The ASUS Transformer Prime Eee Pad will be receiving a new firmware update that will give the tablet Ethernet support and Face Unlock capabilities, as well as other laptop-like features.
The 18.104.22.168 update was announced on ASUS's Italian Facebook Page and the most significant upgrade will come to the tablet's networking capacity.
According to the blog post, Eee Pad owners will now be able to link up to an Ethernet connection using a USB-to-Ethernet cable adapter, which will enable a faster and more secure connection.
In addition, the update will enable an ad-hoc wireless network, which will allow users to connect to other computer and tablet devices without the use of a wireless connection or router. The new feature means users will be able to share files quickly over a secure connection.
Another highly anticipated feature on the new upgrade is the Face Unlock feature, which allows users to unlock their tablet through face recognition software. Users will be able to directly access their home screen and apps without even touching the screen.
The Transformer Prime will be no different from a laptop in the way it connects to Television with an HDMI output. Improvements have been made so users can choose to crop and scale the settings so the display fits onto different screen sizes.
The new Android Ice Cream Sandwich update, together with the fireware, bootloader unlock tool and mobile dock, is transforming the ASUS tablet into a laptop-like experience.
The firmware update will be rolling out on March 29, according to ASUS.
The Eee Pad Transformer Prime is the first tablet to herald the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. It is ultra-thin at 8.3mm and weighs only 586g and comes with state-of-the-art SonicMaster Audio technology, an HD 8MP rear auto-focus camera with LED flash. And all with an 18-hour battery-left when combined with the mobile dock.
How to unlock the Bootloader
A locked bootloader prohibits users from flashing ROMS and kernels to customize their devices. Here's what ASUS had to say about the locked bootloader:
Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high-quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community.
The bootloader unlock tool can be downloaded directly from ASUS's Website. There are 3 download servers available on ASUS Download Site - Global, China and P2P. Each server provides exact the same content no matter where you download from, except for the speed which you are connected to.
ASUS has warned its customers that the choice to unlock their devices will void their ASUS warranty, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanisms.