Well, that didn't take long, did it? Just one short day after news hit the web that the Transformer Prime's bootloader is encrypted and locked, ASUS has issued a statement on its Facebook page regarding the matter, and it's definitely a step in the direction that the modding community was hoping for. Here's the meat and potatoes of it:
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.
Forget about GPS issues, it looks like ASUS has a bigger problem on its hand with the Transformer Prime: a locked/encrypted bootloader. Like with other devices, as soon as the development community found out about this, there were some rather irritated people. The typical backlash against the company has now started on popular social networking sites, along with a petition that has managed to get over 200 signatures in just a few hours.
Update 2: ASUS has issued an official statement on the matter and determined that the Prime's GPS is functioning as intended, which for many folks means essentially non-functional.
Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device ... To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
It appears this may have been a special offer limited to select customers who preordered a different color that was delayed, and that the web page was set up to never run out of stock. The shipping date may be completely wrong, as well. We're waiting on a response from Best Buy to confirm, but given that it's a holiday, we're not expecting it until Monday. We advise you not to order.
In our first giveaway of the day (there will be another one a bit later, stay tuned), we're handing out the last of our holiday goodies provided by our pals at NVIDIA. Two lucky winners will be selected, one will get the unique ASUS Eee Pad Slider tablet, and another will receive the new Acer Iconia A100. Both winners will also get a Jambox portable speaker and a $25 AMEX gift card.
Well, we started today off right by offering our US readers a Galaxy Nexus, but we figured it's only fair to bring our international readers into the mix for another awesome giveaway. Today, we're giving away one ASUS Transformer Prime 32GB Wi-Fi tablet to one lucky person, courtesy of Beansoft, the developers of the extremely popular third-party keyboard app Thumb Keyboard, along with a pair of Klipsch S4A headphones provided by Klipsch (read our review here).
Update 12/18/11: It's back again - all other variants are still showing the "sign up for availability alerts" message.
Looks like Amazon may be gearing up to start (re)taking pre-orders for the Transformer Prime, with the 64GB version in champagne being the first one to make its way back to the site. As you may already know, Amazon started taking pre-orders several weeks ago, but abruptly stopped (no reason has really been made clear as to why) and ultimately ended up cancelling many users' orders.
In light of the slew of Asus Transformer Prime (the first tablet to pack NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 CPU) reviews and the pending release of said device, we are curious to know: would you still buy a dual-core tablet? Perhaps you would, but only for a secondary/budget tablet? Or only if it were smaller?
The Asus Transformer Prime: the first Android device to ship with a quad-core chip, courtesy of NVIDIA's brand new Tegra 3 (Kal-El) CPU. But there's more of a hook here than power alone - Asus has gone back to the drawing board for the Prime (model number TF201) and revamped the device from nearly head to toe compared to its predecessor, the TF101. It's substantially thinner, lighter, and more attractive than the rather portly 101, while packing a much more powerful CPU, better display, and reportedly better battery life.
Adding to the heap of Transformer Prime mania, ASUS has revealed to us the official release date for one of the most hotly anticipated Android tablets to date.
ASUS tells us that the Transformer Prime, (the world's first Tegra 3 tablet), should be available starting December 19th in North America (the previous estimate of December 12th has been ruled out, in an update from ASUS), with a rumored December 1st release date in Taiwan.