I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Pictures have surfaced of Asus’s solution to the Transformer Prime’s nagging GPS issues, and the dongle reminds me of a Headcrab from Half-Life. It’s not only large, it’s also intrusive. Asus’s so-called GPS fix actually blocks the tablet’s dock connector, which means you can’t charge the device while the dongle is attached. Hooray! Now you have working GPS.
The GPS dongle, according to LandOfDroid, will be announced by the company tomorrow and made available for free to all Prime owners. The good news is that the attachment “works very [well].” It also gives one of the most attractive tablets on the market a ridiculous helmet.
I can just see this out in public and imagine reaction it might get. “Hey nice tablet,” your non-Transformer Prime owning friend might say. “Wait, what’s that fat, unsightly thing at the top? An extra battery?” You, embarrassed, will explain it’s a fix for the company’s broken GPS chip.
Asus made a short statement on the new kit:
As part of our unwavering commitment to customers we are offering all Transformer Prime owners a free external GPS extension kit, called a single, which may help improve signal reception and optimize the user experience.
Perhaps Asus would’ve done better to offer customers cash or a hardware replacement. Instead, Transformer Prime owners are getting a gauche lump of plastic that takes functionality away from the device, especially for owners who frequently use the keyboard dock.