The Transformer Prime is a fantastic example of a product rushed to market. It was as if Asus was trolling consumers and yelling “First!” The tablet launched with a host of problems, many of which Asus fixed over the weeks following its release through a constant stream of updates. But some issues, like the poor GPS capability, were seemingly addressed through placebo updates. Asus was even caught removing the spec and feature from the Transformer Prime’s product page. Then, just weeks after the Prime hit the market, Asus announced a new family of Transformer tablets as if the Prime never existed.
But the biggest insult just happened today. Asus finally announced a solution to the poor performing GPS: A massive dongle that happens to use the same port as the Prime’s keyboard dock, preventing owners from using both at the same time. At least it’s free.
As I explained before Asus is still new to consumer electronics. Up until the Eee PC line, Asus sold just computer components. Even in this post-Eee PC era, Asus still doesn’t know how to properly handle a potential blockbuster product like the Transformer Prime.
The Transformer Prime was doomed from the start. Asus flubbed the launch with constant delays. When it did launch, it was very hard to find. Then, when early adopters finally got their little bundle of joy, the company was slow to respond to serious issues. In fact the tablet launched with so many bugs that it’s questionable if Asus even tested the tablet prior to shipping.
Now, over four months after owners started complaining about nearly nonexistent GPS functionality, the company announced a fix that involves a massive GPS dongle. Owners can sign up for one today, but there’s still no word when the accessory will ship. The offer expires on July 31st.
Thankfully for Asus, the Transformer Prime has been anything but a blockbuster product. A court document from a few weeks back indicated that Asus had only sold 2,000 units during the first two months it was available. Had the Transformer Prime lived up to the hype and sold as if it was a legitimate contender, this GPS issue could have snowballed into an antennagate-type nightmare.