There’s been a lot of negative feedback from early adopters of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, first over some poor GPS performance, then over a bootloader locked with 128-bit encryption. While the former is probably a hardware issue, the latter is a software decision that’s keeping paying customers from taking advantage of the Transformer PRime’s hardware with custom kernels and ROMs. Notebook Italia reports that the Asus Italy has responded to customer outcry. The response is not likely to make many users happy.
It’s a little tough to tell through the filter of Google Translate (unless you happen to speak Italian) but it looks like Asus has adopted adopted a “take it or leave it” position. When responding to battery complaint,s the company says that the Transformer Prime is performing within expected parameters. On GPS issues it mentions that smartphones have a distinct advantage in their 3G connectivity, and that you can simulate this with WiFi. But since (their words, not ours) most owners won’t want to use the tablet as a car or pedestrian navigation unit, they should just use a smartphone. Presumably made by someone else, who will take customer complaints more seriously.
Finally, on the issue of the locked bootloader, Asus Italy notes that it does not support customized software on the Transformer Prime, saying that installing anything but Asus code will void your warranty. They also spent some brief words to address a forum post that they have apparently deleted, to the consternation of some localized owners. You can see the full Google Translation of their response below, with apologies for any confusion:
We see that there was a bit ‘choppy sea of questions about some” hot “. We talk about issues with Prime. It is called the root block. About First it should be noted that the product is not yet available on our the territory. So the issues that SOME (we want to emphasize) users have complained will not affect the units deployed overseas on our territory. Battery life is line with what was promised. Obviously, this parameter depends strongly on the conditions of use and autonomy Maximum use is always referred to a “light” with all the energy saving features active. On the GPS is wrong to compare a product like Prime to a smartphone. First, because smartphones using 3G connectivity to download the table with the positions of the satellites then identify the satellites more quickly. What you can do even Prime WiFi, but only when it is connected. Secondly, because Prime does not come as Car Navigator, nor do we imagine that users will use it while walking the streets of the city, looking for a street or a shop. For those things are just smartphones. Finally speech root: our position in this regard is simple. The product is guaranteed as it is. different firmware altering the basic functionality of the product or push the hardware beyond the standard frequencies will void your warranty and may threaten the reliability and proper functioning of the product itself. Basically to respond to some posts on the bulletin board: we do not delete the “post uncomfortable” because we do not have anything to hide.’s delete spam, misinformation and the news is not official. Keep them on the bulletin board would be to confirm their content. But it is not. It is not appropriate for a user who attends board ASUS Italy will find us to be informed rather of misinformation. We hope with this post that I made clear the misunderstanding.
The staff at ASUS Italy
This response is unlikely to soothe any of the more adamant Transformer Prime owners, and that’s a massive understatement. Essentially the company has taken no responsibility for the problems that users are experiencing, and in fact, recommended entirely separate devices to perform functions that are built in to the hardware. The reaction to customer uproar over the locked bootloader is particularly disappointing, since they haven’t even recognized it as a problem. If you’d like Asus to supply its customers with unlock keys for the encrypted bootloader so they can use custom Amdroid ROMs, be sure to sign this petition.
We haven’t heard from the United States arm of Asus yet, but an official statement will be available soon. Asus has told its US customers to “relax” on its official Facebook page.