updated 09:30 pm EST, Sun January 1, 2012
ASUS Transformer Wi-Fi, GPS performance flaky?
After initially thought to have been delayed due to Wi-Fi issues, early adopters of the ASUS Transformer Prime have been hit with varying signal strength issues with its GPS functionality. Although not a 3G-capable device, the Prime is fitted with a GPS radio that receives signals from satellites in order to triangulate its position. According to a purported statement to a customer from ASUS, the issue pertains to the Transformer Prime's use of a "metallic unibody design."
The full statement allegedly offered to a member of the XDA Developers forum reads:
"Dear Valued Customer,
"Thank you for contacting ASUS Customer Service. The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. Please note that this product is not a professional GPS device and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings and your surrounding environment. Please understand there are some limitations when using the GPS function.
"Some scenarios you may encounter when experiencing weak GPS performance: 1. Using the GPS while traveling in a car: The roof of a car, the insulation, bridges and other factors can affect signal reception. 2. High density areas with large buildings and structures that can block line of sight communication with GPS satellites. "
For users of modern mobile devices, GPS functionality has become commonplace. Many of Google's services that ship with its Android platform also rely heavily on location capabilities. It is not the first time that the choice of materials for the design of the Transformer Prime and its possible side-effects on connectivity have caused concerns.
Online retailer NCIX has previously messaged pre-order buyers ahead of the launch of the Transformer Prime that had been delayed "worldwide." Although ASUS subsequently denied this, the reseller claimed at the time that the Wi-Fi range of the device did not "meet their standards." XDA Developers forum members have since also noted that ASUS has removed GPS as one of the device's functions from its US website after the recent complaints surfaced suggesting an easy fix for the issue is unlikely.
Possible Wi-Fi and GPS issues are not the only issues facing ASUS. After getting away with a play on the popularity of the Hasbro franchise Transformers with its original Transformer tablet, Hasbro now believes that ASUS has crossed the line by calling its sequel the Transfomer Prime and is suing for 'stealing' its IP. [via Android Police]