Cracking Open: Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
February 9, 2012, 6:20am PST | Length: 00:02:50
Bill Detwiler cracks open the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Inside the Android tablet, he found hardware from Nvidia, Elpida, Kingston, and others. For a detailed analysis of the teardown, check out his article and video, Asus Transformer Prime Teardown: Solid tablet, but not without flaws.
Bill Detwiler: Less than a year after releasing the Eee Pad Transformer, Asus is back with a souped-up quad-core version of their Android tablet. I'm Bill Detwiler, Head Technology Editor at TechRepublic and I'm going to crack open the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
Music Bill Detwiler: Opening the Transformer Prime is a bit tricky and you can damage the front panel if you're not careful. Now to start, I removed the two rubber stoppers located along the bottom edge, then with a slender pointed tool, I slid the two internal locks sideways until they clicked. Using a thin metal blade, I then pop loose the front panels remaining plastic tabs. Once inside the device, I removed the battery and all the internal screws. I disconnected the speaker, removed the docking connector, removed the flash and built-in microphone and lifted out the motherboard along with its attached components. I then separated a smaller PCB from the motherboard, removed the cameras and detached the power and volume buttons. With that our tear down was complete. So, what did we learn from cracking open the Transformer Prime. Well, first, as I mentioned earlier, there's a trick to opening the device and failing to follow the proper procedure will likely damage the front panel. Second, the internal layout is pretty clean, but there's a bit more yellow tape than I like to see. Practically, every connector is covered with a piece and this makes me wonder how well they would hold on their own. Now third, there appear to be quality control problems during the device's assembly. Our test unit's battery and LCD each had two MP screw holes. Also, there's almost no metal shielding on the motherboard, perhaps the Prime's aluminum case provides enough protection from electromagnetic and radiofrequency interference, but it's still odd to see this little shielding. Now on a more positive note, many components such as the battery, docking connector, cameras, control buttons and speaker can be removed and replaced independently and the LCD is not permanently fused to the front panel which allows you to replace one part without replacing the other. For our functional standpoint, the Transformer Prime is a solid tablet and being the first to market with the quad-core Tegra 3 chip, it's definitely top dog among the Android tablets when it comes to raw processing power. I just wish Asus put a bit more effort into the quality control and construction of their products. For TechRepublic, I'm Bill Detwiler and this has been a Cracking Open of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime.