By Stephen Schenck | April 17, 2012 12:55 AM
Shortly after ASUS released its quad-core Transformer Prime tablet, users began noticing some really disappointing performance by the model’s GPS receiver, struggling to lock-on to satellites and get a fix on its location. The problem sounded like a fundamental design problem with the GPS antenna obscured by the Prime’s metal casing, but ASUS still attempted to make things right with a software fix. That release tried to speed locks by sending some satellite data to the tablet over its data connection, but owners still weren’t satisfied with the poor performance. ASUS finally realized it needed a hardware solution after all, and we heard earlier this month that it would release an external GPS dongle to fix this issue once and for all. Today, we get our first look at just how that dongle will arrive.
When we say “GPS dongle” we’re not talking about a small receiver on the end of a long USB cord, like laptop owners once used. Instead, this ASUS part looks more like a micro-dock of sorts, snapping onto the tablet’s 40-pin connector. It’s broad, kind of bulky, and we’re not sure it’s the solution everyone was hoping for. You can forget about using it alongside any case that’s already been released. Then again, if you must have GPS reception, this should do the trick, and we hear it’s quite sturdy and stays put on the tablet well.
ASUS should be announcing the dongle sometime today, including how Transformer Prime owners can get it for free.