Mayor of Awesometown
Quick review of the GPS Extension Kit for the Transformer Prime
Pictures on my Tumblr
Today my free GPS Extension Kit arrived in the mail from ASUS for my Transformer Prime. GPS has never been a feature I weighed when considering tablet purchases, but since ASUS was offering the extension module for free, I figured I should pick one up in case I ever sell the Prime.
There's nothing subtle about the extension module. It clicks onto the bottom of the Prime using the same connections as the keyboard dock and cover. This, of course, is a huge issue with the unit: you can't use an origami cover or the keyboard dock when using the GPS module. The only way you'll be able to use your tablet with this attached is laying it down or holding it in your hands.
Color-wise it matches nicely with my "champagne" silver Prime. It has ridiculous huge stickers all over it with the requisite FCC, CE and other certification logos, along with instructions to update your tablet firmware prior to use (no update was needed or available in my case). One sticker also warns you to remove the extension kit when not in use save battery power. I'll be peeling these off post haste.
The extension kit has a locking mechanism similar to the slider found on the keyboard dock, which keeps the module firmly attached to the Prime. There's also a tiny arrow printed on the module to help you line it up with the ports on the Prime (just like the keyboard dock).
The Prime's GPS performance is dramatically improved with the extension kit. Without the kit installed, my Prime detected 0 GPS satellites using GPS Test by Crosschart Limited when I was sitting next to the bay window in my house. (As a side note, my Galaxy Nexus only registered one satellite using the same software).
With the GPS Extension Kit installed, the Prime quickly locked on to 9 satellites with reasonable strength. GPS Test was able to pinpoint my location with a reported 42 feet accuracy level. That's a pretty significant improvement.
I checked to see if there was any improvement with Wi-Fi signal strength using the Extension Kit but there wasn't any.
For people who have a use case requiring reliable GPS data on their tablet, ASUS has come through with a solid fix for the Transformer Prime (and they did it for free!). As long as you don't want to use your cover or keyboard with it, that is.