In response to criticism from the modding and open-source communities, ASUS announced today that it would be issuing a bootloader unlock tool for its new Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet (read parts one and two of our review) at an undetermined future date. Because of DRM concerns, unlocking the Transformer Prime's bootloader will render it unable use Google's video rental service, and it will also void the device's warranty.

ASUS will also be releasing two updates for the Transformer Prime in the coming weeks - the first, due "shortly," will improve camera focus, fluidity of the touch interface, and the Android Market's APK capabilities. The second, due to begin rolling out January 12, is the full Ice Cream Sandwich update. ASUS didn't elaborate as to how quickly users could expect to receive that update - just that availability will begin on the 12th. Our review of the Transformer Prime noted that ASUS didn't do much to slow down or gum up the tablet's Honeycomb implementation, and that will hopefully be true of Ice Cream Sandwich as well.

Lastly, ASUS also notes that it has removed mention of the tablet's GPS functionality from its spec sheet and marketing materials (though not, as far as I can tell, from the device itself) "to avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device" - with this, ASUS has apparently decided that it's more efficient to stop touting the tablet's GPS capabilities than it would be to address the issues of users looking for a high-quality GPS.

Source: ASUS on Facebook

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  • prophet001 - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    But how do you get a Transformer Prime?
  • 3DoubleD - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    I think you wait for the stork to bring you one. Pre-ordering doesn't seem to help. The longer ASUS takes to fill my order, the longer I have to reconsider my choice to get one in the first place... not to mention the longer the list of reasons not get to this device (GPS, encrypted bootloader, reports of screen backlight bleed, ect).
  • MantasPakenas - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    You hunt for it, and buy as soon as it's available :) I was lucky to have a good IT supplier, who informed that a stock of 10 units had hit the country (Lithuania). I reserved two, the rest were sold by the end of the day...

    These things fly, I just wonder how much demand ASUS anticipated, because ramping up production can take longer than it takes to make it obsolete by some Galaxy Tab 2 or similar :)
  • Camikazi - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Come on Motorola you're up next! I want custom kernels for my Bionic dammit!
  • holmberg - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Anand, neither part of your review mentioned any issues with the GPS. Could you be a little more specific about why the GPS in the Prime isn't "powerful" or "high-quality"? What does that mean, exactly?
  • holmberg - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Reading the announcement on Facebook, I see that the problem is that the metal body reduces the GPS signal from the satellites. I think you reported that the metal body also reduced the WiFi signal. Apparently, they should have added a plastic antenna window, like the Mac Book Pro has.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Douchebag apple patented that. How novel of them.
  • phantom505 - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Seriously? Who he hell is running the patent office? Not only is that not novel, I'm pretty sure it's on every aircraft ever built that has a transmitter... at least most of them.

    If they have to get around it they should just use thin film ceramic, which is what my device used (electronic jamming pod). It might even look "cooler" albeit slightly more expensive.
  • Zanegray - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    That's ridiculous they could patent that. Its because of tidbits of information like this that I don't buy any apple products. I just don't like how they do business.
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    ...always it seems with problem plagued products.

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