An internal document shedding some light on Asus’ upcoming Android plans tells us a little more about the quad-core Eee Pad Transformer Prime, and that two “hero products” will be launching next spring. In between revenue results and media coverage, the presentation mentions a November 9th launch for the Transformer Prime – already confirmed by an Asus executive – and notes that Asus has shipped 1.6 million units of the original Transformer and the Eee Pad Slider.
The document (PDF link) tells us a lot of what we already know about the Transformer Prime. Like its predecessor it will have an optional keyboard attachment, essentially making it an Android netbook when equipped. The Prime is following in the design footsteps of Asus’ Zenbook line of laptops, leading the company to note its “Beauty/Fashion” appeal. The most interesting tidbit in the presentation comes near the end, when Asus notes that the Transformer Prime is “Leading in quad core & ICS”. That’s a definite indication that the Prime will be the very first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet when it launches, though it could also mean that Asus is simply planning a quick update.
The Transformer Prime is exciting in its own right, but what about those “hero products” slated for Q1 2012? An update to the Eee Pad Slider is possible, but might not be all that likely: the integrated keyboard tablet sold only a fraction of the volume of the Transformer. A more exciting possibility is that Asus is finally preparing a retail release for its Padfone concept device. With Ice Cream Sandwich bridging the gap between Android’s smartphone and tablet development arms, the time is right for the smartphone/tablet dock form factor to make its grand entrance.