Asus Transformer Prime bootloader lock irks Android fans

Android fans are annoyed to find the Asus Transformer Prime tablet has a locked bootloader, making it impossible to install custom ROMs.

Android fans have been shocked to discover that Asus' Transformer Prime tablet packs a locked and encrypted bootloader, making it nigh-on impossible to modify the tablet to run customised software.

The lock severely limits the amount of tinkering Prime owners will be able to indulge in, and was spotted by a member of the XDA Developers forum.

"This makes it impossible to flash ROMs and kernels which can really unlock the device's full potential," the post reads. "i.e. overclocking, flashing Linux distros, customising, undervolting, potentials of Windows 8 etc."

While that kind of fiddling will be beyond the cares of many tablet shoppers, the ability to mess around with your gadgetry is one of Android's major selling points, especially for ambitious geeks who love to customise their tablets and smart phones.

While Android is traditionally wide-open, Apple is infamous for the control it exerts over its products, making it tricky for anyone who wants to go off-piste when it comes to what your tech can do.

Irate Android fans are taking to the Internet, asking Asus to unlock the bootloader via messages on its Facebook page and tweets directed at the Asus Twitter account.

Last year HTC backed down when it came to locking the bootloader on its mobiles, following a flood of complaints from fans. Asus may perform a similar u-turn, or it may choose to stick to its guns. We've asked Asus for comment, and we'll let you know when we hear more.

Do you love to mess around with your gadgets? Would you buy the Transformer Prime while any customisation is forbidden? Tell us in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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