Asus Transformer Prime: Four major drawbacks

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    By Abdul Vahid V (NVONews.com)

    Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime hit stores as a groundbreaking tablet thanks to its Tegra 3 quad core processor. The Taiwanese tech firm has been really hyping up the Prime’s first-with-the-quad-processor factor to market the product. Of course, the tech world has been much optimistic of a quad core tablet from Asus, which boasts of a great tradition in manufacturing Android tablets and Windows notebooks.

    Nevertheless, the Prime frustrated us all as an Android tablet. Unlike its predecessor Eee Pad Transformer, the Prime has several drawbacks that may affect its surging demand in the market. Here are five reasons.

    Locked firmware
    Frustrating many users, Asus has unveiled the Prime tablet with bootloader lock. The device comes with 128 bit encryption to keep users away from accessing key components and file system of the device. Users won’t be able to flash new ROMs and kernels on the new Asus tablet. Many users have become angry on realizing that they can’t access the full potential of the Prime.

    Owners need to stay on the mercy of Asus to get all improvements and updates on the tablet. In fact, buyers of an Android tablet mainly crave for a digital sandbox to explore the open source mobile firmware. But, Asus’ bootloader locking is indeed a negative mark for the device. Users could better buy an iPad, instead. Meanwhile in response to the criticism, Asus has announced a boot unlocker, which is in works and will soon be available for users.

    Buggy hardware
    Though touted as the world’s thinnest and high performance tablet, Eee Pad Transformer Prime has some big hardware shortfalls. It is manufactured with low quality components and even its hyped-up keypad dock is not doing well. Many customers have discarded the idea of buying the Prime due to these hardware shortcomings. Indeed, Asus could develop a better quality tablet.

    GPS & Wi-Fi bugs
    Another trouble the Asus tablet faces is the indolent GPS and Wi-Fi performance. According to many users, the Prime’s GPS function is nearly unusable and Wi-Fi is crumbling. In the aftermath of the GPS bug, Asus has even removed the reference to GPS facility on the tablet’s specs list on its official website. It seems that the device’s thin metallic casing is to blame for the failure of Wi-Fi and GPS sensor. Certainly, many people might have abandoned their plan to buy the Prime because of the GPS and Wi-Fi bugs.

    No Ice Cream Sandwich
    Yet another biggest shortfall of the Prime is that it is not coming preloaded with the Ice Cream Sandwich, codename of the latest version of Android. Ice Cream Sandwich has been ready for use on tablets and smartphones by December last year. But, Asus missed the new version of Android on its high performance tablet PC. However, the device is upgradable to the ICS. It will soon be updated with the latest version of the operating system from Google.

    Wrap-up
    Of course, Asus Eee Pad Transformer was one of the latest powerful competitors to Apple iPad. The device was launched as a rival to the iPad, but some shortfalls badly affected its performance in market. Matt Burns of TechCrunch writes that the all-mighty quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3-powered Prime could have raised critical challenge to iPad; but couldn’t become so because of several reasons,

    “It was supposed to rise up, powered by the all-mighty quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3, and finally stand tall against the iPad. It was supposed to use its keyboard dock as a mighty quarterstaff and deliver a memorable blow against Apple’s champion. But that didn’t happen. Asus is letting the Transformer Prime wither on the vine,” Mr. Burns adds.

    13 COMMENTS

    1. Not very up to date, firmware will be unlocked at cost of warrenty. This has been posted before this artical. I have no idea what low quality hardware you speak of and you are not specific. The gps is toast, but wifi has been fine for 98%

      ICS will be loaded 8 days after this was posted, seems like a reach, no other tabet has ICS.

      So the only truth in this whole post is that it has gps issues.

    2. Abdul you fool…
      1 – The bootloader will be unlocked.
      2 – Ice Cream Sandwich will be available on January 12.
      3 – The GPS-WiFi was identified early and is expected to be fixed
      when you update to Ice Cream Sandwich.
      4 – As far as “buggy hardware”…every tablet has some flaws, but
      where do you get the information that “Many customers have
      discarded the idea of buying the Prime due to these hardware
      shortcomings”. It seems to me that this is still the most
      sought-after tablet and has nothing but rave reviews
      from “REPUTABLE” sites who actually know what they are talking
      about.

      Get your information straight and make sure you present all the facts you hack!

    3. Uh, AnAnd and Slash have both said the Prime has higher build quality and components than the iPad… Better screen, faster and more Ram, and more solid construction. Some have complained the keyboard is too light, so when docked, it gets top heavy, but as there is no real keyboard for the iPad, and the one that does exist is garbage, I fail to see the argument…

    4. B, the GPS-WiFi is not expected to be fixed with the ICS update…They determined that the aluminum casing is causing the problem.

    5. Ridiculous article.

      Of the four or five “problems,” two are facing an eminent fix, and one is not given more than a vague “some big hardware shortfalls” treatment, showing that Abdul doesn’t really know what he is talking about. Wifi seems to be good for most people, and GPS is also facing a bit of a workaround, (though not quite as complete as might be hoped).

      The thing is, most new hardware/software combinations face all kinds of issues when they first come out, and continue to need fine tuning for most of their natural, supported lives. The Prime is no different.

      But when you’re a writer, I guess you’ve gotta draw in the readers whether there is news or not.

      Another great job, from the same publication that thought it worthwhile to run a comparison of the Transformer Prime and the Kindle Fire.

    6. Very disappointed in this article. It is full of inaccuracy and vague statements with no actual way to back up the claims.

      Came here to see if there was something I hadn’t heard, all I found was some out of date/old news and random claims of failing hardware. I hope you take this opportunity to improve your next post, whatever the subject.

    7. I agree with your article. I returned my Prime due to wifi issues, poor touchscreen accuracy, and slow webloading. You are pretty accurate in my book.

    8. For being written on Wednesday this article is WAY behind on whats been happening, very disappointed in the lack of actual good stats or just facts about the tablet. Please do your research on the tablet before bashing everything that is not wrong with it.

    9. Great job writing a completely worthless article Abdul! Nearly as inaccurate as the garbage written by Matt Burns which you are just perpetuating.

    10. All four points are lame…

      1) Locked firmware – you suggest that users are considering iPads due to the locked firmware on the Prime? So if a user wants to build their own OS or install their own kernel, they’ll do better with an iPad? That’s just plain silly. iOS is a closed platform (completely closed), so it offers no benefit to someone seeking an open platform. That’s like saying they’re abandoning the Prime for Windows-based tablets in droves over the lack of openness in the Prime.

      2) Buggy hardware – just as other responses stated very well, this statement is completely unfounded, and is contradicted by the many reviews that praise the hardware platform and the many reports by actual Prime owners that are very pleased with the hardware (read any related user forum). I’d like to see a reference to any reputable source that asserts the hardware to be buggy.

      3) GPS & WiFi bugs – Everything I’ve read states that the wi-fi performance is reasonably good (not the best, but not the worst either; more like average). GPS is also another topic (like point #1) that doesn’t make sense when comparing to the iPad. The wifi versions of iPad and iPad 2 have NO GPS at all. The Prime admittedly has a weak GPS, but at least it has a GPS. I don’t see why it is considered such a weakness compared to the iPad when it is a feature the equivalent iPad (wifi-version) doesn’t have.

      4) No Ice cream sandwich – Ok, this is true… for the next 6 days, and then this point will be a lie. Asus stated very clearly in November that ICS would be made available for the Prime shortly after launch, and they gave a specific date to back up their claim this week. This point is moot, considering that anyone ordering a Prime today would be getting the device after ICS is released.

      As I said, this article is completely lame and filled with half truths. How these points constitute “4 Major Drawbacks” is beyond me.

    Comments are closed.