If you were planning to use your Asus Transformer Prime as an offline GPS, we've got a spot of bad news. Early adopters at the XDA-developers forum are reporting — and we can personally confirm — that some units are having a difficult time locking onto satellite signals. In a 75-page thread, they describe a number of different experiences, but even some who originally claimed their GPS worked fine have since acknowledged that the tablet doesn't seem to be nearly as quick or accurate to get a lock as other Android devices. That was our experience today in New York, too.
With a Galaxy Nexus and Transformer Prime side by side in and around our Manhattan offices, each with data connectivity turned off, our phone locked onto eight satellites right away, but the tablet started with three, failed to lock, and took a long while to obtain the others. According to the forum thread, Asus representatives have been less than helpful in diagnosing the problem so far, telling at least one individual to turn on Wi-Fi to assist the GPS reading, but the company has indirectly acknowledged the issue by removing "GPS" from the Transformer Prime specifications page at its US website.
In seemingly unrelated news, the Transformer Prime recently got an OTA update to build HTK75.US_epad-18.104.22.168-20111202. It doesn't fix the GPS issue, we're afraid, and there aren't any release notes to be had, but the update prompt does mention that it "improves the stability." Find a downloadable version of that update at our second source link.
Dante D'Orazio contributed to this report.