Asus has announced preorders are now being taken for the Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet. PC World and Currys are taking orders now for the £499 Android tablet. The Transformer Prime is likely to be very popular: the original Transformer TF101 model won awards from several respected gadget sites and is in the running for a PC Advisor Award. UPDATE: Asus 'fixes' EeePad Transformer TF101 with ICS update... again

The 10.1in screen Transformer Prime tablet has an IPS (in-plane switching) panel sporting a 1280x800-pixel resolution, 1GB of RAM and an nVidia Tegra 3 processor. At 568g, it’s almost 150g lighter than the original Transformer TF101 model that launched in mid-2011.

The Transformer tablet is so called because it can be used as either a ‘slate’ with pure touchscreen input, or more like a laptop with a Qwerty keyboard. The keyboard is detachable, so can be left at home if you’re likely to engage in some gentle web surfing rather than typing lengthy documents.  With either 32GB of 64GB of RAM onboard, the Prime is one of the few tablets that can be thought of as both laptop and tablet and able to fulfill both roles relatively well.

A MicroSD card slot allows for additional memory, there’s a full complement of wireless and wired connections including 802.11 b/gn Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Bluetooth, an 8Mp primary camera and 1.2Mp webcam and an HDMI port for hooking up the tablet to a projector or HD TV. A proprietary connector that links the tablet with its keyboard acts as a fast-charging unit.