ASUS redesigns the Transformer Prime, calls it the TF700T; main feature is a 1920 x 1200 pixel screen

optimus

Several minutes ago the folks at The Verge posted an article about a refreshed version of the ASUS Transformer Prime, but then they suddenly decided to pull the post for reasons we don’t yet understand. Thanks to the internet though, it’s resurfaced in full and the gist of it is this: ASUS is going to release a new Transformer Prime in Q2 2011 that’s still called the Transformer Prime, but it bears the suffix TF700T. What makes this new version special is that the 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display in today’s Transformer Prime will be replaced by a 1920 x 1200 panel. Also of note is that the back of this new device will sport a completely new design to fix those pesky GPS and WiFi issues that owners of today’s Transformer Prime are experiencing. The price tag will go up a bit, it’s expected to land between $599 and $699, but other than that we don’t really know anything. We don’t even have pictures!

If you’re one of the unlucky people who went ahead and ponied up $500 for an ASUS Transformer Prime, how do you feel? You’ll have the latest and greatest Android tablet for 3 to 6 months, which runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb until ASUS releases a software update in who knows how many weeks, and then the “real” Transformer Prime will land with better specs, better WiFi and GPS performance, and Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. Stings, doesn’t it?

Our advice is to just stay away from today’s Transformer Prime, return your unit if you already bought one, and just wait. When you really think about, a tablet is a luxury item anyway, so not having one for half a year isn’t going to kill you. And hey, you never know, maybe you’ll fall in love with what Apple brings to the table with the iPad 3? Rumor has it that it’ll push 2048 x 1536 pixels, which is mind bending when you think about it.

Update: It’s official on both The Verge and SlashGear, the latter saying that $599 is the new price tag for the 32 GB model and $699 is for the 64 GB version.

  • earl engle

    so a better screen and they’ll fix 2 of the problems that were found on the first release(because the rushed it out the door so they could claim 1st) and charge $100 more, so is there only 1 better spec(screen res)?

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      From the limited information we have, yes, the only “better spec” of the new Prime versus the old Prime is the screen resolution. I’d say software too, but the old Prime will get Android 4.0.1 via a software update.

      • Anonymous

        The update to ICS for the Prime comes in three days (12.01) by the way, it’s not at some unclear point in the distant future as I get the impression from your article ;)

        • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

          ASUS has a habit of promising to deliver on date X and then never doing it. Where’s the Eee Tablet/Phone combo?

          • ROFLCopterPilot

            Hear hear. If x then y. This is hilarious.

          • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

            Glad I can make you LOL!

          • ROFLCopterPilot

            I love your Logic. On the one hand you’re saying ‘ASUS has a babit of promising to delive on date X and then never doing it’ but on the other hand you’re saying we should wait for this new TF Prime which is ‘coming Q2 2011′.
            Makes perfect sense.

          • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

            Touché!

        • Sleepnumber

          Yes Asus announced the role out date on ICS was 1/12/11but were sketchy as to when the consumer would actually see the OTA update.

      • Guest

        4.0.3 has already been rolled out.

      • Guest

        4.0.3 has already been rolled out.

    • http://twitter.com/adomanico01 Anthony Domanico

      I don’t think it’s any more expensive. Don’t know where people are getting that information.

  • http://twitter.com/adomanico01 Anthony Domanico

    Yeah, it was an embargo that still doesn’t lift for 2 hours.

    There’s another spec enhancement too.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Which is what? Feel free to email me privately: stefan at this website’s URL.

  • Mark Kochanowski

    I currently have the TF201 and am happy with it.  I would rather keep my current model than pony up an additional $100 plus wait even longer. A better screen is not enticing enough for it, esp since my current purchase is already an upgrade from my previous tablet: Archos 70

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Forget the better screen, I’d want working WiFi and GPS.

      • ROFLCopterPilot

        Forget the screen? Mate the whole point of your article is pixels, pixels and even more pixels!

        Also, WiFi is working fine over here, GPS isn’t.
        However, there are lots of people with a working GPS altough the signal is on the weak side, it does the job.

        • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

          What I say in my article and what I say in comments are two different things. It’s called persuasive writing. The author of the above comment says he’s content with his current display, to which my reply is forget the display, functioning wireless connectivity is more fundamental to the enjoyment of the product.

          I’m glad your WiFi works, but I’ve heard otherwise from numerous people, including the Editor in Chief of AnandTech.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Forget the better screen, I’d want working WiFi and GPS.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Forget the better screen, I’d want working WiFi and GPS.

  • ROFLCopterPilot

    What were you thinking writing this article? Next time turn off your full retard mode before you write another article.
    ICS is coming 12 January. Get your facts straight.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      My retard mode can not, MUST NOT, be deactivated!

      • ROFLCopterPilot

        Now I understand why this website is still in beta.

        • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

          It worked so well for Google, so we’re sprinkling some of that magic dust on our servers as well.

          • Jrpbulk

            @Steph way to go, typos, factual errors (cost of device, ICS and more)  and rudeness to top it all off. First and last time I visit your so called blog.

          • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

            Ciao!

          • ROFLCopterPilot

            Not sure if troll or just really, utterly stupid, scaring away visitors from it’s own website.

          • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

            You must be from either SA or [M] judging by your frequent use of the derogatory term troll.

          • ROFLCopterPilot

            Da faq is SA or [M]? Don’t give me that jibber jabber son! Go back to Nokia where they understand the bullcrap you’re talking about.
            I still have a Nokia phone lying here to even my table. Best feature not listed on the box, how stupid is that?

          • OptimusCrime

            @Jrpbulk must have a TF201

          • ROFLCopterPilot

            Who doesn’t ?

          • OptimusCrime

            99% of Europe.

          • Booger Toast

            Also he used the stupid looking Optimus Prime image from the Michael Bay movies rather than the “real” Optimus Prime from the cartoons or the older toys.  That’s a pretty big mistake too.

  • Guest

    My Prime was already in shipment to fix the wi-fi problem (which apparently can be fixed) when I found out about the GPS problem, which can’t be fixed. Now Asus is saying that they no longer put GPS as a spec for the TF201. What are they going to do for those who bought the TF201 based on the GPS spec? I think they owe at least an exchange for the tf700T. Otherwise, they may face some substantial liability to those users who purchased based on the original spec.

  • OptimusCrime

    pre-order cancelled from eBuyer UK. ~ phew!

  • Nicholas Vettese

    It is hilarious to watch an Apple Fanboy pretend that he knows anything about Android…  The fact is you write in a reactive way because you know, as the phones did, Android will take more of Apple’s pie in the tablet market too. 

    ASUS is working to give the people what they want, and although it may not be in the current models, that is why they currently innovate and bring out new models. 

    Wasn’t it Steve Jobs who basically said that people are too stupid to know what they want, until he gives it to them?  I guess you are one of Steve’s favorites! 

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      I must be since I own a ThinkPad and a Nexus One!

      • Sleepnumber

        Stefan, I too considered that you may be an Apple fanboy but the information you shared was important to me. By the time the new Asus tablet is released the new iPad will be out. I am not even considering that. I am sending my Prime back because of the lack of the issues I addressed in other posts on this thread and because of your heads up.. 
        From your article ”
        If you’re one of the unlucky people who went ahead and ponied up $500 for an ASUS Transformer Prime, how do you feel? Our advice is to just stay away from today’s Transformer Prime, return your unit if you already bought one, and just wait.”
        That’s what I’m going to do!
        Thanks buddy!

  • Anonymous

    Not sure about you guys, but I think the reason why theverge took it off is most likely because it was just a rumor and may not possibly be true. Infact, theverge (and intomobile) are the only sources on the entire web that posted this. Im keeping my pre-order. You can’t trust asus when it comes to release dates. Before you know it, it comes out on 2013.

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Read earlier comments, the reason The Verge took their article down was that it was posted before an embargo date. Luckily for me, I didn’t sign said embargo.

      • Anonymous

        Ahh ok, didn’t see that there. I still would like to keep the pre-order never the less. Can’t be stuffed if something goes wrong with the next one and wait for 6 months and pay extra money for just mainly an improved wifi, GPS and pixel res. As long as the wifi is better than my iPod Touch 2nd gen, i’m fine with that.

  • Anonymous

    You won’t have to wait weeks to get ICS on the “original” Prime — it’ll be out later this week, January 12.

  • Chaztech

    I will be happy whit which version I get when I get it… I bought it three times from separate vendors and still am waiting!

    • Sleepnumber

      I would advise you to cancel your order. Did you not read what Stefan wrote? Will you be happy when you walk away from your router and you have no signal? Wouldn’t you rather have GPS that works? You do what you want but after reading this article I set up a return on everything I bought for the Prime that I had delivered 10 days ago. Why not wait and get an improved screen, connectivity, and GPS issues all worked out?

  • Sleepnumber

    Thanks for the timely article. I RMA’d my Prime, the keyboard dock, and the Zagg protection. I went downstairs with my Prime and could not obtain a WI-FI signal. I have a Samsung Blu-Ray with built in WI-FI, various smart-phones, iPads, and notebooks that have no problem hitting my router in the same room. Tiger Direct, J&R, and Zagg were all accommodating! I’ll wait until the “new and improved” Prime comes out 

  • Kyle Gagliardi

    this is the most infuriating thing ive ever read.. wow that unboxing tomorrow of my prime will be really bitter sweet. 

    • http://www.intomobile.com/ Stefan Constantinescu

      Thanks for the feedback and enjoy your new outdated defective gadget!

      • Anonymous

        lol?

  • Jason

    Just canceled my Amazon order for the Prime. I guess they should have shipped faster.

  • Jon Cross

    Might cancel my Amazon (Canada) order too.  Wait a bit.

  • Shniggies

    this is a terrible move on asus’ part IMHO… they are going to cannibalize their sales and as mentioned below and in the article, many people will cancel or return their purchases… just can’t understand this move

  • Shniggies

    this is a terrible move on asus’ part IMHO… they are going to cannibalize their sales and as mentioned below and in the article, many people will cancel or return their purchases… just can’t understand this move

  • Josue Balarezo

    The update to Android Ice Cream Sandwich for the original Transformer Prime will arrive January 12th Officially announced. And also this tablet is $100 more expensive than the Transformer Prime tf021. I love my prime

  • Sleepnumber

    I just received the Ice Cream Sandwich update on my Asus Transformer Prime! Version 4.0.3!
    So much for the 1/12/12 promise. I feel Asus did this to head off all the tablets (including mine) that are going back. Lack of a decent WI-FI combined with the misrepresentation of GPS is enough to continue with the RMA. Ice Cream Sandwich looks cool!

  • Sleepnumber

    I just got an OTA firmware update I believe to be ICS. The number on the update is 4.0.3 and the app screen looks different and to close open programs you just swipe the programs to the left. Here everyone is arguing about if Asus will role out on 1/12/12 and they appeared to do it tonight 1/9/12. I think they did this because many of us are returning our new Prime’s and waiting for the better screen and design that allows GPS and WI-FI to work. I have not seen anyone on the web announce this but when I Googled 4.0.3 it said ICS.

    • Sleepnumber

      It also seems that the WI-FI improved and the GPS was working fine in my basement where I didn’t even have a signal last night. When you swipe the apps button then scroll to page 2 of the apps it looks like they just pop out from behind the first page. That’s different and the way you turn off apps by swiping them to the left sort of reminds me of the Web OS on the Palm/HP Pre. There was also a camera update. 

      • Eveningtargems

        so the gps is working well now?

        • Sleepnumber

          My GPS has always worked well but that’s when using my router indoors. I believe the folks that are complaining think they should be able to ride around without a WI-FI connection and the device should work like a Garmin. If I am traveling with my Prime I would be connected to my Hot Spot feature off my Evo 3D so one would assume it would be a moot point. I just turned my WI-FI off and walked outside. While my location appeared on the map when I hit the restaurant button it did not go out of search mode. Maybe I am confused. Are folks complaining the GPS is not working while connected to WI-FI or are they just thinking what I wrote above (Garmin-like)? I still think I will RMA everything and wait for the better resolution screen but I like ICS (what little I have seen of it). I haven’t found any issues like I did on my Evo 4G when they went from Froyo to Gingerbread and then apps just stopped working. I didn’t know whether to yell at HTC or Sprint but both got an ear full.

        • Sleepnumber

          My GPS has always worked well but that’s when using my router indoors. I believe the folks that are complaining think they should be able to ride around without a WI-FI connection and the device should work like a Garmin. If I am traveling with my Prime I would be connected to my Hot Spot feature off my Evo 3D so one would assume it would be a moot point. I just turned my WI-FI off and walked outside. While my location appeared on the map when I hit the restaurant button it did not go out of search mode. Maybe I am confused. Are folks complaining the GPS is not working while connected to WI-FI or are they just thinking what I wrote above (Garmin-like)? I still think I will RMA everything and wait for the better resolution screen but I like ICS (what little I have seen of it). I haven’t found any issues like I did on my Evo 4G when they went from Froyo to Gingerbread and then apps just stopped working. I didn’t know whether to yell at HTC or Sprint but both got an ear full.

  • BooyahDaddy

    Yep, they released ICS last night around 10pm CST

  • smc77

    “and Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. Stings, doesn’t it?” ICS is available NOW on the current prime. Or you can pay $100 more and wait 6 months. Holding off and paying more can sting quite a bit too.

  • Yippymanful

    So did ICS fix issues with wifi and GPS? I’m getting mine this week.  Wondering if I should cancel my order.

    Thanks

  • Hully

    Ive cancelled mine, I can live with a lower resolution and suboptimal blue tooth and front camera.  GPS doesnt bother me, but I primarliry want a quick, wasy and fast internet experience.  Tablets were designed around integrated inernet and need Wifi.  I am not pying £500 for something the manufacturer admits isnt as good as it needs to be and needs improvements. GIVE US THE NEW BACK PLATE AND ILL REORDER NOW! 

    • smc77

      I’ll just echo this remark. If it was clear to me that WiFi was 100% good on the current prime, I’d be ordering one today.

      But, there is no “back plate”. My understanding is that the current prime is unibody metal, so you’re replacing the entire case. I keep wondering if the current lack of availability means Asus is trying to resolve these issues?

      • smc77

        In reading a little more on this, it sounds like the TF700T will have an entirely plastic case. Ugh, really? That’s hardly a “redesign”. I think I’m leaning back toward the current Prime again.

  • Hully

    Ive cancelled mine, I can live with a lower resolution and suboptimal blue tooth and front camera.  GPS doesnt bother me, but I primarliry want a quick, wasy and fast internet experience.  Tablets were designed around integrated inernet and need Wifi.  I am not pying £500 for something the manufacturer admits isnt as good as it needs to be and needs improvements. GIVE US THE NEW BACK PLATE AND ILL REORDER NOW! 

  • Jakpro1223

    IF Asus is actually concerned about their customers, the company could offer a retrofit of the back case replacing it with one with the plastic window. I am not that concerned about the GPS issue, but the WiFi problem is integral to the operation of the unit. I receive a good signal throughout my house on all devices, but the Prime does receive anywhere as good of a signal. The sad thing is that all of my devices are at least 3 years old and older, so the new “state-of-the-art” Prime is not as good as the older units? This is unacceptable and will be returned. It is unlikely that I will buy another Asus product, either. There are many more choices coming on the near horizon that will be as good or better.

  • stanley alvarez

    i called asus and their preorder dept and was told they do not know when the orig. t. prime issues will be fixed or when it will be shipped out.  one person estimated the TF201 would be released in february, next month sometime.  if that is the case and the TF700T is released in march as advertised i for one will wait and pay the extra hundred bucks for the better of the two imho.

  • Anonymous

    I just cancelled my Amazon order for the TF201 64gb based on current reviews. I will wait until the TF700T is released and then wait to see how it pans out before buying. I told them:

    Taking too long for delivery. Concerns about WiFi and GPS capability. Newer model, TF700, will be available in Q2 that addresses both these concerns. Plus has a higher resolution screen. No brainer to cancel.
    I had ordered it on December 19th and delivery was supposed to be January 26th to February 7th.
    I will resist drinking the Apple Kool Aid!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VVJXMZ4PYKVKP2S6T3P4T23MUQ adudefromVA

      I did the same thing.  I personally have no use for a tablet but I do have this urge to get one for the main purpose of entertainment (games, tv, movies, internet).  I can wait for the better machine even if it means additional 100 bucks as long as the main features important to me are working as advertised (wifi connectivity and GPS to be specific).

  • stanley alvarez

    i have the tf201, i will never use the gps and to be honest it really doesn’t make sense to me why it would even be included so whether or not it works, don’t know, don’t care.  i have a hiking gps and gps in my car.  as for the point being made about ics it is here now, i have it and it works great.  the wifi issue cited isn’t an issue whatsoever for me anyway.  we live in n.colorado in the  middle of nowhere so to speak.  the only wifi is what comes from our home and i have walked down to our mailbox, about 200 feet and checked, the wifi works just fine on the tf201.  all the negative points raised on the tf201 in this article really seem to be nitpicking on the units most recently released.  so the unit does all it is supposed to, as advertised then why wait six months or longer for a new variant, with new bugs, spend a hundred more and for what benefit? so the gps function can tell you that you are located in your kitchen? or so it will match your outfit? as for wifi there too, gotta laugh, the old saying you can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.  as for the back plate, that is all internet gossip and people guessing without any engineering background or knowledge on how the system works.  funny how if you say something wrong enough times sooner or later it becomes the truth, and yes i am a lowly engineer not so low as a civil engineer, kidding, still rumors have lives all their own.

  • Andrew

    If you hang on for the newer model of the latest gadget you will always be waiting for the rest of your life. If the current latest and greatest model does everything you want thenbuy it! Then keep it until the designers come up with some new feature that you never knew you needed until they invented it.

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