16
Apr

Update: You can now register to get your free dongle. More info can be found here. Below, you'll find a look at what this massive accessory looks like. Yep, just like the leak.

TF201_b

The ASUS Transformer Prime is the hottest Android tablet on store shelves right now, and for good reason; it's thin, fast, powerful, and well-featured. But there's one shortcoming that ruffled a lot of feathers: very poor GPS performance. The company acknowledged the issue and rolled out numerous OTA updates to the device in hopes that a software patch would fix the issue, but to no avail. So now, they're doing what's right and solving things by sending free hardware to owners to improve GPS performance.

According to XDA member demandarin, the dongle has been in the hands of testers and it's "very cool though... very minimalistic and made to look like part of the Prime." It is, again, available to all Prime owners free of charge. To get yours (courtesy of Zephyrot):

1. Please ensure you have already joined our ASUS Membership program. If not, please click Sign Up.
2. Please proceed with "Product Registration" after you have joined as an ASUS Member. There are two methods:
     A. After activating the ASUS Member account successfully, please proceed with Product Registration.
     B. After login, please click on "Product Registration" on the left side menu.

After you register, you'll receive the following message - again, courtesy of Zephyrot (sorry for the size!):

asus_dongle_ss

The dongles are expected to begin shipping in mid-April (which should mean within the next week or two).

Update: We reached out to our ASUS contact for more info about the dongle and were told to expect an official announcement on or around April 16th. Given the expected ship date of mid-April, it's probably safe to assume that ASUS will begin sending out the dongles around the same time.

But wait, there's more! According to an ASUS Junior Technical Product Manager, newer builds of the Prime have received tweaks to improve WiFi performance, putting it on par with the original Transformer (TF101).

Dear Gregory,
*
Also to update the wi-fi.* I have been testing our newer versions of our Primes over the last week and they are getting better signal strength with the wi-fi.* Wifi will vary depending on routers being used and the router settings.* I can tell you there is a definite improvement in wifi transfers and speed on the newer batches that I have.* I have been doing side by side comparisons with the TF101 and Prime with my RT-N13U router.* They are very close in performance now and I could not distinguish difference albeit very minor ones in transfer rates on both the units.* So this area has also been improved with our newer release Primes.*
*
Let me know if you have any more questions as I can be your direct contact for communication on making your new Prime purchase a good one.

Well handled, ASUS.

[Source: XDA. Thanks SD!]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Brainimpact

    I have no problems with my wifi plenty strong enough to stream HD with no stutter or buffering.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Same. WiFi always works for me, and GPS has never actually caused me problems (probably since it's a tablet, so I'm not using it for directions or anything.)

      • Brainimpact

        I've Only used GPS a few times never had a problem with that either, even getting a Fix indoors.
        But I must admit I have only used it when stationary Never had a reason to try it out on the Road as I have more fitting gadgets for that Job.

        • Scott Humanh8r

          Yep, don't care.  This thread isn't about how awesome you are sir.  

          • Georgeburgin

            seriously get a life 

        • Scott Humanh8r

          Ugh, sorry.  I actually tried deleting both of these posts but could not.  It's been a horrible day and what I perceived to be your pretentious posts...well, they immediately wiggled under my skin.  My apologies. 

    • Scott Humanh8r

      Oddly enough, this reply thread isn't about whether yours is strong enough, it pertains to how others lack strength.  You are probably one of those people that sits around and listens to people complain about this or that and then spouts outs...well, "I" don't have that problem.  Well, congratulations to you.  You are obviously superior in every way.  Oh, and to the people who say they wouldn't use THEIRS as a gps anyways because "THEY" have better devices for that service????  WE WEREN'T ASKING......SHUT UP

      • Georgeburgin

        you are an asshole for a livng aren't you.

  • http://gplus.to/KraigWebb GeekYoshi

    I registered mine but didn't get the message =[

  • Chris668

    Me neither, i'm from belgium. I hope this isn't for US owners only :/

    • Brainimpact

      you have sign up for member account then sign in and go to register Product, once you register your Prime It will explain about the dongle and you get option submit your Shipping address for it, I did it Last Night in the UK

      • Chris668

        I did all those steps (sign up and registering the prime) but I didn't receive any explanation about the dongle yet

        • Seanzky

          .Me neither. I'm from the US

  • Aeefire

    Registered, no message yet (Austria)

  • Shawn

    Was already registered and no message either or any sign of it on that page. (U.S.)

  • Chris W.

    Wow. ASUS are a brilliant company :D

    When I bought a mobo from them and had a slight squeaking noise from all audio output, I asked them a relatively benign question about how I might fix in and they just went ahead and sent me another.

  • http://www.atlantacv.org RJ Scott

    Same here. Already registered and I can't seem to find a way to sign up for the dongle. Maybe they're just going to send it to people who've registered prior to this announcement.

  • Kristjan

    No message for me either, already a ASUS member so I just added the prime to my product list but got no message.

    From Iceland

  • Kevin

    Mine is currently on it's way in for RMA service, been complaining about GPS since January 1, 2012. WiFi performance just got horrible. 4 days for ground shipping, then at least 7-14 business days for service. Probably won't have my tablet back for a full month. Not holding my breath that GPS works or WiFi is better when I get it back. ASUS support really brings the company name down. I won't ever buy a product from ASUS again because of support.

    Oh, BTW, I have registered my product when I got it on 12/27/31, I don't have a link to get the dongle on the VIP page.

  • Chris668

    Receive this mail from asus support :
    "Dear mr.,

    Thank you for your email.

    Asus did not officially announce a dongle for the TF201 at this moment. We will however note down your name, serialnumber and emailadres.

    We will contact you if such a dongle will be available.

    Best regards"

  • nullnvoid

    Same thing. Registered. No dongle link.

  • Jean

    GPS doesn't work on mine and I've ever really cared... wifi performance is terrible on this thing though. My Galaxy S2 will regularly pull down 20Mb while the Prime, sitting right next to my phone (within 10 feet of the router) will only get 4-6Mb.

  • [TSON]

    This is a PRIME example of how to handle a problem like this. Love ASUS.

  • Tyler C

    It makes me glad to see them doing this for all the displeased customers, but I dont regret cancelling my order for the Prime back in January, especially with the arrivals expected to come out and the thought of a wonderfully priced nexus tablet.

  • Brian

    I guess the latest and greatest isn't always that. Guess I'll stick with my TF101 running ICS since it has no wifi issues. With all these issues, ASUS probably won't be my next tablet purchase.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Let's wait for the official ASUS announcement on the 16th - I'm sure all the links will be live by then.

  • jeff f

    I guess I will wait as well. I just got my tablet and my registration is set up now.

    I sure hope this doesn't mess with any of the post I use. USB is the key one for me, and of course, the fact I will have the docking station connected to the tablet often.

    In my opinion, the 201 prime looks awesome so far but Asus has fallen down a bit in other areas. I can say that they went backwards on netbooks. I have an old one that works great to this day but a newer one from 2010 was made more cheaply and has failed now. I hope these tablets are a comeback!

  • Mark

    Registered last night. No message about the dongle.

    BTW - regarding WiFi... my perfermance of wifi is so so - not great, not bad; however, as soon as I run bluetooth AND wifi, both really tank. BT is choppy especially if my BT receiver (a Jambox speaker) is more than 5 feet from the tablet, and wifi is noticeably slower (and shows lower bars).

  • Kelly Lee Krebs

    I haven't used the GPS for anything myself, WiFi is variable around inside/outside my house. I have had to change the channel on my WiFi router though (due to 10 or so neighboring routers)..not too bad, but not great Wifi. I would definately love to have one of these tongles if they do indeed send them out...would make some of the frustrating lag go away if my signal was better. Love ASUS's products (even my PC has an ASUS motherboard) & NVidia is the way to go graphically

  • Owen

    How do i register ive got the page but no idea what the device is called eg home desktop all in one networking

    • Owen

      Its under eee family under eee pad transformer

  • http://madebymatt.org Matt R

    It's under the EEE Pad family.

  • CJ

    I wish they were giving us a dongle for improved wi-fi performance. mine is complete crap. I don't even know if my gps works or not bc I don't care for it.

  • spydie

    I registered, but got no information about a Dongle. My gps didn't work AT ALL even under clear skies outdoors, it couldn't see even one satellite. I sent it back to Asus repair in Grapevine, TX. They kept it a week, then sent me a brand new one from CA. Wifi worked fine on both... but now my gps works like it's supposed to, I guess, except that I can't get any satellites indoors like some guys say they can, so maybe I DO need the dongle?

  • Aaron

    Anyone know if they will start shipping the dongle with new purchases? Or if the offer will still be on the table mid summer/fall?

  • Kranthi Kumar

    I've registered 2 of my TF201, but I didn't get the page "GPS extension Kit apply & inquiry". Please advise.

  • HuzZ

    No pop-up for me either. Please update the article to mention that it won't be available until April 16th. I'm getting the impression that "ASUS will begin sending out the dongles around the same time. (April 16th).

  • Bailey Sandlin

    For pictures of dongle go here...
    http://www.landofdroid.com/2012/exclusive-first-pictures-of-the-asus-transformer-prime-gps-dongle/

    It sits like it does in the dock in the dongle, meaning that it is a decision between gps or dock, but that is fine, looks nice and strong, and I am sure they will have champagne and the grey even though the grey is only shown here, I am happy with this fix, just wish they made it boost WiFi with it too but whatever I get ok WiFi and didn't buy it for gps anyways

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmourar Ricardo Moura Rocha

    apparently they don't deliver to Brazil...:(

  • Lars Gyrup Brink Nielsen

    Joke of the year: "very cool though... very minimalistic and made to look like part of the Prime."

  • Richard

    I ended up returning my Prime and got an ACER Iconia A100 - and loving it :)

  • TheMexicanJesus

    If you have already signed up and registered your Asus Transformer Prime tf201, sign in and look under product extension Activation, the option to order your free dongle should be their, just order mine today.

  • http://twitter.com/Nandrew1 Nandrew

    I registered awhile back when Androidpolice broke the good news. I never received a message or email. Today, I noticed the "TF201 GPS Extension Kit Apply&Inquire" button on my vip ASUS home screen. It is like the 8th button down on the far left menu. Click that and fill out the form.

    I previously contacted customer support prior, and they had no idea what I was inquiring about. All I wanted was a dongle!

    Note: The offer will expire on 31th of July, 2012 (PST).

    Hopefully all the casing vendors will start making new cases that will fit this new monstrosity dongle. I know my current Targus case will end up on Ebay. Anyone want a used Targus case?

  • Taylor Hunt

    Won't let me register. Says my sn in incorrect. Is this because I unlocked my bootloader?

    • Bigsike

      You must be typing it in wrong it has nothing to do with an unlocked device.

  • Bigsike

    I'm guessing they are sending out which color you need based on the SN? there was no where to specify Grey/Champagne. So it's probably based of the SN.

  • Spydie

    When I registered mine a week ago, I didn't get the email or any indication that was reported here.  today I went to my Asus VIP home screen and I still don't see any link.  I wonder why some guys are seeing the link and others not?  Maybe because mine is newer?

  • NuTTz

    The product must be recalled and replaced with the TF700t which actually meets the specification given on the TF201. I keep loosing WiFi when other devices show a good signal and the GPS is not worth talking about. The proposed dongle does nothing with the WiFi problem and i do not accept it as a solution since it was not part of the specification when i bought the device. 

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Good luck with that :S

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