[Update] Transformer Prime Locked Bootloader: ASUS Responds.

  • January 3, 2012 11:48 am

Yesterday we shared with you the terrible news that ASUS’ quad-core packing Transformer Prime tablet would ship with a locked and encrypted bootloader. The masses have spoken (across many social networks and mediums) and they’re aren’t happy. 24 hours later, ASUS is finally beginning to clarify their stance.

For now, the English subset of ASUS has yet to utter their official comments on the matter at hand, though ASUS Taiwan has offered up a rather simple reasoning — DRM. It seems that various parties offering up media content on the Transformer Prime want a locked bootloader to prevent those no good pirates of the world from flashing their Primes with illegitimate ROMs and causing untold amounts of monetary damage. It’s a BS excuse, for sure. But there’s a solution in the works. ASUS is apparently working on an “official” bootloader unlock method/application that will allow you to free your beloved quad-core tablet from the artificial shackles levied upon it. At this time, ASUS doesn’t have any ETA as to when said method/app will become available.

Until ASUS America responds, it’s all we have to go on for now.

Stay tuned to this post as we’ll update as more ASUS regions publish their own responses.


Ha! As soon as we hit “publish” ASUS America updated their Facebook page. Essentially, the English response echoes the same as that above — ASUS slapped a locked bootloader on the Transformer Prime because of DRM purposes.

That said, users will have an official tool to unlock the bootloader at a later, unspecified time. But there’s a catch. Because the Prime will no longer “be protected”, Google Video will not work on unlocked devices. (Look for a hacked version of Google Video that works perfectly fine on unlocked Primes not too soon after the official tool is released — that’s what hackers do.)

Humorously, ASUS also says that Prime owners who choose to unlock the bootloader on their device void their warranty, essentially labeling such hobbies as accepted, nefarious activity. Contrast that to ASUS’ highly supportive stance on the PC hardware side of things were activites such as overclocking, overvolting, and all kinds of other modding/hacking are welcomed with open arms.

As for the little issue of glitchy GPS, ASUS says it is the Prime’s metallic back covering causing the most grief for Prime owners, though buildings and other natural obstacles will affect the “non-professional” GPS hardware and functionality. As such, ASUS is removing mentions of GPS functionality from the Prime’s spec sheet and marketing material. Correct us if we’re wrong, but, we’re pretty sure a few other metallic backed devices have built in GPS functionality without much (if any) adverse affects.

Finally, January 12th was tipped as the date that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for the Transformer Prime would begin trickling out.

So what do you say, Transformer Prime owner? Has the nonsense with the bootloader made you second guess your purchase?

  • Source ASUS Taiwan | ASUS America

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    • Guest

      Absolutely not! You have to be kidding. Stop panning terrific equipment that is so much more “open” than Apple and let’s get the technology moving forward.