Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime
|Type||Tablet, media player, PC|
|Release date||1 December 2011 (Taiwan) |
12 December 2011 (United States online)
|Operating system||Android 4.1.1|
|CPU||1.3 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 T30|
32 or 64 GB and microSD slot
|Display||10.1" LED Backlit screen with Super IPS+ (1280 x 800) 10 finger multi-touch Gorilla Glass|
|Sound||monaural speaker, microphone, headset jack|
|Camera||Back: 8 MP autofocus |
1080p video recording Front: 1.9 MP for video calls
263 mm (10.4 in) H
180.8 mm (7.12 in) W
8.3 mm (0.33 in)
263 mm (10.4 in) H
180.8 mm (7.12 in) W
10.4 mm (0.41 in)
|Mass||Tablet: 586 g (20.7 oz) |
Keyboard: 537 g (18.9 oz)
|Predecessor||Asus Eee Pad Transformer|
|Successor||Asus Transformer Pad Infinity|
|Related articles||Asus Transformer Pad TF300T|
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime (TF201) is the world's first Android tablet computer with a quad-core processor, and a successor to the dual-core Asus Eee Pad Transformer. It runs Android 4.1. The Transformer Prime was announced by Asus on 9 November 2011. It was released in Taiwan on 1 December 2011, and in Canada and the United States during the week of 19 December 2011.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is a tablet computer with a 10.1" IPS+ multi-touch screen with a resolution of 1280x800 and an Nvidia Tegra 3 system-on-a-chip (SoC). It has an 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi module and a microSD card reader.
The optional docking keyboard features full QWERTY keys, trackpad, one USB 2.0 port and one Secure Digital (SD) card reader as well as an additional battery that increases overall battery life from 12 hours to 18 hours. There is also a sleeve which protects the tablet when not in use. This has similarities with the iPad 2 Smart Cover, but folds in an origami like fashion.
The Transformer Prime shipped with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update was released on 11 January 2012 for the Transformer Prime. It was then updated to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean on 27 September 2012.
The tablet has been noted for its graphics performance in games optimized for the Tegra 3, with the water in Riptide GP prompting a description of "awesome". By contrast, file transfer speeds for writing were one of the slowest in tablets tested. A review unit was rooted in December 2011. Users of the device intending to install a custom ROM themselves were disappointed in January 2012 to discover a locked and encrypted bootloader. The manufacturer promptly announced work on a tool to unlock the bootloader, the use of which will void the warranty and preclude use of DRM content purchased via services such as Google Videos. In a comparison with the original Transformer by the Android Police blog, the Prime was preferred. Two "minor" downsides were quoted: the speakers and the loss of a USB port.
On 22 December 2011, toy maker Hasbro filed a lawsuit against Asus for trademark violation. Hasbro requested that Asus change the name of the Prime, claiming that the name "Transformer Prime" is using its Transformers franchise to sell tablets. Failing the name change, they are requesting that Asus not be allowed to release the Prime, and that they pay punitive damages. Asus said that the Prime's rollout would not be affected. However, a US judge denied Hasbro's request to block sales late May 2012, citing that "the tablets actually do transform".
GPS and WiFi problems
On 30 December 2011, news started to emerge that hardware problems exist in the Transformer Prime with its GPS and WiFi ability. It was suggested in user forums that the problem is a result of the spun aluminium back panel effectively blocking GPS signals, poorly contacting Pogo pin connectors causing further signal loss, and in at least some units, faulty printed circuit boards. The former issue was later corroborated by Asus themselves in a response letter discussing the issue. Asus responded by saying "The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites" they went on to say "this product is not a professional GPS device". Most notably, they then proceeded to remove the GPS ability from the official list of Transformer Prime specs on their US website. ASUS now offers a free GPS dongle shipped to all customers who purchased the Transformer Prime, saying it "may help improve signal reception and optimize the user experience" available until 31 July 2012 (PST).
Third generation model
At CES 2012, the manufacturer announced the successor to the Transformer Prime, the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (previously known as the TF700T), less than a month after the original product launch, to launch Q2 2012. This new model includes a Tegra 3 T33 processor clocked at 1.6 GHz (as opposed to the Prime's T30), and an upgraded 1,920×1,200-pixel-resolution screen, more than doubling the resolution of the prior model. The display was upgraded to a Super IPS+ panel for ultra bright outdoor readability with 178° wide viewing angles. In response to the signal problems, it includes a new back-panel design with the upper part made of plastic to enhance Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS performance. The front camera was boosted from 1.2 megapixels to 2 megapixels. It has improved graphics performance with a 12-core GPU.
- Engadget staff (1 December 2011). "Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime review". Engadget. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- Bohn, Dieter (1 December 2011). "Asus Transformer Prime release date official: Dec. 12 online, Dec 19 retail". The Verge. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- Michael Gorman (27 September 2012). "ASUS Transformer Prime TF201 gets Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update". Engadget. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Victor H. (5 December 2011). "Asus Transformer Prime Sleeve is an origami-inspired cover for the first quad-core tablet". phoneArena.com. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
[...] origami-inspired case [...] Does it borrow from the iPad 2 Smart Cover? Well, the Sleeve doubles as a stand so it delivers a similar functionality, but folds in a different way. There seems to be some resemblance, but it’s up to you to decide whether this makes the cover a blind copy, an original concept or is it somewhere in between.
- "Transformer Prime Gets 4.0.3 (ICS) Update". Anandtech. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Perenson, Melissa J. (3 December 2011). "Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 review". Techworld. IDG. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
Graphics in some games appear awesome. Riptide GP has water that ripples with surprising realism, and the droplets that splash stun. [...] One performance metric that the Transformer Prime disappointed was in its file transfer speeds. Among the Android 3.x tablets and iPad 2, the Prime was one of the slowest models we've tested at writing to the tablet [...]
- Jones, Cheryl Lindo. "Asus Transformer Prime Gets Rooted Thanks to Razorclaw". netbooknews.com. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
Phil Nickinson from Android Central took a bit of a risk when he ran the Razorclaw rooting app on the review unit Transformer Prime he had, but the risk paid off. [...] At any rate, his risk has turned into your reward, whenever you get your hands on the Transformer Prime.
- Davies, Chris (2 January 2012). "Asus catches heat over Transformer Prime locked bootloader". SlashGear. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
[...] Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet was discovered to use an encrypted bootloader preventing owners from tweaking the slate.
- Kendrick, James (3 January 2012). "Transformer Prime buyers believe unlocked bootloader is an inalienable right". ZDNet. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
The ASUS Transformer Prime has an encrypted locked bootloader, and buyers are campaigning the company to unlock it.
- Graziano, Dan (3 January 2012). "Transformer Prime to get Android 4.0 on January 12, official bootloader unlock tool soon". Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
The company announced that it is working on a bootloader unlocking tool, however with an unlocked bootloader comes consequences; Google video rentals will be unavailable and the ASUS warranty will be voided for unlocked devices.
- Gingrich, Aaron. "[Head To Head] Asus Transformer (TF101) Versus Asus Transformer Prime (TF201): No Surprises Here - Prime By A Landslide". Android Police. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
In a victory that should surprise pretty much nobody, the Prime takes it in a landslide. In fact, the Prime suffers losses against the TF in just two minor ways: speakers (only one, and it's in a bad place), and the number of USB ports (one versus the TF's two) [...]
- Roberts, Jeff (21 December 2011). "Toy Maker Sues Android Tablet Maker Over 'Transformer' Tablet". paidcontent. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Tsukayama, Hayley (28 May 2012). "Hasbro loses bid to stop Asus's 'Transformer Prime'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "Opened my Prime! - GPS, WIFI Discussion on hardware mods and fixes. Light Bleed Fixed". xda-developers. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "ASUS free GPS dongle for Transformer Prime".
- Tyler (30 December 2011). "Asus Response To Transformer Prime GPS Problems". Land of Droid. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Franklin, Eric (9 January 2012). "Asus Transformer Prime gets major screen upgrade". CNET. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T - Tablets & Mobile". ASUS. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Official website
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Review (AnandTech)
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Review (Engadget)
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime Review (Cnet UK)
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime review
- Asus Transformer Prime review (russian)
- Asus Transformer Prime Linux Comptability and howto
- Asus Transformer Prime Reviews