we know quite a lot about Windows 8, although perhaps not as much as we need to know about how cloudware will catch on. What is interesting is that there will be a version of Windows 8 that should be able to dual boot the "Prime" if the one GByte of RAM isn't a limitation; if it is a limitation, one can be sure that next fall will bring yet another incarnation of the ASUS tablet with more RAM and likely with a newer multi-core processor with lower CPU power consumption and/or a faster maximum CPU clock speed and/or even more CPU cores.
Interesting times in the tablet arena.