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Meet Prima.

I'm usually not one to go out of my way to get the newest gadget - in fact, the last time I remember explicitly wanting one was four years ago in 2008, right after my high school graduation. It was a laptop, a NEO Empriva 572SVB, which I set my eyes on, primarily because I was about to enter college and figured I really needed a laptop, but mostly because it came in pink - hot pink. And that's saying a lot about my usual taste in gadgets - the only requirement I really care about having is if it comes in pink. Rarely do I go out of my limb to score something because of its other fancier specs (which is how it really should be, but I'm weird like that.) Also, if anything, my "gadgets" are mostly just hand-me-downs from my dad. I usually just get whatever it is he has already replaced or got tired of. (And of course, I'm not complaining.)

Anyway, that laptop, my Pink Ranger, carried me all throughout the next four years of college - well, almost. Just a few months ago, its hinges went loose, probably because of the everyday wear-and-tear I've exposed it to. It had come to a point where the screen could no longer support itself and to use it, I had to have a stack of books or a wall behind it. It was in a terribly sad, sorry state and it hurt to even look at it. So I asked my dad to - no, not buy me a new one - but have it repaired instead. I figured there may be no need for a new one, especially since the software, which is more important, remains in good condition. I borrowed his laptop in the meantime, just to get me through the last month of the semester, since he's mainly using his iPad for work anyway.

Last week, my dad brought up this new tablet-slash-laptop that Asus has just released a few months ago, the Asus Eee Transformer Prime. Being the gadget/techie addict that he is (I swear, he just knows everything), I wasn't surprised that he was suddenly teasing us about buying one. Normally I would let it slide, but this time I got curious and decided to look it up. It had been getting great reviews from various blogs and gadget enthusiasts. It runs on Android, with its latest version running on Ice Cream Sandwich - which explains its user-friendliness and effortless maneuverability. But of course, its biggest asset is in its "transformer" powers - with the accompanying keyboard, the tablet automatically transforms into a working laptop. One thing that greatly discourages me from even considering getting a tablet is its lack of an actual, tactile keyboard, which is a must with all the papers I have to do. The fact that this one has a detachable keyboard is in itself a great plus. An added bonus is that the keyboard also acts like a dock, so with the tablet attached to it, the former can charge. Together, they can stay on for almost eighteen hours - that is amazing battery power right there! But even with the two components together it probably just weighs a little over the typical iPad, which still makes it light and ideal for mobility. It also boasts of an 8-megapixel outer camera - YES EIGHT MEGAPIXELS - and a 1.2-megapixel secondary camera for video calls. Both the keyboard and the tablet each have memory card slots, with the keyboard having an extra USB slot. And one of the best things about it is that it goes for about $499 - much, much cheaper than a lot of other tablets and laptops/netbooks out there. The only catch was that it doesn't come in pink, but I was sold.

I was half-expecting to get it sometime this April after my graduation, but I found it on my table when Papa came home last night. And oh, was it beautiful! We were both screaming in excitement while we were unboxing it - which my mom found weird, haha! But there really is nothing like opening a new gadget straight out of its box. Suffice to say, in the last 24 hours that I've used it, it hasn't disappointed me yet. Although, it has to be said that this is still essentially a tablet - so it is kind of difficult to multitask (as it typically runs one app at a time, or hides most of them in the background) and certain common features in laptops are absent (such as copy/paste features). But the Ice Cream Sandwich OS tries to go beyond its mere-tablet capabilities and maximizes its potential as a true laptop-replacement. There is a nifty button that shows all the applications running, allowing you to quickly skip from one app to the other. It also comes with pre-loaded programs such as Polaris Office, which is a good enough stand-in for Microsoft, and the Asus Browser, which is similar to the Chrome. Except from the obvious limitations that comes from being a tablet, the Transformer Prime is, so far, exceptional. In the battle of tablet supremacy, with this gadget, hands down, Asus takes the crown.

So here she is, my darling new baby. In line with my fondness to name my gadgets starting with a "P" (my other laptop is Pink Ranger, my iPod classic is Portia, my nook is Porphyria) - I named her Prima. Not so much because of the "Prime," but also because prima in Italian means first, and I really think this one is going to set the trend for what would be soon be a tablet/laptop market. I still can't believe I'm actually typing on it right now - I actually missed being this stoked over a gadget! I'm actually feeling kilig about it :)) I'm still having my first laptop repaired and I'm still going to use it; that'll probably be my "desktop" whereas Prima will be my on-the-go partner. Sounds like a good plan, doesn't it?

Isn't she pretty? :)

(Here's a link to a review of the Transformer Prime, by the way. Check it out!)