ASUS Transformer Prime Users Experiencing GPS Issues, Tablet Revealed to Have Locked Bootloader


For all the anticipation building up to its launch the ASUS Transformer Prime is not without its faults. Those that have managed to find the tablet in stock since it hit shelves at the end of last year are beginning to report issues with the device’s GPS. Some individuals are having a hard time getting a lock on a GPS signal. ASUS’ response thus far has been to turn WiFi for extra location assistance, but some are crying coverup after the manufacturer removed mentions of GPS as a feature of the tablet on their official website. Recent software updates delivered to the Prime do little to address customer complaints, and it is unsure if and when the issues will be corrected.

The news doesn’t get much better for those viewing the Transformer Prime as a quad-core dream for open development. Instead of the ability to easily crack the device’s security and install custom software, those looking to do a bit of tinkering with the tablet have been met with a locked bootloader. It is unclear if ASUS plans to offer an official unlocking tool such as that offered by HTC, but it is clear that developers will be limited in their ability to modify the Prime’s software until something of that sort is released or a backdoor hack is uncovered. The Prime is still a great tablet all things considered, but is word of faulty GPS and a locked down bootloader swaying anyone’s desire to own one?

[via BreifMobile, The Verge]


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  1. make sure to let us know as soon as an online petition for unlocking the bootloader pops up, wont be long now, hopefully before mine ships

  2. i can confirm that navigation does not work!  other than that, love it so far.

    1. I can confirm that my nav DOES work, now what?

  3. Faulty GPS, sub-par WiFi performance, locked bootloader … It’s DOA.

  4. Anyone’s screen push up and down right above where the speaker is?

  5. The faulty GPS & WiFi caused me to cancel orders for two Primes and one dock.

    1. my wifi works fine and i can get GPS in my basement with wifi on no problem…

  6. No GPS, no Prime for me. I just cancelled my order.

  7. Yes!  100% the issues have swayed my desire to own one.  I cancelled my order.

    1. I could have gotten past the GPS and WiFi problems but the locked bootloader made it a no-go. I cancelled my order too.

      1. How can you get past the wifi problem on a wifi only tablet?? Mine works perfectly so I dont really dont care much, that just struck me funny.

  8. My screen moves up and down right above the volume rocker. It’s not always noticeable but is annoying.

    1. My nexus s did that the other day when using app.  Could be an application your using that is capturing those volume rocker events and using them in an unexpected way.

  9. I am a bit confused though. I have great wifi reception and I haven’t really heard of many issues with it after the initial test units went out. I just don’t understand why GPS issues would be a deal breaker on a wifi only tablet? Isn’t that what your phone is for? Are people really driving around using this for navigation?

    1. I use mine a lot for yelp, searching, maps and the like and all of those apps want GPS to tailor the results to your location.

      1. Ya.. but do you keep it on all the time. I turn off GPS to save battery and only turn it on when I need it. If you are able to search yelp then you already have a wifi connection… so the app will use your IP adress to approx your location and use GPS only if it is there. just like if you were on a PC cause they dont have gps.

    2. gps and wifi are two different things morron. 

      1. “Moron” has only one ‘r’.

        I think John’s observation is about the constraints imposed upon a wifi-only gps system. On a long road trip, it will have limited value because it won’t be able to update maps on-the-fly, as is possible with 3G/4G devices.

        1. Use wireless tether with your phone and it will. The ultimate big screen GPS!

          1. Maybe you should keep your eyes on the road…

      2. Ironic that the guy calling someone a MORON can’t spell the word properly. 

    3. All sorts of business applications need gps.  For me no gps or bad gps is a deal breaker because that’s what I’m using it for.

    4. Umm…why are using your phone for GPS?  Isn’t that what your *G.P.S.* is for?  Phones are for talking.

      In all seriousness, GPS is used for way more than just navigation.

  10. No unlocked/able bootloader, no sale. I’ve been getting all amped up about getting one to replace my Xoom, then this tidbit comes along. The locked bootloader just cost them a sale.

    1. You go ahead and keep your garbage zoom nobody cares

  11. GPS, WiFI, bootloader, initial build issues like I had with the TF-101?  Forget it.

  12. I have camera issues and the auto rotation doesn’t work. Asus said I could send it to them but I have to pay to ship it. The thing is 3 days old and I already spent a ton on it. Terrible customer service. First and last experience with this company.

  13.  Why do people even need gps on a tablet when they have it built into their smartphones that they are carrying around with them at the same time they are carrying the tablet?

    1. Because some people buy and use the features included for reasons you may not understand. Some may mount it in a boat for example for GPS navigation. You could almost question every feature the tablet has that should work but may not like what if the MicroSD card slot did not work (like with the original Xoom). Why do you need more storage when internal is plenty? HDMI not working, why would you want to stream to the TV? I do not understand why the first reaction from some people when a feature does not work is why would you use it in the first place! Just because you do not use it doesn’t mean others do not and when it is included and advertised, it should work 100%.

    2. because itd be useful to some. dont try to rationalize it out just because you dont use it.

    3. No GPS is a dealbreaker.  Among other things, I’ll be using it in conjunction with my photography work.  I’ll use it to scout locations, which may be remote, away from WiFi signals.  When I take a picture with the thing, I’ll need it to be geotagged accurately, so I can find the place again when I go back with more substantial gear.

      1. Dont buy one then!

  14. Mine is still on order, the bootloader is a dissa poitment, but not a breaker for me, the gps is a non issue for me as I will just use my phone.

  15. I already have one, I don’t know what the issues people are having with Wifi are, I did a speedtest connected to my fios router and get 22mbps down, seems plenty fast to me.

    While I think they should fix the GPS, it’s no dealbreaker for me, in fact I didn’t notice until people started reporting the error, I get an approximate location based on wifi, it’s good enough for a tablet, for a phone it would be a dealbreaker.

    I’m disappointed to hear that it has a locked boot loader but there aren’t as many reasons to need a custom rom on a tablet, and especially an ASUS tablet, no tethering to speak of, no annoying clunky skin to slow you down, I understand it does have a skin, but the skin is too light to even notice.

    Hopefully they’ll crack the bootloader, I mean my thunderbolt had a locked bootloader and they cracked that.

    Overall I’m very happy with my first tablet.

    1. @John: The issue reported is with the range compared to most other devices.  Mine does not arrive until Thursday so I cannot say that I have the issue but try walking away from your router with the Prime and another device like your smartphone and compare the distance you can go before losing signal.

      1. I see, so far range does not seem to be an issue for me. I’m in a second floor apartment so all I can say is it doesn’t drop the wifi signal at any point in my apartment. 

  16. As I read this on my Transformer Prime, I haven’t had any issues and still love it. Maybe I just haven’t noticed. I have rooted all my phones, and don’t really see a reason to put a custom ROME on this guy. Nothing seems to be lacking and not much of anything to remove.

  17. Thank God I use my phone for Navigation anyway. Now hurry up and get me my Prime.

  18. Not too worried about the bootloader and GPS. I have my Razr for that. I am concerned about the screen issues. Hopefully they’ll have it all fixed by the time I get mine.

  19. I Turned wifi off and my 32gb gray found me right away, faster than my droid incredible

  20. ….. And if you’re waiting for the ipad4, why not just wait for the nexus pad, and if you’re waiting for that, why not wait for the ipad4, why not wait for the nexus pad 2. When will a pad be good enough for you to buy?

  21. I got mine on 12-31 from Amazon. The GPS works on mine. I can pick up 12 GPS satellites in airplane mode. The signal is not great and the accuracy is not great but it does pick them up. My phone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 can pick up satellites in the house. The TFP can’t.

    1. Can you use navigation to drive somewhere accurately with wifi turned off? I haven’t seen proof that anyone can do this with the Prime. While this is a non-issue to some, others do expect all included hardware features to work properly.

      1. That is why being an early adopter sucks the big one :(

        1. That is why Android tablets will never win as long as they keep coming out with crap that does not work. I will not buy Apple for many reasons but quality control is not one of them.

          1. ASUS could have known GPS would suck. If they wanted to have google apps they needed a GPS. it didnt have to work… its also not on the spec sheet. maybe should not have been there to begin with.

  22. Another issue with the transformer prime? Asus has to step up it’s game.

  23. Almost all devices that have come out have something wrong initially.  The question is if Asus is the kind of company that fixes problems quickly and if they can be fixed with software updates.  Hardware problems for me are the deal breaker.  If I have to send the device back and wait that is asking too much from me as a customer.  If I have to wait for software updates to fix a few things that’s fine as long as it’s not 4-6 months to get a fix like it was with the Samsung Vibrant.

  24. It’s like finding out that incredibly hot super model-esque babe who for some reason is actually interested in you has herpes.

  25. I could see if the GPS issue meant no location at all but when you get locaion datd through your wifi connection I see this as a moot point.

    1. That is the point. When you travel with no wifi it does not work.

      1. First it does work. just slow. second I think its going to be a list of like 50 people who actually intended to use it for GPS when its wifi only. If it was 3g and GPS was bad okay.. but I already question the sanity of someone buying wifi only for GPS…

  26. @aaron so what you’re saying is that gps and wifi are different things. I was always wondering why I couldn’t surf the internet with my Garmin. Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I really am a morron.

  27. My Transformer Prime just went through a firmware update and that seems to have fixed my GPS issues.

    1. All the update does is enable wifi for assisted GPS. Try driving around with no wifi and let us know if it works accurately. 

  28. Waiting for March so I can pick up my prime. I can careless if GPS has issues right now. You guys are over reacting Asus has always delivered updates for issues like this. Bootloader is a biggy though but hey sooner or later root will be availabl

  29. Simple: No mod, no buy.  I was very interested in this, but not anymore.

  30. I’m sure that there’ll be at least a couple of tablets announced at CES that’ll be better than the Prime.

  31. Ordered from a site that had inventory then backordered on ship day.  i was pissed so i cancelled and ended up getting an HP touchpad that dual boots a very polished WebOS and CM android.  THANK YOU crappy website for lieing to me about availability.   So happy I didn’t get this tablet.   Nice specs but this sounds ALOT like the original Galaxy S devices.   Of which I had two and it was a continuous nightmare from an extremely shitty Software Company, Samsung.  Hopefully the Asus tablet owners will get some relief but between poor wifi reception, a broken shipped GPS and a locked bootloader I am happy as hell I didn’t get to finish my purchase of this obviously flawed device.  On the negative side, it’s just another item the Apple fanboys can jump on.  An android tablet that doesn’t live up to they hype.  

  32. It took me 73seconds to get a lock on 5/7 satellites indoors in airplane mode just now and 67seconds to get 7/8 satellites indoors with wifi on. WiFi works just as well as my original transformer with slightly higher speeds 25mb down versus 20mb on the original.
    Everyone talking like this thing is DOA should try it before they knock it.

  33. Toate modelele de Asus pe Am gasit cel mai bun pret la ASUS TF201 pe ShopsCounty.

  34. Surely you will find on ShopsCounty. You can buy a ASUS Transformer at ShopsCounty.

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