To buy or not to buy Asus Transformer Prime?

To buy or not to buy Asus Transformer Prime TF201? That’s the question… The main point that I plan to buy Asus Transformer Prime ~ NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. I want to try out Tegra 3 games. And plan to use it as notebook replacement since it has keyboard dock. It has micro HDMI output which I can use it to display PowerPoint slides with projector (need to buy micro HDMI to VGA adapter though). Has USB ports and SD carder just like notebook. It should be able to run all the notebook tasks, right? Let’s find out…

Asus Transformer Prime
Asus Transformer Prime

Asus Transformer Prime TF201 Weakness
Asus Transformer Prime is not perfect. No one is. Based on reviews, it has Wi-Fi issue (which should be fixed by now hopefully). But the GPS issue is not fixable due to metallic unibody design. So don’t expect GPS will be working properly like native GPS navigator device. Most of all, TF201 bootloader is locked and encrypted with AES-128 encryption. Yes, you can unlock it but its warranty will be voided. Err… How can I get my custom ROM then?

New updated Asus Transformer Prime TF700T
A updated version with 1920 x 1200 display panel. Yeah, most of the tablets come out this year will be Full HD / retina resolution. TF201 is considered old with 1280 x 800 resolution. Besides, TF700T has a new back panel to improve wireless performance ~ GPS should be working fine then. And should be arrived at Malaysia in early Q3.

A notebook replacement?
Okay… I found out that Android tablet and iPad still have the limitation to be notebook replacement during my last 4 days holidays trip. They still can’t perform certain tasks which runnable only on Windows PC / Mac. So Asus Transformer Prime can’t be your notebook replacement if you need to use those Windows applications that not available in Android / iOS. So there are other choices like cheaper netbook or better ultrabook for you and me.

Personally, I don’t think that I will get a tablet with keyboard anytime soon. Unless they are able to provide all notebook functionality. I prefer to get the tablet only.


  1. care to share what sort of limitation when using tablets during holidays? thanks!
    i need to review if it fits my needs during travel also, lacking 3G a minus for me
    looks like i’m staying put for now

  2. Hello Jayce…I love this site! Just off topic…I want to inform you that cotulla just released a window phone 7 rom…any chance you can make tutorials? Anyways keep up the awesome work! Thanks Again. – Jerome

  3. My 2 cents worth on tablets as replacement laptops … NOT.

    I loved the idea of the Asus Transformer line of Android tablets as net-books; visually the Asus products are the perfect merging of tablet and laptop. The Prime even looks as thin and sleek as my Acer S3 ultra-book (which for physical hacking reasons I chose over the Asus equivalent product).

    Caveat, the following is based around the freedom to go anywhere and use computing power when need be and NOT be tethered to a desk. Conversely, if chained to a desk for 8 – 10 – 12 hours per day then a PC with dual-tri-quad monitors, keyboard and mouse is king.

    IMHO … what the tablet does so much better than a netbook / laptop / ultrabook.

    1# mobility of use, just pull it out of a backpack and start doing stuff.

    2# ad-hoc gaming, as a short term game play platform (i.e. 5 to 30 minutes randomly throughout the day) a tablet bests the laptop. But for serious focused game play then of course a dedicated PC, xbox, playstation is best. Also, a tablet is the perfect cheap way to provide short-attention-span gaming to kids.

    3# web browsing, for single page at a time information retrieval yes, but for multiple tabs then a pc rules.

    4# email, for the firing off of a quick email yes, but for the organized control of multiple emails such as in a work environment then pc.

    5# social networking, for quick information interchange then yes, but for Facebook type flash games then pc.

    6# as a pdf reader and ebook, then yes when portable, but some material is much better in dual page format like a real book and hence a pc is better at this.

    7# document editing, for quick thoughts then a tablet is acceptable, but for serious document editing such as for work then a PC is KING. I would love an Android tablet to be able to WYSIWYG edit word docs, but alas it can’t so I am left using ezPDF Reader to markup the PDF copies of my work DOCs. Until, someone produces a suite that can WYSIWYG edit Microsoft Office documents then a tablet is not a serious work editor and hence an ultra-book will always best the tablet at this.

    In summation, the prime advantage of a tablet is mobility and speed of information access & transfer, and for those quick injections of fun. But for serious fun and work an ultra-book bests a product like a Asus Transformer Prime.

    Also a killer for the Asus Transformer Prime type of products is its cost point when compared to ultra-books. In Australia, you can buy a Acer S3 i3 ultra-book for under $900, the Asus Transformer Prime will go on sale for $800 (32gb) – $900 (64gb). Hence, this type of tablet is too expensive for a market that is blurring into other computing market segments. If the price of the Prime was a few hundred cheaper than it would rock.

    Now, you may counter with, but the Prime has 3G.
    Well, my counter to your counter is … “why are you buying 3g devices in the first place”. Most probably you already have a phone with a data plan included. Would it not be better bang-for-buck to hot-spot share your phone’s data with your wifi devices and thereby maximize the use of a single data plan rather than partly use up individual data plans. Also, for many people their phone is with them 24 – 7, whatever the situation or circumstances. Hence the phone is the perfect G3 access point for your wifi tablet devices.

    In conclusion, I love the idea of the Prime but I personally wont be buying one, nor similar sized tablets. I have tried my best to live with a Asus Transformer… but I ended up giving it away as a “present”. Instead, I chose a HTC Flyer 16GB wifi 7 inch tablet with digital stylus as my daily driver; given that it fits easily into my pants / shorts pocket and hence is accessible everywhere… anyone for private surfing in the toilet cubical at work =)
    For me, my personal computing weaponry is as follows:
    #1 … HTC Desire HD / Inspire 4G with a 5GB data plan as a wifi hot spot.
    #2 … HTC Flyer 16gb wifi … 7 inch honeycomb tablet with stylus… primarily for work notes, emails, web browsing, and watching bittorrents before falling asleep. P.S. the HTC Flyer is a most under-rated tablet, easily besting my Tegra 2 tablets (Asus transformer and Acer Iconia) for real-world use and game play.
    #3 … Acer S3-i3 ultra-book … hint install win8 on the 20gb SSD fast-boot partition instead of on the physical drive, cheap kick-ass portable.
    Anyways, great site … love the tablet games you preview.


  4. I thought they are lobbying to get the rom to be unlocked. And finally Asus bowed down to the pressure.

    Wow..Rm2199 is pretty expensive for tablet. Maybe i have a look at ultrabook 😛

  5. Hi Jayce!

    Love your site. I ll be in KL soon and was crazy about getting the tf prime, but after they stated that they will release the tf0700 with the corrected backpanel i feel that the original tf prime would be crap over wifi! and now i am more biased to galaxy tab 7.7. What do you think? that juiced exynos could be match for tegra 3?

    Huge fan of ur site!


    • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 CPU and GPU are the same as Galaxy Note but with Android 3.2. So you can check Galaxy Note performance for reference.

      7.7″ and 10″ tablets are 2 categories. You need to decide to get smaller screen or bigger screen here. 😉


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