After a long period of speculations, rumors and presumed delays, the ASUS Transformer Prime is now official. This is the world’s first Nvidia Tegra 3 tablet, a quad core unit that follows-up the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. This is a great upgrade especially as far as the design goes and the price is not that high, either…

The name “Prime” doesn’t come from nothing, since the device is marketed towards the premium public segment, instead of the mainstream consumer. Transformer Prime goes for $499 and it’s a very thin tablet at 8.3mm and available in a Amethyst Gray chassis or a Champagne Gold one. The slate comes with a 10.1 inch LED display based on Super IPS+ technology and supporting a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution.

There’s also Gorilla Glass protection in the mix, plus a hydro-oleophobic coating for better cleaning. As far as video/photo capture goes, there’s a 1.2 megapixel camera upfront for video calls, an 8 megapixel cam at the back with F2.4 aperture and LED flash, plus 1080p video capture. The keyboard is still available and it looks fancier than ever. Together with the tablet, the entire device weighs a bit under three pounds.

The new dock includes a 40 pin connector, a USB 2.0 port, a SD card slot, a multitouch touchpad and an incredible 22Wh battery. I say incredible, because the tablet on its own provides 12 hours of battery life, while the Prime + dock offers an amazing 18 hours! The basic version of the tablet is a 32GB one, but there’s also a 64GB version, priced at $599. The keyboard dock goes for $150.