The much-hyped ASUS Eee Transformer Prime might have launched later than originally planned, but it’s now finding itself in the hands of consumers all over and the response has for the most part been good. That said, there have been some notable issues that prove that tablets are a tough thing to get right – at least right out of the gate.
The most notable issue so far, which has been confirmed by ASUS, is that its GPS feature is not as reliable as it is on most other wireless devices. In fact, the performance in some cases has been so poor that some users have just written it off entirely. ASUS has since removed mention of GPS from its product pages in light of the issue, though a recent update is supposed to improve things.
Another issue that’s been the target of vitriol from the modding community has been the fact that the Prime’s boot-loader is locked-down, and locked-down hard. While most other Android-based devices are rootable, ASUS’ use of strong encryption ruined the idea of custom mods and other hacks for modders. The general consensus from many is that if they wanted a locked-down device, they would have just gone with an iPad.
ASUS has since come forth with more information on the reasons behind the locked-down boot-loader, with movie DRM being the root cause. In order for Google DRM to be utilized, to rent movies from services like YouTube, the boot-loader had to be locked-down in order to appease those who needed to be.
Despite this, ASUS has stated that it will be releasing a tool in the near-future that will allow users to unlock their device – at the expense of losing Google DRM functionality. The warranty will be void as well, but that’s not atypical to most other warranties on wireless devices.
The Transformer Prime, when I first saw it, looked to be the first true competitor to the iPad. These launch issues sure don’t help much, but I hope that things can remedy themselves sooner than later so that ASUS’ first tablet does indeed become a successful one.