ASUS Transformer Prime: Locked Bootloader Means no Ice Cream Sandwich

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The highly anticipated ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime has arrived with a major flaw: a locked bootloader.

This puts up a major hurdle for ASUS enthusiasts who were hoping for the Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the new powerful tablet, XDA- Developers reported.

The Transformer Prime is currently customized with the ASUS Android 3.2 honeycomb software. Android's latest ice cream sandwich software is designed to make multitasking easier and provides powerful new ways to communicate.

XDA Developers published the following report about the bootloader lock on the ASUS's latest tablet.

 Asus has Encrypted the bootloader on the prime with a 128 bit Encryption (basically impossible to crack!) like HTC did awhile back.... This makes it impossible to flash ROMs and kernels which can really unlock the devices full potential, that is overclocking, flashing Linux distros, customizing, undervolting, denying installation of Windows 8, etc. The sky is the limit but it depends on YOU!

After weeks of demanding they allowed us to do what we want with the devices we purchased from HTC, and HTC finally caved and unlocked it!

XDA developers are hoping that some pressure on ASUS will enable them to be granted the same permissions to unlock the tablet. They have asked people to take to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and write something along the lines of:

@Asus @Nvidia Unlock OUR boot loader! Give us ROOT NOW! Fix GPS! #TransformerPrime learn from @HTC 

ASUS Transformer Prime fans have spent the past weeks in bitter disappointment, especially after most people who pre-ordered the device have been faced with delays.

Best Buy and Amazon have been sending out strings of emails reporting severe delays in U.S shipments. While Best Buy has said it will get most of their orders out in the first half of January, Amazon has reported delays of up to seven weeks.

Here's what ASUS had to say about the delay:

ASUS started filling the inventory pipelines this past week for our new Eee Pad Transformer Prime and will continue to do so on an expedited basis for the foreseeable future. We will reach normal inventory levels in January for the North American market based on current orders and forecasts. Based on forecasted supply schedules to our valued partners we expect pre-order allocation fulfillment to occur shortly and online or in-store availability in the very near future. We will continue to work closely with our partners to fill customer orders as quickly as possible.

The initial batch of Eee pads that came out in the Taiwan, were delayed after the company recalled 300 of the Transformer Prime Tablets due to Wi-Fi Connectivity issues. The problem was only found in the first batch of tablets sold in Taiwan, according to the company.

Pricing in the U.S will range from $499 (32GB) to $599** (64GB), with the optional mobile dock accessory priced at $149. 

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.

The mobile dock allows the tablet to transform to a notebook form, equipped with a keyboard and battery charger. The Asus Transformer Prime also has capabilities to upgrade to Android's latest ice-cream sandwich software.

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