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:
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.
This is definitely not the type of publicity that ASUS wants surrounding the world's first quad-core tablet, and users are hoping that the Taiwanese manufacturer will eventually reverse its decision and open the device.
If you head over to the Best Buy website right now, for $499.99, you can get your very own ASUS Transformer Prime 32GB Amethyst Gray edition on its way to your doorstep from Best Buy's warehouse on Monday, December 27th.
In a not too surprising move, toy maker Hasbro has sued ASUS, claiming that the Transformer Prime tablet's name infringes trademarks related to Optimus Prime and Transformers children's toys.
Hasbro filed the lawsuit late last week in Los Angeles federal court, seeking damages and a temporary injunction. Hasbro wrote to paidContent:
Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.
In reality, Hasbro's case is not likely to succeed. MocoNews rightly points out that trademarks generally only cover limited categories of goods, and that it is not realistic to think that consumers might confuse ASUS' latest tablet with a popular children's toy line.
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).
- Soukthachone Vilaysack
Congratulations, you will be contacted for your information in the near future!
One of the hottest gadgets of this holiday season, the Transformer Prime (see our preview and review), is scheduled to be released the week of December 19th - that would be any day now starting today. In anticipation of the launch, Amazon re-launched pre-orders for all four color/size combinations after they went dark, disappeared completely, and even got cancelled in some cases shortly after the first wave was sold out.
Update #1: ASUS issued the following statement today:
Although we heard rumblings that the Prime would be delayed, some lucky customers have already received their Asus Transformer Primes, and it was briefly available (again) on Amazon before quickly selling out (again). Based on the universally glowing reviews (including my own), you're probably well aware by now that the Prime is a truly excellent piece of tech. But how does it compare to its older brother, the Transformer (TF101)? Is it worthwhile for TF owners to upgrade to the TP?
Before diving in, let's run over the Prime's specs:
- 10.1-inch 1280x800 Super IPS + display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Processor with 12-core GPU (up to 1.4GHz in single-core mode)
- 1GB RAM
- microSD slot and microHDMI port (with support for 1080p video output) on tablet
- SD card slot and USB port on dock
- 8MP F2.4 rear shooter with 1080p video recording and continuous flash, 1.2MP front camera
- Tablet: 8.3mm thin, 263mm wide, 180.8mm tall, 586g (1.29 lbs)
- Dock: 8 - 10.4mm thin, 263mm wide, 180.8mm tall, 537g (1.18 lbs)
- 12 hour battery life playing 720p video, 18 hours with keyboard dock
- Metallic spun finish
- Two available colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold
- Android 3.2.1 - will be updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as soon as possible after release
Size and Build
Dimensions and build quality are probably the two most significant factors in tablet purchases for casual consumers, so it should be no surprise that Asus placed an emphasis on how thin and light the Prime is.
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.
Much like the original Transformer, the amount of demand for the Prime has been overwhelming, and ASUS has been struggling to keep up with production.
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. But can they really improve upon all those aspects without cutting any corners?