Transformer Prime

As reports of GPS issues with the ASUS Transformer Prime continue, the manufacturer is turning to a drastic solution to give Prime owners better GPS connectivity. According to an ASUS support representative quoted on XDA, ASUS will soon begin offering a hardware solution, in the form of a "GPS Extension Kit" dongle, which it'll provide for free to all Prime owners. Sure enough, shortly afterwards a corroborating statement appeared on ASUS' VIP member area.

Although the TF201 is not a professional GPS device, as part of our unwavering commitment to our customers we are offering all customers who purchased a TF201 system a free external GPS extension kit called a dongle, which may help improve signal reception and optimize the user experience. We are pleased to announce this offer as part of our commitment to customer service, but it does not replace, alter or amend any existing warranties you may have.

Prime owners can now sign up for the new dongle through the ASUS VIP. For what it's worth, the ASUS rep quoted by XDA says the kit will "will be a flush fit on the bottom of the unit if held in landscape matching the color of your Prime chassis." So no worries about unsightly bulges sticking out of your tablet.

Kudos to ASUS for stepping up to the plate and offering a genuine solution for those affected by these issues, however it's a shame it's taken four months for the real fix to arrive.

Source: LandOfDroid; via: Engadget


Reader comments

ASUS to give away free dongle to address Transformer Prime GPS issues


Me either. I signed up last night after I saw this story on Engadget, but haven't been able to find where to get it? Anyone know what we need to do?

same here! I see my Prime and my G74SX. I click on my Prime, and nothing... No link anywhere to click on, to order one...

But Apple tried to sell it to their loyal cult fans first for 30 dollars because "they were holding it wrong".

And Asus simply removed any reference to the GPS in their specs.

So both companies made a false first step, and then did the right thing.

Asus did much better than Apple, they never denied the problem, they went out and purchased new hardware, and they probably had to tweak something in the code to get an external GPS to work.

Apple spent $0.25 for cheesy plastic bumpers to shut people up, and never officially admitted there was a problem, or apologized for their behavior.

I wonder if these will be included with newly-purchased Primes, or if it will only cover those who made their purchase before they removed GPS from the specs.

The GPS on every A500 I've ever seen works perfectly since the second software update. The compass too. Who's build are you running?

It should never have been overlooked in the first place, but what an awesome move by Asus for taking responsibility and offering a free solution.

Not perfect, but a much better response than most companies offer today.

Went to sign up, typed in all of my info (name, address, pw, etc.). Hit 'NEXT' and got "SERVER BUSY - PLEAE TRY AGAIN LATER"......Arggggg

A hardware dongle is a huge pain to deal with. I would certainly not consider that to be an acceptable solution.

My GPS works perfect now. Locks on to 8 satellites inside in seconds. When I first got it on Jan. 3 I had no GPS anywhere so for me it was software. I will take the free single but I am already a very satisfied customer with my fourth Asus product.

I just got my Prime on Tuesday so when I saw this notice come out from Asus yesterday I thought I had better register it. It was through the last part of registering the Prime on their website last night it sent me to a web page confirming my address and that Asus was sending out the dongles.

Kudo's to Asus for their commitment to this issue. I would have thought a big company like them would have simply reminded people they took away the official GPS functionality from the features.

However, I have to agree with a few other comments I've seen. By doing all of this at their expense and such, in a way it seems like they're guilty about the problems they encountered with the unit.

Personally. After my order was cancelled without a choice on my part I decided to wait for the infinity or 300 series. I will admit though it is becoming quite frustrating of a wait... Here it is, Q2 rolled around and still... nothing. Not even a whisper. Even a tentative date or at least month now would be appreciated. Well here's to waiting... Though I'm not gonna flick Asus' dongle in the meantime. ^^; (Internet cookies to whoever got that. XP)

Wow! Finally a company that is willing to take responsibilty.
My wife's previous iphone 3g and my previous samsung galaxy all have non-functional GPS and neither company took care of the problem. Shame to Apple and Samsung.

UPDATE: ASUS has confirmed to All Things D that it plans to offer Transformer Prime users a kit in response to the GPS issues that some folks have encountered. Owners of the Transformer Prime will be able to sign up for a kit when ASUS officially announces its plans on April 16th, and the company says that shipping will take around two weeks.

If the dongle plugs into the bottom of the device, how will you be able to attach the keyboard? If I'm reading this right, you won't be able to use the GPS dongle and keyboard at the same time.

I was wondering the same thing. I really wanted this tablet, but the wifi and gps issues scared me away. This is a great thing that Asus has done in addressing the gps issue, but if it comes at the expense of being able to use the dock then it is something I will have to consider. And have the wifi issues been addressed with software updates? Is wifi a non issue now?

Pretty much a non-issue. I have one of the very early models and aside from the GPS not functioning, I haven't had any of the other reported problems. The wifi was a bit weak in the first couple days, but it was okay and then was improved with a subsequent (pre-ICS if I remember correctly) software update. This jives with most of what I've read from other owners too--GPS is an issue but wifi isn't.

FWIW, the wifi signal strength indicator sometimes seems to suggest a low signal (in my home network I usually have two out of four "bars"), but when I benchmark the wifi signal speeds against my PC with the two devices sitting side by side, my Prime actually routinely comes out on top.

That sounds great - very good to know. I don't currently have a tablet, so I don't know how often I would use GPS in a tablet (I rarely use it in my phone), but good to know it would be fixed in this tablet if I do end up getting it and end up wanting to use that feature. Wifi is an absolute must however, good to hear that is a non issue now. Still curious how the dongle will affect compatibility with the keyboard dock though.

I had such hopes for the TF201, now I hope they get it fixed well enough to be worth considering. A great concept for a device with superb features with fantastic looks, but I think they rushed the firmware development to launch in 2011.