Transformer Prime facing some heat

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The Transformer Prime is shipping more or less randomly right now, and at least making it into the hands of some people. Unfortunately for Asus, that has also meant the start or a lot of complaints about the device, ranging from software to hardware. First off, the Tegra 3 chip is fast, but not that fast. While it’s beating a lot of the hardware on the market right now, the performance boost doesn’t really have that high of a practical use right now, and you’d essentially not see an overwhelming difference compared to other non-Tegra 2 chipsets. This isn’t exactly a complaint as the Tegra 3 isn’t slower than expected, it’s just not as impressive when compared to chipsets other than the Tegra 2.

The GPS in the Prime has also caused a lot of complaints because it’s seemingly very weak. Asus didn’t bother making part of the back plastic to let signals through like most manufacturers do, and the result is that it might be the aluminum back’s fault that the GPS take ages to get a lock and drops out very quickly. The Prime is WiFi-only which means that there’s no assisted GPS (using cell towers to get a head start on getting a satellite lock), which makes it even harder for the Prime’s GPS to do what people expect. Personally I’m sort of getting fed up with aluminum backs as my iPad 2’s back plate is freezing my fingers off this time of year.

Finally, Asus decided to lock the bootloader on the Prime, which severely hinders what the “hacking” community can do with it. This issue has caused a lot of people to start a social media campaign against Asus in order to make them get its heads on straight. With the Prime being a WiFi-only device, there are no carriers to deal with, and hence it shouldn’t be an issue to let people use the device they’ve paid full price for however they like.

So, turns out that the Prime might not be all it’s been hyped up to be after all, which is disappointing. It’s still a very nice device, but it’s no longer the device I would have bought if I were to buy a 10-inch Android tablet right now.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.