Asus Fixes Transformer Prime by Making Transformer Prime Look Idiotic

Illustration for article titled Asus Fixes Transformer Prime by Making Transformer Prime Look Idiotic

Asus' super-powerful silver bullet Android tablet had one big problem: its GPS sucked. So Asus, instead of issuing replacement hardware that didn't suck, is handing out fat, ugly dongle attachments. Oh, and they block the tablet's dock connector, too. Sweet!


Land of Droid, which says the GPS booster "works very good," has exclusive shots of the dongle, which will be available for free tomorrow. Asus seems pretty excited about the kit, too:

The response to the Transformer Prime generally has been overwhelmingly positive, but we understand that, in certain situations, the GPS functionality has not met some users' expectations. Although the Transformer Prime is not a designated GPS device, as part of our unwavering commitment to customers we are offering all Transformer Prime owners a free external GPS extension kit, called a dongle, which may help improve signal reception and optimize the user experience.

Great—but this is design at its absolute least thoughtful. The Transformer is already a large device, and sticking this plastic tumor on top like some sort of squashed dunce cap is beyond inelegant. You can't even charge the tablet with this thing plugged in. Imagine if Apple had addressed the iPhone's antenna problem by adding an external 90s-era telescoping antenna? This is on the same plane of design and aesthetic fatuousness. Transformer owners tend to love their power-slate, and they deserve better than this slapdash insult.

If you sell hardware that can't be fixed with software, you owe your customers new hardware. All new hardware, not a fat plastic bandaid. [Land of Droid via Engadget]



I initially though that this design may be a bit thoughtless, but thinking again, Asus probably did consider other options to remedy this problem. Providing a dongle for free is probably the simplest and best thing to do. Without knowing all the figures and facts, it would seem to me that other options would require mail-in for refitting with new hardware for some undetermined amount of time, which would be even less convenient for users, and more costly for Asus. I think the fact that GPS is a secondary function of the device mitigates some of the design flaws of this solution. This is certainly better than Apple's response to the antenna problem, that's for sure. Sure, they gave out free cases for a limited time, but they DID insult our intelligence by saying we're holding them wrong.