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Asus Addresses The Transformer's GPS Shortcoming

Asus Transformer Prime TF201: A Tablet With A Higher Calling

Late last year, several forum members at XDA-developers reported that they were having severe issues locking onto GPS satellites with their Transformer Primes. Word eventually reached the manufacturer, and while Asus was a little slow to respond, the company admitted that its tablet design wasn't optimized for GPS functionality. It even went so far as to remove that feature from the list on the Transformer Prime website.

The problem is traced back to the aluminum body, which acts as a two-way shield preventing good GPS signal reception. This was never a problem on the original Transformer, since it had a plastic (ABS molded) shell.

Some users have solved the problem themselves by making an "RF window." This can be accomplished by creating a gap in the case to allow signals to pass through unobstructed and/or attaching an external antenna. Many people report positive results modding their Transformer Primes in some physical manner to make this a permanent fix, but we had mixed success. Of the four Transformer Primes in our lab, only two of them responded positively to hooking up the GPS signal connector to an external antenna.

Transformer Prime: No Success with ModTransformer Prime: No Success with Mod

To Asus’ credit, the company actively tried to resolve the GPS problem via firmware updates. Also, it recently started offering a free "dongle" that plugs into the tablet's docking port. We put quotes around dongle because it's a rather large piece of hardware almost as long as the tablet itself. If you already own a Transformer Prime, jump on the deal while it's hot. Asus is only offering the dongle for free until July 31, 2012.

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