The Asus Transformer Prime is far and away one of the most popular Android tablets on the market, and while that isn’t saying much, we were still a bit surprised when consumer reports left it off the list of best tablets in favor of the Sony TabletP. It’s far from a perfect device, but it does at the very least offer a few innovative features for those who still feel the iPad is an oversized iPod Touch. Owners of the device seem to have relatively few complaints, however the GPS has always been a sore spot. Turn by turn navigation apps have been all but unusable, and teardowns have identified that it may in-fact be a design flaw.
Would you rather toy around with a Transformer Prime than a new iPad? If Hasbro had it way, you wouldn't have the option. Way back in December, we reported that the toy company was dragging Asus into court, claiming that "Transformer Prime" name was too close to "Optimus Prime," "Transformers" and the "Transformers Prime" animated series for comfort. A federal judge disagrees; he tossed out Hasbro's request for a preliminary injunction (read: sales ban) against the Asus tablet.
Asus fans expecting a whole lot of awesome when they unboxed their spiffy new Tegra 3-sporting Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime were, for the most part, satisfied when they got their hands on the cutting-edge tablet -- with one exception. Yep, Asus shipped the Prime with a locked bootloader. Bleh! Early adopters took to the Interwebz to voice their rage, and all the e-complaining paid off: today, Asus released a tool that'll crack Transformer Primes wide open.
Isn't it swell to be heard? Sometimes all it takes is a collective effort to help raise your voice loud enough for the recipient to get the message, and if you need a case in point, look no further than Asus. We reported earlier today that Asus was telling the modding community to chillax while it works up an official statement regarding the Transformer Prime's locked bootloader, and we (correctly) guessed the news would be good...mostly.
It looks like the power of the Internet prevails once again. After word got out that Asus was shipping its Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet with a locked bootloader, there was a call to arms in the modding community to storm the castle and let Asus have it via Twitter, Facebook, email, and wherever else. A day after it all hit the fan Asus is telling modders to relax, presumably because everything's going to be okay.
Android modders have hit the ground running in 2012 with a call to arms after discovering that Asus is using an encrypted booloader on its Eee Pad Transformer Prime, effectively preventing users from easily rooting and modifying their swank new slate. It's not an unprecedented move by Asus, but typically manufacturers refrain from locking down Wi-Fi only tablets, reserving the practice primarily for smartphones.
If Optimus Prime (of Transformers fame) were real, he’d probably just smash any puny tablet that tried passing itself off as the leader of the Autobots. But – disappointingly – Optimus Prime isn’t real, so it’s up to Hasbro to defend against gadgets trying to besmirch his honor. The company apparently takes its responsibility seriously, because it recently filed a lawsuit against Asus claiming that the Eee Pad Transformer Prime violates a number of Hasbro trademarks. Sigh… Real life is so boring compared to giant fighting robots.
It seems there are as many questions surrounding the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet as there are answers. When will it be available? Will the combination of an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) result in the best tablet money can buy? And when will Asus roll out an ICS update, anyway? All fair questions, and the answers are still mostly fuzzy.
We know almost everything there is to know about the upcoming Eee Pad Transformer Prime device from Asus except for two very important things: how will it perform and when is it going to be released? Fortunately, while we don't have concrete answers to either of those questions, there are enough clues to make educated guesses about both of them, and they're both encouraging.
What could potentially be your next high-end tablet just went up for pre-order. We're of course talking about the Eee Pad Transformer Prime from Asus, a next generation slate oozing with tech sex appeal. It has an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, for starters, along with a 10.1-inch WXGA IPS+ capacitive touchscreen display. And did someone say Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)?