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.
After denying a U.K. retailer's claims that there are problems with the Transformer Prime tablet, Asus today confirmed the existence of a "random reboot problem" and has begun rolling out an over the air (OTA) firmware fix. The new firmware isn't showing up online, but if you head over to Settings > About Tablet > System Firmware Update, you can grab the latest build, which is version 18.104.22.168.
A U.K. vendor has pulled a batch of Transformer Prime tablets off its virtual store shelves after discovering problems it rooted out via internal testing. Clove made the decision to cancel all pending orders and will not resume selling the tablet until Asus works out whatever glitch has the vendor bugged. In the meantime, Asus is scratching its wondering what the frack Clove is talking about.
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.
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.
It's looking as though tablets will pick up the slack left by less than expected Ultrabook sales, at least for Asus. Asus, along with Acer, figure they'll each move as little as a third of the number of Ultrabooks by the end of the year as they initially hoped, which is the result of prices simply being too high. But as far as tablets go, Asus expects to reach its goal of 1.8 million units in 2011.