The best Android tablet your hard earned money can buy right now is undoubtedly the Eee Pad Transformer Prime from Asus. Of course all of it is not without a solid reason. In fact, there are many in case of the Transformer Prime. Like it comes equipped with a great camera while the quad core Tegra 3 heart ensures the tablet can make light work of almost anything and everything that is thrown at it. Add to that the promised upgrade to the latest Android 4.0 ICS though one of the biggest forte of the tablet is its ability to double up as a netbook as well when attached to the keypad docking station. The latter also endows it with the best battery backup time of 16+ hours which is way ahead of any tablet or netbook right now.
There is one major disappointment though for owners of this otherwise feature full tablet. As of now, one cannot replace the ROM of the Transformer Prime, which means people are locked with the ASUS software for life on the tablet. ASUS has locked the bootloader of the Transformer Prime with a 128 bit AES encryption thereby blocking any simple way of replacing the ROM.
However, this shouldn’t be turning the hair gray of the average user though custom ROM development for the tablet would come to a naught. Asus has already released a statement saying an unlock tool in on its way though warns users such an act will void the manufacturer warranty.
“Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism,” Asus statement said.
Hackers are for sure in the process of building up a method to circumvent this limitation though till that happens, one has limited options with the tablet.
Asus has already released a software update named version 18.104.22.168. The update will improve the overall response times, make the camera app to launch faster, improve GPS performance and allow for a smoother touch operation.
However, Asus has also admitted the Transformer Prime cannot be used as a powerful GPS device due to its all metal body that interferes with the GPS signals. The company has also expressed their helplessness in solving the GPS issues in its entirety as this would entail serious design changes to the tablet’s external shell. What they are willing to do though is to remove the GPS feature from the tablet’s specification list while also excluding the GPS feature from all future marketing efforts for the Transformer Prime.
Meanwhile, the upgrade to Android 4.0 ICS from the present Android 3.2 Honeycomb will start arriving OTA from January 12 all over the world.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email