Transformer Prime's GPS fix turns out to be less of a dongle, more of a growth

It's time to ask yourself a question: How badly do you need an official solution to the ASUS Transformer Prime's GPS woes? Landofdroid has snagged some pics of what they say will be the official fix -- a GPS add-on that connects to the Android tablet's data port and sure as hell shouldn't be considered a "dongle" by any definition. That, friends, is a wart. A growth. A malformation of epic proportions. On the other hand, if it actually fixes GPS, then it's a good thing. (At the very least it's increased the Prime's radar reflectivity by an order of magnitude.)

If upsetting the otherwise sleek lines of the Transformer Prime is just too much to ask, there's always that unofficial software tweak that also seems to be getting the job done.

Source: Land of Droid

  • I guess that throws the keyboard out the window...?
  • I think that throws everything out the window. That thing is ugly!
  • It's pretty unsightly, but I'm not surprised. I recall seeing somewhere that it was going to look like the hinge for the keyboard dock, so there ya go. Having never owned a tablet, I can't see any time where I would decide that I absolutely needed GPS enough to warrant this monstrosity.
  • Yeah...that's pretty hideous. All of that sleek and shiny goodness has been turned into Quasimodo. While I would be appreciative of the fix, I'd be miffed every time that I had to look at "dongle". I think that the proper solution for the GPS issues would have been to replace the units all together for those that opted not to return them to the place of purchase.
  • Pretty unsightly but I'll take it any way even tho I will never use it. But still great of Asus to admit a problem then deal with it you almost never see that out of a company any more.
  • It wouldn't cut it for me. But then again, I test my new electronics pretty thoroughly and had I found that the GPS didn't work I'd have returned it to the store.
  • What a rig job. ASUS should have recalled them all and remanufactured the Prime with a working GPS. Customers will remember this and skip the next ASUS tablet. I know I will.
  • OMG, that is far more than a "dongle"! Now can people shift their misplaced hatred of the Xoom to the Transformer Prime? BTW- the GPS in the Xoom works wonderfully...
  • I don't use GPS on my Prime. I don't think walking outside holding a tablet is a good way to avoid getting hit over the head and mugged.
  • I can see using it in the car. Definitely easier to see than a phone's display.
  • Why would somebody want to use the GPS as advertised on a tablet anyway? Just about all smartphones comes with GPS and a lot more mobile than a 10.1 in tablet.
  • Why don't they just fix the damn thing instead of using bandaids?
  • ASUS, correct this mess up. Recall the units or offer a trade for fixed units ASAP.
  • meh. I'll take it. Better than nothing.
  • The GPS radio in the Prime isn't bad. It's the metal back of the device that messes with the GPS signal. It can and does get a GPS signal, but fails to lock onto a signal. For example, if I hold the device with the screen facing straight up, the GPS signal is very strong based on some market GPS tests. Can ping up to 11 or 12 satellites that way, and can even hold the signal for a few if I move. But, if held upside down, I'd be lucky to ping 1 or 2, let alone lock onto them. I assume the dongle just adds an extender outside the unit, where it doesn't have to worry about going through the metal backing. Still lame though, as it would relinquish my cover to uselessness. I don't need GPS for much, if anything, so not too concerned about it.
  • By upside down do you mean with the screen directly facing the ground? That doesn't sound that bad at all. I hate to invoke "holding it wrong" but if your tablet is oriented this way whenever it's in use: WTF?
  • I think "dongle" fits. As in, "man, people who bought a Prime are getting dongled."
  • While I think that looks ridiculous, what did you expect? You'd have been way more pissed off if it stuck straight out, begging to be snapped off. Didn't they say that it would be less of a traditional dongle (sticking out) and more of an expansion down the edge of the device? Where else did you expect them to pack in the electronics?
  • Also, when would you be using GPS on a tablet that it would be too cumbersome to slap this puppy on there? I'm on the same train of thought as the guy who was talking about "getting hit over the head and mugged"
  • Wow! Lots of complaining here. Let's put this into perspective... A. Yeah, I was disappointed with the GPS problem, but other than that I love my Prime. (I can't even get a lock under clear skies even waiting 15 minutes, unlike the post above.)
    B. I was hoping ASUS would have let us send them in to swap the back cover for a redesigned one with a plastic cutout where the antennae are, but I guess that would've been cost prohibitive (?)
    C. Seriously, do you really need GPS on your tablet at all times? If that picture is accurate, it does look a bit like the keyboard hinge. Yes, it's bigger than I thought it would be, but who cares. Personally (and a few of my friends feel the same), I'll probably only use the GPS in the car so I can plug it on then. Some folks actually want a big screen GPS while they're driving, even though a Garmin or cell phone work just fine. When I take my Prime out of the house, I almost always have the keyboard with it anyway, so why should I worry about the aesthetics of the dongle? "Oh my God! People will think I'm a NERD because there's an attachment on my tablet!" Grow up. I understand and sympathize with anyone who will have a problem with their cover not working with it, or folks who need to use the GPS while attached to the keyboard, but I doubt there are too many with that problem. Personally, I'm very happy ASUS has addressed this issue and I'm not going to whine about it. I'll gladly buy ASUS products in the future.
  • I don't have a transformer prime but I think you're right it seems like this is just another thing to whine about. GPS nav with a tablet is an edge case (just so we're clear you are a moron if you use this for nav in-car as a driver, you should be MINIMIZING visual distractions not "upgrading" from a 4" screen to a 10" one.) Yes you should be pissed off that the GPS doesn't work but honestly if you didn't return it the moment you found out about the issue (surely you didn't wait 30 days, right) then it's probably just not that big of a deal. And for anyone comparing this to the "elegance" of the Apple solution, the GPS sucks donkey balls on my iPad 2. So there.
  • True about the driving. It's more for either my wife in the passenger seat, or just to have lying on the seat to glance down at once in awhile. There's a lot of stop and go traffic where I live. Like I said though, GPS was not a deal breaker for me; I love this tablet even without GPS. Also for full disclosure: I also have an iPad 2 (my wife wanted it before the Prime came out). We have the wifi only so there's no GPS at all. Plus it's only 16gb with no option to expand the memory. It kept freezing up after we had it a couple of months, and finally it died and Apple had to replace it (kudos to Apple's service; one of the only things I'll ever compliment them for). My Prime is so much better than the iPad 2 in almost every respect that's there's really no comparison. And it was the same price. I will happily accept the GPS dongle and probably rarely ever use it. ASUS could have blown it off, but they didn't. They're also faster than almost any other company about pushing out updates.
  • This^. Well said stopwhining. Well said. Love my Prime and looking forward to the FREE dongle.
  • it's "flush", just like they said! and it would be really nice if they could fix the frickin' wifi and bt/wifi problem. i can no longer steal my neighbor's internet.
  • So I'm assuming all you haters won't be registering for ASUS to send you the dongle, right? Be realistic. There were all kinds of complaints when it was discovered there's a GPS issue. Now you're complaining about ASUS actively responding to the problem? I can only imagine how people would complain if this turned out to be a real "dongle" like the ones iFans have to use on Apple products, cables and all.
  • No I will not be signing up for the gps dongle, I could care less about gps on my Prime. I have already sent my Prime off to have the WiFi/ Bluetooth problem fixed. Sadly it came back from repair with the same problems, except now my gps does not work at all. So what I would like to see is the WiFi on a WiFi only device work like it should.
  • Ouch.
  • Would it still be under warranty? What happened to replacements?
  • That can't be it. No wonder Apple has no problems outselling everyone else.
  • As long as you hold it right, troll.
  • Remember the Vibrant? Samsung never fixed the GPS on it.
  • why is that ?
    why samsung does not fixed the GPS ? facebook app developers
  • They should have recalled them and just replaced the metal backing's with ones that have a plastic cover over the GPS antenna and left the rest all metal or just replaced it with a backing made up entirely of plastic.
  • if there is a way to fix with software why isn't Asus using that method?
  • Because there's not a software fix.
  • Well, if you're using it for use on the road, I don't see a problem with the dongle. It's better than nothing. Otherwise wait for the new Asus tablets coming in the summer.
  • What an EPIC failure....maybe companies will take note and do PROPER testing from now on....