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Asus Transformer Prime delays, updated model explained

The Asus Transformer Prime went on sale yesterday and has already seen massive delays. With an updated model announced at CES, we found out what's going on.

The Asus Transformer Prime may have only officially gone on sale yesterday, but it's already creating quite an uproar, with shipping delays and the announcement of a revised model irking those of you who have just shelled out for one.

The Transformer Prime officially went on sale on Thursday 12 January and many customers were expecting to immediately kick back with their new tablet-cum-laptop over the weekend. Unfortunately many pre-orders have been postponed, leaving customers understandably upset. One such customer got in touch with us, explaining that his order with Amazon had been "postponed indefinitely".

Of course, we can totally sympathise with the frustration -- if we're left without tech for more than five minutes we break out in a horrible rash -- so we got in touch with Asus. It told us that the delays were due to the sheer number of orders and that more stock was expected to arrive soon. We don't quite know what that "soon" might mean, but it's safe to assume that you may have at least a few weeks to wait.

It's not plain sailing from there for Asus though. Over at CES in Las Vegas, an update to the Prime was unveiled packing a 1080p-resolution screen and updates to the back casing that improves GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities. If you've already bought the original Prime, it's at this point that you should rightly be wondering why your expensive new tablet has been replaced before you've even taken delivery of it.

More worryingly still, the fact that Asus has made improvements for connectivity suggests that there are known issues on the current model. Although Asus wouldn't comment on any such problems, we're forced to remember the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Asus did fix it, so it must have been broken, although in our time with it, we didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, so it might not be a widespread problem.

Annoyingly, Asus wasn't able to tell us what the exact situation was on this new model. It could be a more 'premium' version that sits alongside the Prime -- in which case we'd expect it to have an even higher price tag than the original Prime. Alternatively, the cost may be reduced, which won't please those of you who've already bought it.

Then again, it might be a direct replacement, in which case we'd sincerely hope that Asus offers a trade-in scheme to avoid a riot from those who've spent £500 on a now outdated tablet.

Without having official confirmation on the situation with the new model from Asus, it's very difficult to suggest a course of action. If you've already pre-ordered a model and haven't had it yet; hold tight, it's on its way. When it does arrive, you can update it to Ice Cream Sandwich and enjoy the power from that quad-core chip. We'll keep you updated on whether Asus opts for a trade offer with the new model.

However, if you're looking to buy a Prime but haven't already spent your money, it's probably worthwhile waiting until Asus explains exactly what's going on. Unless you just can't wait a moment longer to get your hands on one -- which we'd sympathise with -- it's still a brilliant bit of kit.

We'll keep poking Asus over the coming weeks to try and get more details so make sure to keep it CNET UK for all the latest news. Have you already bought a Prime? If not, will this put you off investing? Let us know in the comments below and over on our Facebook page.