I got an iPad 3 (for my wife – the Transformer Prime is way better for me) and while the screen is very nice, I can’t say that it’s a “revolution” or any of the other idiocy floating around. It’s actually nothing more special than a HD TV from a viewer’s perspective:
My iPad 3 has 250 pixels per inch, and is designed to be held at 12 inches away.
My TV has about 40 pixels per inch and is designed to be viewed from 10 feet or more.
Apparent pixel size is 400 pixels per inch on the TV, comparing like to like, which blows any of Apple’s “retina displays” out of the water. Seeing pixels on a BluRay movie or 1080p game like Final Fantasy XIII is flat out impossible, and predates any retina nonsense. So, they’re nice and all but hardly something unheard of.
Been a while. I’ve had lots of interesting stuff to blog about, just been slack and haven’t written any of it down. Finally I got excited again – just took some messing around with a new tablet to get it done!
So, I went crazy and bough a Transformer Prime because I really wanted a table now that my wife has her iPad 2. Purchase decision was actually pretty easy – I wanted an Android device (because I love my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone) and the Tegra 3 was just too good to go past. It took some work to find somewhere in the US with it in stock but eventually I settled on Abe’s of Maine because they had the tablet and appeared a good quality merchant that had it at the magical sub-$500 price point. Some phone calls later (to sort out the credit card info) and a bit of a wait on supply later and it finally ended up over in Oz.
Initial setup was trivially easy – it sucked down the configuration of my Phone and tried to set itself up identically, upgrading from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich in the background. Everything was happy except for the odd reboot once or twice a day (more on that later).
Next, I decided that seeing the warranty was “return to base” and “base” was a hundred dollar courier away then there was nothing to lose in rooting it and putting clockworkmod into the bootloader just so I could try out Cyanogenmod when it finally gets stable on the Prime. Everything went very smoothly using vipermod and it’s a process I can absolutely recommend to anyone trying to do this on their prime.
Now the fun started. Some more research told me that the downloadable update (.15) fixed the reboot issue I described previously and a quick check showed me I only got the .14 update automatically during setup. Figured that would be easy enough to fix so I downloaded the .15 version from ASUS’s site and went to install it. Next thing I knew, my tablet was stuck at the Clockworkmod recovery screen and no matter what I tried, it wouldn’t get unstuck. To make matters worse, my laptop was reporting “Full Android on Emulator” as the USB device with no drivers available so I couldn’t even get adb to connect.
Making matters even worse, it seems that Clockworkmod can’t access the micro-SD slot so there’s actually no way to get a new firmware into the Prime if you mess something up. You need to make sure there’s a working one somewhere on the internal flash. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to have done that so I really was stuck!
Some hours of searching over on xda-developers finally set things right. The fix was:
- Fix up my adb drivers: the “Universal Driver” can be found here. Basically it’s a repack of the standard drivers with the appropriate fixes for running adb against Clockworkmod Recovery, and worked a treat once I had it installed.
- Use adb as outlined in Option 1a here.
Now I had my Prime booting back to the .14 firmware as before, which had achieved nothing but I knew now that putting an official firmware upgrade on a clockworkmod install is a really, really bad idea so there had to be a “proper” way of doing it. Turns out there is:
Go here. Jermaine151 has repacked the official firmware (with root enabled and some other stuff) which installs just beautifully on a clockworkmod install. So now I have a fully upgraded Transformer Prime, with custom firmware enabled and root privileges. One very happy camper.