ASUS offering free GPS fix for Transformer Prime owners

ASUS offering free GPS fix for Transformer Prime owners

Summary: Owners of the Transformer Prime can get a free dongle from ASUS that addresses reported GPS reception problems. The bulky plug-in pushes the definition of dongle to the limit.


As soon as the Transformer Prime was released late last year the complaints about GPS performance starting rolling in. The Transformer Prime has a GPS receiver integrated in the tablet, but it doesn't work very well. ASUS checked out the complaints and determined that the metal case of the Transformer Prime inhibited the reception of the GPS unit.

See also: ASUS Transformer Prime: Perfect for business trips (review)

The company has now stepped up to the plate and is offering all Transformer Prime owners a free 'dongle' that augments the GPS reception to acceptable levels. Kudos to ASUS for owning the problem and offering a free solution, but photos of the dongle show that term is used loosely.

The plastic accessory offered by ASUS is not a dongle at all, rather a big, bulky unit that plugs into the docking port of the tablet. It looks to add 1 - 2 inches to the svelte Transformer Prime, and since it uses the charging/docking port it cannot be used while being charged, nor while inserted in the laptop dock.

To be fair most owners probably won't use the Transformer Prime as a GPS device, but those who do will want to get the free unit from ASUS. One must question why the fix has to be such a big unit, but at least it is free.

The GPS problem shows how hard it is to build these thin tablets. ASUS engineers were obviously caught by surprise that the thin metal case of the Transformer Prime interfered with GPS reception. It's rumored to be the reason that future ASUS tablets will use plastic in the casing to avoid this problem.

Owners wanting to get one of the GPS fix units should visit the ASUS site and follow the directions to order one.

See also:

Topics: CXO, Hardware, Mobility, IT Employment

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  • Samsung had similar problems with the Galaxy S Captivate

    ...and they did NOTHING to fix it! OK, they wrote a little program to reinitialize the GPS, but it was a hardware shortcoming that wasn't fixed until the Galaxy S II was released.

    At least ASUS owned the problem.
    Mike Marquis
  • Errr.....

    And Apple [if it was their product] would of said it's the way you are holding it. If you put one finger at each corner it works fine. :-)
    • ZZZzzzzzzzz... .

      And winner of the predictability award goes to....

      Seriously, guy, let it go. It's old, getting older, and wasn't even funny (let alone true) when the issue first came up.
    • Would of

      And the phrase is "would have", not *"would of" *"Would of" doesn't even make any grammatical or semantic sense! Pay attention to what you are saying much?
  • Issues??

    I know that people have been complaining about the Prime since its debut back in December (though lack of availability seemed to be the biggest complaint). I finally received mine at the beginning of February, and have never looked back. Yes there were issues with the GPS (though none for me with the wi-fi). My biggest gripe though at the time was the ICS update that caused my prime to spontaneously reboot for no reason. Here we are 3-4 patches later, and all of the issues I had have been resolved. Even the GPS (which wasn't a deal breaker for me) has been fixed. I can walk outside (clear of house cover), and easily ping 15 - 20 satellites and have a fix in about 30 seconds. I wouldn't necessarily rely on it to get me out of the wilderness, but the GPS does work. I'm hoping though that the dongle will allow me to use my prime in my vehicle though..
  • NOT just the Prime, Folks!

    I bought a TF-101B2 back in November 2011, with the express purpose of using the GPS Navigation on a road trip to Long Island this month.
    Boy, did I get a surprise, when I fired it up before crossing out of New Jersey and STILL didn't have a GPS Fix when I got OFF I-278 IN BROOKLYN because I was L-O-S-T!
    I LOVE the readability of my Kindle books on the Transformer; Google MAPS and Google EARTH is SWEET.
    That GPS Navigator is THE PITS...
    Hey ASUS: you gonna give ME an Antenna, for MY Transformer? You should...
  • Ah!! The top dog of the Android tablets that ....

    .... according to fandroids was selling in the MILLIONS.

    And then FACTS came out .... ASUS only SHIPPED 80,000 and still has unsold inventory.
  • Finally..

    It's about time they come out with a fix. However if your looking for some GPS reviews, please visit