Asus has always been a strong supporter of open source software and in the past we've seen them officially support third party firmware for their routers, like the infamous RT-N16 Wi-Fi router. Today, they have once again done something that will make the modding and developing community jump with joy. The Taiwanese computer manufacturer has released a bootloader unlocking tool as an APK on their site, so now users wishing to install custom ROMs simply have to install the APK and run it – it’s that simple. It seems like Asus is one of the few companies (other than Samsung) to have realized the importance of the modding community and that a phone will only be as successful in the long run depending on how easily one can mod or customize it.
Cheaper and better
There is one small stipulation before you go ahead and download it. Installing the bootloader unlock tool will void the warranty, so if anything does go wrong it won’t be covered. Don’t let this put you off, though, since as long as you don’t flash any of the wrong files, chances of you bricking your tablet are slim. Here is a little disclaimer from Asus :
- “Only suitable for Andriod 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS version.
- Before you download, install, and use the Unlock Device App you acknowledge and assume complete risk to the quality and performance of this App, including but not limited to the following: once you activate the app you will not be able to recover your ASUS product (“Original Product”) back to original locked conditions; the Original Product with the activated App will not be deemed the Original Product; the Revised Product will no longer be covered under the warranty of the Original Product; the software of Revised Product will no longer be deemed the software of the Original Product and can no longer receive ASUS software updates; your purchased digital content may also be affected.”
The Transformer Pad 300 is a slightly tweaked version of the original Transformer Prime. It features an IPS LCD screen, Tegra 3, 8MP camera capable of 1080p recording and of course Android 4.0. More importantly, the new Pad 300 is quite a bit cheaper than the old Prime. Below are some of the specifications of the tablet:
- 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution
- 3G, EDGE/GPRS and Wi-Fi capabilities for net access
- GPS with A-GPS support for Google Maps
- Bluetooth with A2DP and USB 2.0 (Micro)
- 8MP camera with LED flash and secondary camera up front
- 16GB internal + microSD card support for up to 32GB more memory
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