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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime powered by Tegra 3

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first quad-core tablet -- and the first to be powered by the new Nvidia Tegra 3 chip.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime is in prime position to be the most powerful Android tablet ever. The new slate is the first quad-core tablet and first to be powered by the new Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, and will run Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's mobile OS.

The 10.1-inch tablet is the first device to be powered by the Tegra 3 processor, previously known as Kal-El. As well as the quad-core powerhouse, there's a fifth companion chip that runs at 1.4GHz when you only need a single core for simple tasks. The quad-core system fires up all four cores at 1.3GHz for more intensive tablet-fondling like Web browsing or gaming.

The original Eee Pad Transformer is possibly the most elegant compromise between laptop and tablet, with the tablet attaching to a mobile keyboard dock to form a traditional laptop shape.

With this beast of a chip inside, the Transformer Prime looks like a force to be reckoned with -- although the powerful chip will have to be used efficiently so as not to suck up the battery in record time. Nvidia reckons its new system offers four times faster browsing and three times the graphics grunt of the Tegra 2, for a third of the power usage.

The screen has a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels, and is covered by tough Corning Gorilla Glass. The camera is an 8-megapixel snapper with a 1.2-megapixel video calling camera on the front.

The Transformer Prime comes in serious grey or fancy champagne gold, with either 32GB or 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot. There's no 3G model, so you'll need to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to the Web.

It's set to cost £499 when in it arrives in the UK in January. It won't launch with ICS in the US, but Asus promises it will be updated by the end of the year, so when it reaches the UK it should have the new OS.

Are you excited about the Eee Pad Transformer Prime or Tegra 3? Should Hasbro have a polite word with the naming department at Asus? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.