Jan 09 AT 12:30 PM Anthony Domanico 79 Comments

Didn’t have your Transformer Prime preorder cancelled yet? Now may be the time


Today’s story from ASUS makes us sad to be early adopters. ASUS chose to go with an aluminum backing on the Transformer Prime, which has translated into poorer WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS performance in the quad-core tablet. GPS performance was so bad that ASUS removed it from their spec sheet entirely on their product page.

ASUS sent us a note this morning indicating they’ve come up with a fix for these issues, and it’s not a good one if you already own a Transformer Prime. Rather than figuring out a way to fix the current model of Transformer Prime, ASUS is introducing a new model, the TF700T, which ASUS believes will enhance WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS performance.

In addition to a new back panel, the TF700T adds the following upgrades to the tablet:

  • Panel/Display: The new display will provide a screen resolution of 1920×1200
  • Front Facing Camera: The 1.2 megapixel FFC was replaced with a 2.0 megapixel camera that allows HD video capture

Otherwise, the Transformer Prime TF700T is the same Transformer Prime we’ve come to know and love and maintains the form factor of the tablet. The TF700T will fit in the standard Transformer Prime docking station.

If you’re still within your return window on the Transformer Prime tablet, you may want to consider sending it back and waiting for the upgraded version, which should be launching in the next few weeks. Seems a bit silly that, after several months of delays, the Transformer Prime still launched with a flawed panel.

Hopefully ASUS will do the right thing here and provide the back panel free of charge to those who already purchased the Transformer Prime. ASUS has had a strong track record for providing timely updates to the original Transformer, quickly becoming a community favorite in the tablet world. How they handle this situation will determine how well their products are adopted in the near future.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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    wow, I am officially pissed !!

    • Zeratoda1

      didnt you get one Merf? how is it? cause it sure as hell looks better than most tablets out there

      • BiGMERF

        mines is fine.. i have no wifi, bt, or even gps issues at all (not that i care about gps).,and the screen is amazing enough. If Asus is slick enough to hike the price another 1-200 dollars for the updated model, then I am happy with my purchase.

        • Zeratoda1

          well i wouldnt use it for GPS either idk why its needed on a wifi tablet. so you recommend me getting one as gift to me for my Birthday :D?

          • BiGMERF

            Some people use it for navigation, why i dont know. If you want better gps why not use your phone. If you have a tablet , im pretty sure you have a device capable of it.. In my home my Gps locks on pretty well, better with wifi assist. But that is all i need. truthfully. It also locks on pretty darn well when i tether to my Gnex also.

        • Jeff Pan

          Haha. Would have nice if Asus had given something like a “gift card” for early adopters and then keep the price same for the new model rather than hike the price ! :D

        • dacatalyst41

          Is it just me or does Asus seemed to be getting a little greedy? Did the original transformer’s sales go to their heads? I dont know if these slight improvements warrant a $100 bump, especially considering that this new Prime is probably what the original Prime should have been. I’m a little disappointed with my favorite tablet manufacturer.

          • sivart79

            I agree, it may warrant $50 but not $100 especially since they look bad for the issues with the original Prime.

        • warhol

          you got no issues with wifi at all? I heard others are having issues and I’m debating if I should bring it back or not. I have 10 days to return it for a full refund.

          • WlfHart

            I picked one up and the GPS isn’t accurate within even 50 meters, the WiFi works, but doesn’t have the range my other devices have while on campus, and if they really are upping the resolution on the new version I’d recommend you return yours and wait for the new one. I’m returning mine after the ICS update so I have a little time to play with that.

    • YMS123

      I don’t blame you, I would be too

    • BiGMERF

      the social media assault has begin. check there f page! the goal is to have them provide a new back plate for early adopters. I do not care for the battery/gpu sucking 1080p screen

  • AsakuraZero

    and my order have been cancelled in the presence of the real tablet of the year >_>

  • Michal Janda

    No 3G module again?

    • Bryan Stoner

      Dang, you missed the point.

      • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly


  • Galen20K

    Wow, I am so happy I waited! I think my Galaxy tab 10.1 can carry me until the second quarter of course by then Samsung will have unveiled their next gen tabs as well so who knows which will be my second tablet at this point.

  • http://goncalossilva.com goncalossilva

    While this must be very disappointing for early adopters, I can’t really stop drooling over 1920×1200… can’t wait to get my hands

  • aconner22

    Seems like this should’ve been caught during testing.

  • Zeratoda1

    so i should not get a Transformer Prime for my birthday as a gift to myself? are there any new tablets that are worth getting coming out before the 31st?

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      I doubt it man. Either get this or wait for the updated version.

  • jenskristian

    Glad I stayed with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Not a good PR move at all Asus.

    Waiting for a Nexus tablet or the next generation from Samsung.

    • Bryan Stoner

      Oh you got the 10.1. Cool. I was thinking about the Tab 7.0 Plus, Tab 7.7, and Tab 8.9. I want the big screen with the 10.1 but the 7.7 has a 1.4 Ghz Dual core processor. Decisions.

      Samsung is my favorite but I can’t help but point out they are even worse when it comes to all the upgrading hubub. They aren’t too speedy with updates as well.

  • S

    Great! I was so sure that i was going to buy this beast of a tablet but the bt,wifi gps fiasco made me change my mind. This is such a relief.

  • xray49er

    I love my prime but this sucks a little but my wife loves my prme as well so i may just give it to her and get this when it comes out. but by the time this comes out there most definately will be another new hotness

    • dacatalyst41

      Are you experiencing wifi issues at all?

  • jawabba

    I would imagine the price is going to reflect the changes as well. Hopefully you wont need oven mitts to hold this thing with how hot its going to run….

    • sivart79

      The only real changes is the resolution and the front camera, the other stuff should have been working in the original. Hope they don’t charge too much more for this one.

      • AsakuraZero

        im willing to dish out 50~100 bucks for the new lcd panel but they should not ask too much money after the “flop” of the prime.

        in fact they should discontinue the prime and replace it with the new model just saying

  • Bryan Stoner

    I wonder what the new back plate looks like~

  • sivart79

    Well, mine comes in from Best Buy on Friday and I’m now glad I ordered from them even with the pricey taxes cause now I can easily take it back to the store for a refund and wait for this one.

    • crunchybutternut

      Ditto, I had my second preorder canceled, but then found it on BestBuy last week. Mine should arrive on Friday too.

      Now I am considering returning it too.. just how long will we have to wait for inventory to meet demand on the updated version?

      Arrg…. #FirstWorldProblems…

      • sivart79

        I have decided to see how it performs and if the wifi/bt/gps issue is too bad then I will probably return it but if it’s workable then I will probably keep it considering the new version is $100 more than this one.

    • sivart79

      YAY, it’s being delivered a day early, TODAY. Work day can’t be over quick enough.

  • spazby

    feel bad for early adopters and am excited about this new version of a great tablet…

  • azulpiscina

    Already sent mine back… I really need the GPS and better WIFI, so, I was just about to buy other tablet (galaxy tab), but I will wait for this one…
    And yes, i’m pissed!

  • ryan003

    Finally got mine last week but now I’m left wondering if I should take it back. If ASUS offers nothing to early adopters they are screwing both the early adopters AND their retail partners. Retail partners will see probably both a slow down in sales and a flow of return items just to wait out for the update. IF its the same price, I’ll take mine back to BB and wait for the higher resolution screen.

    I love my Prime, and the only issue for me is a slightly weak Wifi signal, but for the better screen and no wifi issues I can wait another several weeks. I already waited 5 weeks from my pre-order and 3 weeks from the “release” date. Plus, I’d see it as a nice bonus to have it come from the factory with ICS (not a big deal, but a bonus).

    • sivart79

      I agree about the price, IF it’s no more the $50 more I will be getting the updated one. IF more than $50 difference then more thinking will be involved.

  • NamelessTed

    Is this the reason it is currently impossible to find a Transformer Prime anywhere? I have seriously been frustrated by the complete lack of availability. I got the original Transformer for Christmas because the Prime wasn’t available. I have until Jan 24 to return it to Best Buy, at which point I was planning on paying for the upgrade to the Prime. Any chance the new models would be ready by then?

    Maybe I can upgrade to the Prime, then take that one back within 2 weeks if this new model isn’t available by then, assume it is the same price.

    • sivart79

      Better check on Best Buy’s return policy, when I checked last week I saw you only had 14 days to return tablets.

  • wildkarrde21

    Ouch…definitely hope the back panel is provided to current Primes for preorderers’ sake.

    Guess my TouchPad can hold me over until later this year. Then we’ll see if the Prime is still the one to have or if anybody else has come out with something better.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I feel for all the early adopters. They should never have to be the beta testers for any product. Early adopters deserve to benefit for being first to try a product. Asus should consider swapping all the early Prime Tablets as a PR fix.

  • Louis A

    Sucks to be an early adopter but I will be looking forward to the new and improve Transformer Prime because I didn’t buy mine yet.

  • Brasusa

    I will be receiving mine today by UPS after a very long wait but now I see that I will have to wait longer because this one will be returned. I am just not sure if I will buy from ASUS. I do not have any ASUS product but I think it is not fair what they did.

  • Hall Lo

    Feeling sorry to all the early adopters…

    • TaoRenCe

      Early adopters often get scuffed. Such is the way of the world today.

  • Slith

    I was so mad when Amazon delayed my order, but for once it looks like I had some good luck.

  • spoon201

    Engadget is reporting a 100 dollar price increase.

    • Brasusa

      I guess by doing that they are expecting us not to return the ones we purchased…if that so they are wrong. Mine will be returned anyway and I will not buying an ASUS again.

    • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

      we’re not 100% sure on that, so we didn’t put it in.

      • spoon201

        Oh okay I hope not that is a lot for a few more pixels.

  • Ron

    They would announce this the same day that FedEx reports that my TF201 is at my door.

    But since I don’t need GPS and only use it where WiFi reception is very good, I don’t think I’ll be impacted.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    Oh geez, what should I do? How long is this newer, updated model going to take to ship out? I need my tablet NOW (been without one since Thanksgiving).

    As tempting as a 1920×1200 display is, it’s not the main selling point to me (unless the original Prime’s display is terrible compared to the new one). If it sells for the same price then it’s a no brainer on which one I should get, unless it takes 3-6 months to get the newer version.

    What should I do??

  • M3rc Nate

    I feel bad for all the early adopters, (tho this is exactly why i am not a early adopter) and i really hope that you guys get something in return for your early adoption. Such as a free new back plate or something i dont know.

    But other than that…..YAY for me!!! I have been wanting a T-Prime since i first read about it, but have held off until ICS shipped on it, and while waiting iv heard about the GPS/Wifi issues and it made me a tiny bit doubtful.

    Even though it doesnt really matter right now (content is all in 720P not 1080 on tablets) i was just saying how the 720P T-Prime screen is very 2011, and so is the non HD front camera, and so is the one side speaker (though i dont think they changed that). And now they are putting out a new Prime that hits everything!

    Though i dont think 1920×1200 and a 2mp camera are worth $100, to future proof, avoid Wifi strength issues and just because, i will get the new model. IF there should be a price bump at all, it should be like $50.

    It makes more sense for there to not be a price bump, considering they are making these changes because very soon they are going to be the norm (at least on high end android tablets). Hell the next iPad will probably have a 1080 res and a HD FFCamera.

    My logic is that keeping a certain price point to your consumers is much more important than keeping a certain bottom line. Its like they wanted to still make $200 a tablet so they raised the price another $100, instead of keeping it where it is, making only $150ish a tablet and making the tablet look to sweet to pass up to us consumers.

  • ranman

    I just printed my shipping labels….. Love this tablet, but would rather have the new display and fixed gps/wireless issues.

    Sucks that they didn’t put off the release and fix these issues on the current prime, I am afraid this will hurt Asus pretty bad in the long run, as it seems they tried to put one over on their fans…….

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    Had my original preorder cancelled by Amazon, and second preorder is scheduled for delivery tomorrow, Tuesday. This news is certainly a virtual punch in the stomach or lower, and dampens the joy of finally receiving the long delayed Prime. I know there will always be a newer, better model, but come on ASUS, don’t introduce the next latest greatest before most have been able to actually get delivery of your previous greatest model.

    Don’t care about the GPS, or front webcam, won’t use them. I am concerned about WiFi reception since router is upstairs from area I plan to use the Prime in the majority of the time. I am sure the new resolution screen will be fantastic; however, I find the high resolution vs physical screen size of Galaxy Nexus to a bit too intense bordering on uncomfortable in day to day use. The Note is a lot more comfortable on my eyes, of course your mileage may vary.

    ASUS is skyrocketing to the pinnacle of my favorite manufacturer list. I own several ASUS laptops, the original Transformer, and as of tomorrow, the Prime. I will be observing how ASUS handles the WiFi / GPS / Bluetooth issue to determine whether ASUS starts a nosedive from the top heights of my favorite list, or stays king.

    • markus wallett

      No wonder the USA and its consumerist obssessed denizens are trillions in debt. Never heard of owning just one device.

  • alexanderharri3

    The WiFi isnt SUPER strong like a laptop, but it’s more than sufficient. To those complaining about a slow GPS lock on a non-3G TABLET…besides geotagging photos…wifi location is good enough…unless you’re using this for Nav…which is a stretch.

    TF Prime is still the tablet of the year – let’s not whip ourselves into a fury about a tablet that is likely to come out on the TF original’s anniversary. The Prime is amazing.
    CES is a time of announcements from vapor to the soon to 7 months range. Chill out.

    • alexanderharri3

      PS: This has better reception than an iPod. No iPad around to compare. About the same to slightly lower bars than Thunderbolt. WiFi and GPS might be a bit impaired, but it’s got a metal back and it will outlast your plastic.

  • Ed Tanas

    And to top it off you have to pay 100 bucks more for the next one that has a GPS and wifi that works like the first one should have..Fail for Asus eh??

    It’ll ship with Android 4.0.1 onboard (yeah, that’s Ice Cream Sandwich), and will be compatible with the exact same keyboard dock as the existing Prime. Needless to say, ASUS is aiming for the stars with a build sheet like this, and the $599 to $699 retail price points enable you to know it

    Loving my Galaxy 10.1 with 4 G here in Canada now and will wait for the next Samsung upgraded tablet ..I find the Samsung to be at par or better with the Apple ipad.

    A new back panel design. Asus says the TF700T’s back panel will “enhance” its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS performance compared to the original Transformer Prime model. Some users have complained about issues in those areas, presumably due to the all-aluminum casing used on the original Prime tablet.

    New Webster Dictionary entry
    Enhance — works like it should.

  • akareem89

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!! I am pissed but good thing i am receiving a replacement prime from Amazon by February 1st. Will use that till the return window ends and hopefully the 700 will be out. As much as i hate Asus for this the Prime is one hell of a device…if it didnt have the problems it does.

  • K2theIzzo

    Asus should drop the original price of the Prime by 50 bucks and send early adopters a rebate. This new model should be the same price as the first Prime.

  • maskedpirate

    Just for clarification, as I type on my transformer prime with regret, the big issue with Wi-Fi on the prime is when you enable any Bluetooth device, Wi-Fi pretty much quits working. Ordered mine from the short stock at office depot and will be returning (despite the likely 15% restocking fee) shortly after ICS when it does nothing to fix the problem. Thanks Asus for making me feel like a moron early adopter.

  • Nathan D.

    Great this make me want to cancel my pr-order and wait for this one, but it in another few weeks! Should I keep the one I have or cancel the pre-order and get this one instead?

  • Paydrow

    Honestly I don’t think the upgraded screen/ wifi,gps,bt reception is worth $100 more and the wait. I have one coming in a week or two and I’m not cancelling for this.

    • sivart79

      I have one coming Friday and plan to test how it works and if it doesn’t meet my needs for performance wireless wise then will probably look elsewhere.

      • Dave F

        Please give me a non hyped response and tell me if I’m being too critical with my previous response. I’m still stinging over the Christmas debacle and now that I’ve canceled to buy another gift they are raising the price. So the Million dollar question is… how good is this pad? Is it worth the pain I’ve already endured with last minute shopping for another gift? Should I wait for the I pad3 or the Asus prime2.5? I decided it’s now called the 2.5 as It’s already changing again. It is living up to the name… “Transformer” in every respect. Dave

  • Dave

    I was let down when I pre-ordered in Nov and could not give this as a gift for
    Christmas. Best Buy assured me it would be in store Dec 8-15, boy were they wrong, but I don’t blame the retailer. If Asus continues down this path, I will look elsewhere. I spent good money and waited… and when I needed a different gift I had to cancel. I never expected they would then raise the price citing poor performance. Should we chalk this up to good sales? I will wait for the rumored I Pad 3 on Feb 24. I’m sorry Asus but you didn’t deliver… and now, when it comes into stock, it has problems… then you raise the price? Do you think we are all chumps?

  • Arturo Castro

    Mine is still on pre-order, im going to wait and play with it, if there is any problems with my prime and sending it back and getting one of these. =] if not the new ideapad looks good too.

    • sivart79

      That was my thoughts as mine comes in on Friday, if it doesn’t perform as I need it to then it will go back.

  • vid500

    Now after this news I am so happy I didn’t preordered it in time and got on the waiting list. But now I’ll have to wait a nother two months to hold a new tablet in my hands. I think it’s worth waiting, the ressolution was for me really a minus for the old prime, sience near all the tablets this year are having HD res. displays.

  • _Diego

    Oh no they didn’t! It barely launched in the US and they already kill their flagship device? I really hope for those who already bought one that they will offer the new back panel… if necessary, at a small cost – but they really should offer the back panel.

  • nivekkev

    If the price hike holds true, then I’m thinking time to find another device, that’s a wee bit much and I would still have to get the dock…

  • mike

    You are all so lucky. to buy transformer was my dream several months now.well i am from europe and i came to chicago for christmas.after long time waiting i made it and i bought mine transformer from bestbuy 6 days ago when i was there. Well everything seems to be ok until yesterday when i upgrade to ics. By that time wifi goes off all the time and when,connected the signal,is too poor.bluetooth is not working at all. I connected my Bluetooth headset with it but the sound still coming out of the speaker.dont dare to test gps at all.i`m so dissapointed and i dont know what to do now.i`m from so far away and i dont know how and if it is possible to return it and if best buy accept it.please help.any suggestions?

  • Nathan D.

    why are they doing this! they should have some trade in plan or something for people who already buy the dam thing.

  • TD

    This is how ridiculous the metal back is. I am sitting about 20 ft from my wireless router. If I hold the tablet with the back facing the router, the highest download speed I can get is about 5.5, if I turn it around so the front faces the router I get my full 18! Nearly triple the speeds just by turning the device.