Trouble with Asus Transformer Prime Android tablet
3 January 2012 by Olav Hellesø-Knutsen
Asus has just recently announced the Transformer Prime Android tablet and the first impression from the press was good. That was until reviewers found the GPS bug and developers found out about the encrypted bootloader
Asus Transformer Prime is one of the high-end tablet that was going to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and Apples iPad 2. Now it seems like the new tablet are causing headache for the Taiwanese company.
Some reviewers has found that the Transformer Prime is bothered by GPS problems. The 10.1 inch tablet looses GPS connection for short periods of time and the question is if these first preview units have a faulty GPS module fitted. The problem is of such a significance that Asus Nordic has changed the specification sheet and removed GPS as a feature entirely.
When asked by Mobile.se about the GPS problem and the removal of GPS as a feature from the Asus web site, Anders Haby from Asus Nordic told the Swedish site that "We have chosen to remove GPS from the specsheet until we have solved the (GPS) problem. We will not highlight it as a feature because we want to offer highest quality". With this statement, Asus clearly admit that there is a problem with the GPS. Haby continues "The Transformer Prime has never been sold as a GPS product, it is an extra function. We will continue to sell the Prime with GPS, but we will not highlight the feature". This is probably true for the Swedish market, but the other Nordic Asus sites (asus.no, asus.fi, asus.dk) still list GPS as a main feature.
Asus is also sued over the Transformer name because the most popular figure in the Transformer series is named Optimus Prime. A trademark owned by the company Hasbro. We are no expert on trademarks, but find it strange that Asus not has cleared this with Hasbro before launch. Motorola had to license the name Droid with Lucasfilm which the company uses on several of its Android devices under license.
Finally, we have the thing with Asus Transformer Prime having the bootloader locked and encrypted with a 128-bit encryption key. This is an issue for those wanting to install custom ROMs on the tablet. Some major smartphone manufactures such as HTC and Sony Ericsson has chosen another path where they offer free tools for unlocking the bootloader to their customers.
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