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  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Sounds like Apple's wireless devices are displaying some anti-competative behavior! ;) Reply
  • ol1bit - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    I Love it! Reply
  • TGressus - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    "As to why performance was lower with the Apple APs active, I'm not entirely sure. Chasing down RF interference issues can be a severe undertaking. One thing is for sure, the Prime is going to be far more finicky than its predecessor when it comes to reaching peak speeds over WiFi."

    That's one theory, I suppose...

    I'd never use "just works" networking infrastructure tho, so maybe I'm biased.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    The second part of that statement has to do with the fact that the TF Prime's WiFi performance is far more sensitive to orientation to the AP when compared to the original Transformer.

    Take care,
  • UpSpin - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Anandtech is really one of the most reliable tech sites right now. I'm really appreciating your honesty regarding your readers and especially your effort to do the best possible.
    This review is such an example, you did a review in time, just like every other tech site, but you were honest that you had not enough time, like all the other tech sites hadn't too but haven't mentioned it. Unlike you, they just posted a poor review and left it that way. You instead did the best with the limited time you had and even after you wrote the initial review try to do a review worth such a new device, and find how it really performs.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Your support really is appreciated, we do this stuff out of love and it really helps to have such awesome, honest and thoughtful readers. You guys keep us honest and you keep us motivated :)

    Take care,
  • eddman - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I can't thank you enough for all the hard work you're doing. Truly, you and anandtech's writers are without rival. Most other websites and blogs just do a quick review and if there is a problem with the device, they simply bash it and the brand instead of looking for the root of the problem.

    I really appreciate your detective work, how you look for possible causes and how you contact the companies and try to work with them to solve things or to get an official response. Your honesty and devotion towards your work is very special.
  • jesh462 - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    Me too! I enjoy reading your articles even if it's on gear that I never intend on purchasing for this reason. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    +1! Reply
  • BigLan - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    So Asus sent you a cherry-picked review unit which still has wifi issues, but also have remarkable battery life? I think I'll wait for reviews on actual retail units before making my mind up about this tablet. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Of the available test data (which admittedly there isn't much) it would appear that my original unit wasn't behaving typically. I don't believe what I've been sent is cherry picked, but I do believe that ASUS may have an assembly line issue that it needs to pay attention to.

    More info as I get it...

    Take care,
  • mcnabney - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Or the original unit was just even MORE incompatible with Apple wireless access points. You never indicated if you shut the other RF noise down while troubleshooting the first device. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    When troubleshooting the first device I did indeed turn off the WiFi on my Apple APs and played around with a Netgear WNDR3700 I have in the basement - it did not fix the issue on the original unit.

    In my extended testing of the original Prime I discovered that it had *very* limited range, which points me in the direction of something being wrong with the antenna in that unit.

    The behavior of this unit is very different.

    Take care,
  • bh192012 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Did you at any point during any of your testing (original TF, prime 1 / 2 or iPad) turn off your neighbors wireless APs, cell phones, cordless phones and microwaves? Yes wireless troubleshooting really really is a PITA. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Sounds like antenna connection/placement issues. Reply
  • jramskov - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the update. It's great to see how Anandtech again and again goes further in their investigation to find the cause of the problems.

    This could be the one problem that makes this otherwise excellent product fail...
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    It's our job after all :)

    Thank you for reading the site :)

    Take care,
  • jramskov - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Sure, but it is the job of many other sites as well and you seem to consistently go the extra kilometer (yes, I'm from Denmark - I don't use miles :p ) Reply
  • jramskov - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    And btw. do you agree that this issue might be what prevents it from being a "buy this, you'll be happy" device? (there's probably a better english term but whatever...)

    Not being a huge Apple fan I must say that generally they are able to create devices that fit that category. I would love to see a lot more devices that fit that category because competition is always good :)

    Keep up the good work!
  • dtham - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I love how you provided an update and root cause analysis of the performance issues. Now that you know about the WiFi issue, are you going to be changing your test specifications (Eg. Building a Faraday cage or as you did, disable APs from the vicinity?)? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I'm very tempted to build a small Faraday cage, if I can manage a break before CES this is what I will be doing.

    Take care,
  • eddman - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Wouldn't a Faraday cage defeat the purpose? After all there is interference in real life all around us and devices should perform well in such conditions; or maybe you're thinking about conducting tests both inside and out of it. Reply
  • ATOmega - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Maybe it's a good way to create a baseline for other measurements? Reply
  • Lugaidster - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    As much as I like reading news on new gadgets like the prime. Probably what excited me the most in this short article was this:

    "I'll be working on [...] some HDD/SSD caching stuff all weekend"

    I hope to be reading about that soon :)

  • quiksilvr - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I'm now even more curious as to what improvements ICS will or will not have on performance and battery life. My guess would be better quad corre optimization because even at 11 hours, this is still pretty low compared to a year old tablet. Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Why is there an expectation for significantly improved battery life when the Prime has

    1) Faster Quad-core vs Dual core manufactured on the same processing node (yes there is an LP companion core, but at best I'd expect that it would keep power draw equal between the two eg. better performance for the same power draw)

    2) Brighter screen

    3) Same lithium ion battery tech

    And finally, when did 10+ hours of battery life become mediocre? In the world of laptops and cell phones, 10 h of constant use is incredible! And If you really want more battery life, buy the keyboard dock!

    And sorry for venting on your post, but I've seen this comment all over the place and it's mind boggling. If you are comparing it to the iPads, then go with iOS if you want iOS. Like Anand has been saying, few people cross shop between iOS and Android. If you can deal with iTunes and Apple, then enjoy your 10% more battery life. If you can't, enjoy the "pathetic" 11 hours of HD video playback that you get with the Prime (without the dock).
  • Shazboticon - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I would love to see at least one reviewer perform a battery life test under the same conditions as Asus to see if the Asus claimed times can be duplicated. Specifically, the Asus site has the following footnote:

    "Battery life tested under power saving mode, playing 720p video
    playback, Brightness:60nits, default volume with headphones."

    I have yet to see any reviews do a battery test under these conditions. I understand reviewers are probably trying to do a more realistic battery test but I'd still like to see if the Asus claims can be met. Based on the 11 hour time reported in this review I'd guess yes.
  • Chillin1248 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Anand, there is no need for you to wait to open the tablet, here are the pictures of the internals:

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I'm aware of the FCC photos unfortunately I can't really tell where the antenna is routed based on those photos :-/ Reply
  • Chillin1248 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    I would say that the WiFi antenna is in the upper left corner in those images. Sensible location as well. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    The more pertinent question: was the antenna even connected properly in the original unit? I'm betting "no". Reply
  • ATOmega - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    So the real question now becomes: Are any of the issues spotted so far ones that can be fixed given that the Transformer Prime is more or less a done deal?

    Reception issues due to the metal casing don't seem like something they can fix without recalling each and every one to apply a fix, no?

    Do you think that given these findings, the Transformer Prime has an irreconcilably fatal flaw?
  • BugblatterIII - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Antennagate II : You're Pointing It Wrong Reply
  • MarkLuvsCS - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    "Can you hear me n..........." Reply
  • bh192012 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Well the other question might be, do we know that iPad isn't as sensitive to antenna alignment? If the iPad happend to be aligned well (randomly well with Anand's house/configuration, no neighbors with funky setup at the time) during the test, then there wouldn't have been any question and alignment wouldn't have been tested.

    Basically the only way to be sure is to do the testing at the same time, otherwise there's a decent chance something in the environment has changed.
  • ATOmega - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Good enough point, I've had strange reception with my iPad2 despite being a wooden floor directly above the AP. Reply
  • jamdev12 - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Hi Anand,

    A question for you. If your notion is correct, did you have issues with the Asus Zenbooks since they are made of the same material and the wifi antennas would be in the monitor casing?

  • solipsism - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    That's more like it for Asus. Reply
  • Omid.M - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link


    If you could show the screen in IPS+ mode OUTDOORS, that would be sweet. Just planting a seed here :)

    Looks like Android tabs are getting competitive. I just wish they'd take better care to make more UI stuff GPU accelerated.

  • wouterkcs - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    Do we have a WIFI gate issue similar to the Iphone gate?

    Will this be fixed with be retail units scheduled for shipments in two weeks?

    Will we have more problems when we upgrade to ICS?

    Should we wait till these issues are fixed?

  • OCedHrt - Friday, December 02, 2011 - link

    From the new chart, there really isn't anything new that's meaningful. 11.07 hours on balanced, but that can't be compared to the 9 hours on normal except that balanced should be higher. It's very possible that the 1st sample would've gotten 11.07 hours on balanced as well? Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Exactly, and the whole reason I came to post a comment. Why the heck would Anand retest using a different power profile?!? In a week after doing many tests with different profiles I'd understand, but I find it very disingenuous to make it appear that the new unit is the main reason you got an additional 2 hours out of the charge. (even though you do mention nothing is running in the background during the video playback test, without doing the normal test how can we really be sure all is equal?) Reply
  • tildeleb - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    If you have "Use Wide Channels" or "Use interference robustness" turned on, turn them both off. They are located in Airport/Wireless/Wireless Network Options in Airport Utility. If you are using 2.4 GHz remember there are really only 2.5 non-overlapping regular channels and only 1 with wide channels. Reply
  • cleverjaja - Saturday, December 03, 2011 - link

    $1300.00 usd quad core i7, 8gb memory, radeon 6750m 1gb, 8gb ssd/ 700gb hard drive. Less than 1 inch height. Wow!?! Reply
  • Cerif27 - Sunday, December 04, 2011 - link

    Like a lot of people, I'm REALLY looking forward to this device and really don't want to wait for the THIRD generation. However, also like a lot of people, I'll be doing a heck of a lot of web browsing/streaming on the device. These new revelations are a huge let down. I'm really looking forward to your further updates on this problem. I've trusted you guys implicitly for going on a decade, thanks for the detective work. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the final production line of them doesn't have this problem because this is about as close to a deal breaker as it gets. Sad. Face. Reply
  • CoryS - Monday, December 05, 2011 - link

    How come I can only see this update on my phones news reader, or a google search? Going to the home page on a PC only shows the original review, for me anyway. Reply
  • vision33r - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    Since the TF Prime is already shipping in some parts of the world which means that some units will have the Wifi and battery issue.

    The TF I currently have does have the battery drain issue and it is very irritating. It is nowhere close to the advertised or tested numbers.

    The bottomline is these tablets are much cheaper than iPads so Asus is allowing more bad ones through.

    With Apple, if I receive a bad unit I can get one replaced on the spot but with these Asus units I have to go through Asus support and it is a lengthy return process.

    I think the TF Prime is a rushed device just to be 1 up on the competition just before the major quadcore designs are due out. In 3 months we'll be talking about the iPad 3 and Galaxy Tab 3 both will feature greater than 720p display, quadcore, and better performance. Galaxy Tab 3, we maybe talking about 2GHZ quadcore.
  • Disorganise - Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - link

    is there any technical reason why these devices couldn't run Windows? If I read correctly there's ARM-based windows 8 tablets planned - is that the same type of processor?
    I was pretty close to getting the original TF, but in the end had to plump for a laptop instead cos I needed a way to play wtv files natively (no time to convert files before heading OS).
    The Prime looks good assuming the wifi isn't unfixable, but I think it would even more attractive if could dual boot windows 8 when it comes out.
  • Alemiser - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    You probably have already have this covered,. Just wanted to ask if wifi analyzer was used to see if there are channel conflict between the APs. Reply
  • Horace44 - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Email update received today from NCIX regarding my pre-order:

    Unfortunately, we just received word that the ASUS Transformer Prime has been delayed worldwide and will most likely not be available before Christmas. ASUS feels the WiFi range does not currently meet their standards and has delayed all shipments worldwide. At the moment there is no ETA and no information on available quantities on the first batch.

    Looks like this Wifi issue was not just isolated to a few test units. Thanks Anandtech for bringing this issue to light.
  • Cerif27 - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Ok. THIS is what I'm talking about. If they can fix the wifi without nerfing the battery life? There will be nothing stopping me from dropping my cash on this one. Thanks for the heads up good reader. Reply
  • Cerif27 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Well...it looks like the official word is that it's back to shipping on the 19th despite several sources referencing the same email. Looks like I'll be waiting to order mine till I hear word from Anandtech after the production line release. You guys are the only ones reporting wifi issues that I can find...AND you're the only ones I truly trust. So I guess I'll just be repeating "patience is a virtue" again and again until I hear from you guys, but don't worry. I'm not expecting to hear anything till after the holiday. Happy holidays everyone. Reply
  • retarded - Wednesday, February 08, 2012 - link

    Hi. I just opened up a TF201 today and compared it side by side with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 using the Ookla Speedtest. The Prime under performed as expected, despite all hopes. The prime is awesome, but I just can't seem to justify keeping it with wifi issues as wifi is one of it's major features (that I use). I'm wondering a couple things. Is is possible that I got a "bad" unit (of which there seems to be many)? I've considered simply returning the one I have to try out another one in hopes that I get a "good"(ish) unit. Is there any hope for the TF201, or should I wait for the TF700T? I really don't want to wait another 4 (likely more if histroy has taught anything on release dates) months. Any possibility of Asus replacing the backs with a plastic cover?

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of any place online that sells plastic rear covers that would likely restore great wifi function.

    Thanks for any responses.

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