In response to criticism from the modding and open-source communities, ASUS announced today that it would be issuing a bootloader unlock tool for its new Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet (read parts one and two of our review) at an undetermined future date. Because of DRM concerns, unlocking the Transformer Prime's bootloader will render it unable use Google's video rental service, and it will also void the device's warranty.

ASUS will also be releasing two updates for the Transformer Prime in the coming weeks - the first, due "shortly," will improve camera focus, fluidity of the touch interface, and the Android Market's APK capabilities. The second, due to begin rolling out January 12, is the full Ice Cream Sandwich update. ASUS didn't elaborate as to how quickly users could expect to receive that update - just that availability will begin on the 12th. Our review of the Transformer Prime noted that ASUS didn't do much to slow down or gum up the tablet's Honeycomb implementation, and that will hopefully be true of Ice Cream Sandwich as well.

Lastly, ASUS also notes that it has removed mention of the tablet's GPS functionality from its spec sheet and marketing materials (though not, as far as I can tell, from the device itself) "to avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device" - with this, ASUS has apparently decided that it's more efficient to stop touting the tablet's GPS capabilities than it would be to address the issues of users looking for a high-quality GPS.

Source: ASUS on Facebook

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  • PhoenixEnigma - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    If the ICS update is anything like the more minor one, I'll be a happy camper. I'm pretty sure that's what I got OTA yesterday, so timely seems to be the word of the day. Would make a nice birthday present, too.
  • nitram_tpr - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Will new primes shipped by Asus after the 12th have ICS as standard?
    Also, will GPS functionality still be available? Or, will it be turned off and the option to turn it back on deleted?

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