Asus has officially announced the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, the first Tegra 3 powered quad-core tablet.

Pocket-lint covered an impromptu unveiling back in October, when Asus CEO, Jonney Shih, revealed the new Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime at the AsiaD conference in Hong Kong, but we've been waiting for an official announcement - and here it is.

Coming in at just 8.3 millimetres thick, the tablet will sport a 10.1-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. It also claims to have a brightness of 600 nits, which should see it cope slightly better with bright outdoor conditions. The touchscreen will have 10-finger multi-touch and Corning Gorilla Glass to protect it from scratches.

However the real meat in the Asus tablet pie comes with the aforementioned "Kal El" Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, packing in quad cores. This comes with an Nvidia GeForce GPU, with 5th companion core for low power. This makes this the first of a new generation of Android tablets. It packs in 1GB RAM, you get the choice of 32 or 64GB of memory, along with a microSD card slot.

Connectivity offer you Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 and micro HDMI on the tablet, but you'll need the keyboard dock for the USB and SD card reader. In terms of cameras you'll get a 1.2-megapixel sensor at the front and an 8-megapixel unit with autofocus to the rear, with flash and F/2.4 aperture.

Given the specs and the look of Asus' new tablet there is going to be huge amounts of interest, especially given the success of its predecessor, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The new Transformer Prime comes will the familiar keyboard dock which fits onto the main tablet.

And the Prime should be able to handle all this well as the new chipset claims to be up to 61 per cent more power efficient than the older Tegra 2 chipset, resulting in 18 hours of battery life when docked and charged. Splitting that down, Asus are claiming 12 hours from the tablet on it's own.

The tablet will launch with Android 3.2 Honeycomb although it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Transformer Prime, bundled with the mobile keyboard dock, will launch for £499 in the UK from early January 2012.