The ASUS Transformer AiO is a strange sort of beast – it's half desktop computer, half massive Android tablet. Here's the thing, though: it's surprisingly cool. I've been using one for the last week or so (review coming soon), and have been extremely surprised at the amount of utility I've found in this mix-n-match device, as well as how well thought-out it is. But I'm getting ahead of myself here – you'll have to wait for the review for the full skinny.
Announced at CES this year, the ASUS Cube has managed to get a decent amount of attention for a Google TV Box. Formerly known as the Qube, this angular, textured device came to market toward the end of last month, and I've been living with it ever since, trying to get a feel for the product and decide whether ASUS has something special on their hands.
In reviewing the Cube I wanted to answer two main questions that I think underlie every GTV device: Is the user experience a good one, and does the product successfully make Google TV something I actually want to use on a daily basis?
The fine folks at GTVHacker dropped us a line to say that their new Asus Cube root solution is now available as a free download in the Google Play Store. The cleverly-titled CubeRoot takes advantage of a Unix NFS mounting exploit to install the SuperSU application and grant Cube owners root privileges, sure to be much appreciated by Google TV power users excited for Asus' new hardware. You can pick up the root application from the Play Store widget below, or download it directly from GTVHacker's website.
If you jumped on the I-would-like-a-seven-inch-phone-please bandwagon with the ASUS Fonepad, an update should on its way to your device. According to the changelog (below), this one is mostly about optimization and a few bug fixes – but hey, that's a good start on any device.
ASUS is on a roll with the 4.2 updates lately – it started with the TF300 (Wi-Fi) back in early March, and followed with the Infinity (TF700) and MeMO Pad Smart shortly after. And of course, it released full ROM downloads along the way for those who prefer to manually flash their devices.
The 3G version of the TF300 – the TF300TG – is next in line for the 4.2.1 update, which appears to have started rolling out sometime over the past couple of days.
When it comes to well-support devices, ASUS is a company that stands by its products. The TF300 was the first non-Nexus device to get Android 4.2, and the Taiwanese manufacturer followed up by bringing the updated build to the TF700 (Infinity) and MeMO Pad Smart.
Today, it's sending another small (17MB) update to the TF300 that brings a handful of improvements and bug fixes:
ASUS' Cube (formerly known as Qube), is now up for sale. Yes, the plucky Google TV-packing square we saw at CES this year can be yours for around $140, unless, that is, you were hoping to buy from Newegg.
According to ASUS, the Cube should be launching with three online retailers: Newegg, Amazon, and Adorama. Happily, Adorama is showing the device as in stock and ready to go. Amazon briefly showed a 2-4 week wait, but now indicates the Cube is in stock with a possible one to two day delay "to process." Newegg meanwhile says the device is launching on April 25th, but gladly offers customers a pre-order.
Over the past few days, ASUS has begun rolling out a treat to MeMO Pad Smart 10 owners, distributing Android 4.2.1 in an update to build number V10.6.1.15. The update, which rings in at about 500MB, brings the MeMO to 4.2.1 from 4.1, delivering on ASUS' "Q2 2013" promises noted in our review.
Of course, the headlining feature with this update is 4.2's multi-user support, which we already saw on an ASUS slate back when the manufacturer brought 4.2 to the TF300T in the US, beating other OEMs to the update punch.
If using a 7-inch tablet as a phone sounds like your idea of a good time, then the ASUS Fonepad is probably your ideal choice of device. And while the massive phone (or normal-sized tablet) isn't set to hit the streets until the end of the month, you can snag one right now from eBay Daily Deals. But there's a catch.
When ASUS officially announced the Fonepad back at Mobile World Congress, it also mentioned a $250USD price tag (despite the fact that the device isn't even slated to hit US soil), with retail pricing in other parts of the world hitting similar numbers (219 eruos, 179 pounds).