Complaints started mounting against the Transformer Prime's GPS capabilities soon after its launch. Users said — and our own tests confirmed — that the tablet was slow to obtain a positioning lock from its GPS unit. Asus recognized the problem and removed all mention of GPS capabilities from its marketing materials, and it offered several firmware updates to help solve the problem. They didn't work, however, and a teardown of the tablet revealed that poor placement of the GPS chip was affecting performance. Asus has since opened up registrations to owners that will see the company ship free GPS dongles to customers in a program that will end come July 31st, 2012.
Apr 16, 2012Read Article >
It looks like the Asus Transformer Prime GPS saga is coming to a close. After complaints about poor positioning performance, Asus has announced that it is going to give owners a free GPS dongle that should drastically improve the accuracy and speed of lock-ons. Now the company has officially opened up the program, and if you own the Tegra 3-powered tablet you can register to have the dongle shipped to you. Unfortunately, the dongle — which plugs into the proprietary docking connector at the bottom of the tablet — is quite larger than we were hoping for and it cannot be used in conjunction with the keyboard accessory. Asus doesn't provide an estimated shipping date, but the offer will end come July 31st. If you want to avoid having to choose between your keyboard and a GPS dongle next time you leave the house, it looks like your only option is to buy the new and improved Transformer Pad Infinity or Transformer Pad 300. However, if you'd like to claim your GPS dongle, be sure to check the source link for all the instructions.
Apr 7, 2012Read Article >
We heard on Thursday that Asus was working on releasing a free GPS dongle to Transformer Prime owners to help fix some of the tablet's positioning woes, and now the company has confirmed to AllThingsD that the rumors are true. Details are still slim, but Asus says that it will reveal the full program come April 16th, when it will allow customers to register for the dongle on their website. Unfortunately, the company has not said whether or not the accessory will be offered free of charge. Either way, it looks like you may be able to use your Transformer Prime's GPS sooner rather than later — the company says it'll take "around two weeks" to ship the dongles after registration. We still haven't caught a glimpse of the accessory, but xda-developers members said that it connects to the tablet's proprietary connector and is "minimalist" in design.
Apr 6, 2012
Owners of the original Asus Transformer Prime have been complaining about problems with the device's GPS since it first landed in customer's hands, and a subsequent teardown revealed a hardware design issue as the possible culprit. According to a post in the xda-developers forums, Asus is readying a solution to the problem: a GPS dongle. The post details an email exchange with an alleged Asus product manager, who claims that the add-on will be provided for free to existing TF201 owners, and is designed to look similar to the device's hinge. Another poster then chimes in, who claims to have been testing the device. The dongle is described as "minimalist" in design, and is said to use the Prime's proprietary connector, fitting flush against the bottom of the tablet when held in landscape orientation. The email chain also notes that more recent batches of the Prime — featuring serial numbers starting with "C3" — have improved Wi-Fi performance over previous models.Read Article >
Adding fuel to the fire, a listing for a TF201 GPS Extension Kit recently appeared in the database for the National Radio Research Agency, a Korean entity that provides approval for communications equipment not unlike the FCC. Asus declined to comment when we reached out, but with the original emails citing mid-April as the targeted release date, we shouldn't have to wait too long to know if Transformer Prime owners will finally have a permanent solution on their hands.
Jan 19, 2012Read Article >
The latest twist in the Asus Transformer Prime saga is here, with an over-the-air firmware update that supposedly goes some way to improving the tablet's much-maligned GPS performance by updating the driver — if posters on xda-developers are to be believed. We'll have to get our own confirmation of this, as a teardown of the Prime and subsequent announcement of a redesigned model seemed to indicate that the GPS issues were inherent to the hardware design. One thing the update definitely does seem to do is break root access for anyone who's that way inclined, though it looks like it's simple enough to get it back. In any case, we'd exercise caution, and will let you know our own impressions of the update as soon as possible.
Jan 9, 2012
The new Transformer Prime isn't sacrificing quality for quantity with its move to a much higher pixel density — its display is still made of the SuperIPS+ stuff that impressed us so much when reviewing the TF201. Another highly significant upgrade is in the tablet's rear cover design, which has been altered to allow for better GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth performance. Great for new buyers, to be sure, but we wonder how happy owners of the current-gen Prime will be with this news.Read Article >
Android 4.01 will be the shipping OS on the Transformer Prime TF700T, which should cost between $599 and $699 when it hits North American shelves in the second quarter of 2012. Compatibility with the TF201's keyboard dock is retained, as are most of the internal components, including the 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 system-on-chip. Onboard storage on the new Prime will be either 32GB or 64GB, depending on your preference. The only other notable step-up for the slate is in the front-facing camera, which has been upgraded from 1.2 to 2 megapixels.
Jan 4, 2012Read Article >
Asus's GPS troubles with the Transformer Prime don't seem to have been easily resolved by the recent firmware update, and Anandtech claims to have the answer. A teardown of the Prime didn't reveal much untoward, but does show that the spotty GPS reception is down to the tablet's fundamental hardware design. Unlike the original, plastic Transformer, the Prime has a fully aluminum body which doesn't play too nicely with wireless signals, and unlike the iPad there's no RF window or speaker grill to mitigate it (it's worth noting, though, that the Wi-Fi-only iPad with which the Prime directly competes doesn't have a GPS unit at all). For its part, Asus has admitted that the tablet's design does hinder wireless performance, and has removed GPS functionality from the list of specs on its website.
It's been a big week for the Eee Pad Transformer Prime — Asus released yet another firmware update for the tablet, and now we have official confirmation that Android 4.0 will be coming starting on January 12th. Asus made this announcement on its Facebook page alongside news that it will be providing owners with a bootloader unlocking tool. The presence of a locked bootloader had been a major point of contention for users since it was discovered a few days ago, so it's good to see Asus responding so quickly. The company noted the lock was in place to enable Google video rentals, and that users will have voided their warranty and be unable to rent videos if they use the bootloader unlocker.Read Article >
Asus also addressed the GPS issues that some owners have been dealing with, noting that the Transformer Prime's metallic unibody was contributing to problems with signal lock-on. The company stressed that the tablet "is not a professional GPS device" and that it won't be highlighting GPS capabilities in marketing and specification sheets going forward. Unfortunately for those who already picked up the tablet, it sounds like today's firmware might not make much of a difference in the Transformer Prime's poor GPS reception after all.
We've really enjoyed our time with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, but it seems some users haven't been so lucky. GPS lock-on has been confirmed as suspect, and while Asus released a firmware update last week to improve stability, there's another over-the-air patch making the rounds. This update to build 184.108.40.206 purports to "enhance GPS speed" by automatically downloading satellite locations tables over Wi-Fi; other changes include improved touch response and better camera focusing (an issue we took note with in our review). Strangely enough, the details for this firmware only appear to be posted on Asus's Germany Facebook page; the support page for the Transformer Prime only has the previous update (220.127.116.11) available. We expect that'll change soon, but in the meantime we'll be updating our Transformer Prime to see if we have the update and if the GPS lock-on and other issues have been improved. We'll report back with what we find right here — stay tuned.Read Article >
Update: Firmware 18.104.22.168 downloaded and installed on our Transformer Prime without a hitch, and the camera focus was indeed significantly improved. GPS lock-on was a bit of a mixed bag, though — it locked onto a GPS quicker than our Galaxy Nexus in one test, but in another the Galaxy Nexus locked on to six of eight satellites, while the Prime only managed one or two out of five. Overall, despite continued GPS issues, this firmware update seems to be worth installing.
Dec 31, 2011
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.Read Article >
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.