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Unofficial by Official ASUS Thread - Product Updates

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By Gary Key, Member on 8th March 2012, 08:26 PM
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Good Day,

I am starting this thread to provide general updates and information on current or future products. In addition, at times I will address rumors where applicable.

1. I travel a lot, especially this time of year as there are numerous events. In addition I am also responsible for notebooks, netbooks, desktops, monitors, networking, audio, motherboards and video cards as part of the Technical Marketing umbrella so the majority of time I spend on forums and assisting users has to be segmented and is usually on my personal time. Having a family also interferes with my personal time as do 14-hour flights.
2. As such, when sending Private Messages please include a contact email address and the serial number of the unit. It will greatly assist me in ensuring that return contact is quicker and less obtrusive.
3. In the very near future, there will be additional ASUS technical support on this site and other Android centric sites for our Tablet products. Obviously this is an extremely important service for our valued customers and the direct feedback allows us to further improve the products.

Items- 3/8/2012
1. For users with the WiFi/BT dropout problem we expect additional materials or replacement units in stock at the repair depots by 3/12. We apologize for some of the lengthy waits a few customers had to endure but it will be solved shortly.
2. As to the rumors of a hardware fix for WiFi/BT dropouts, the actual fix is just ensuring that the hardware utilized in current units is performing to tested standards. Basically to ensure this level of compliance we are replacing components within the WiFi subsystem on an as needed basis and then testing the units before shipment.
3. I am still responding to messages sent during my last two events at the end of February and beginning of March. I should be current by the weekend.
4. I will have some exciting news in about two weeks on the TF201.
5. Expect to see a .16 or later release in the near future with further tweaks and updates.

Rumors - 3/8/2012
1. As to various rumors or threads about every unit having a problem, the numbers indicate otherwise as evidenced in the CNET article and an upcoming followup. While not dismissing there have been some problems, the return/repair rates are no greater than other competing products based on current data and are actually lower than several. I am not going to defend us 100% as like with all manufacturers we have areas of improvement.
2. That being said, I want to discuss a certain population of users who complain about multiple unit problems or seem to have every problem that is discussed in a forum.
a. Of these problem repeat users, around 71% (varies on a monthly basis) never responded to direct communication attempts.
b. Of the remaining users (around 30%), we directly assisted 9% of these users and confirmed actual unit problems. Of the remaining 20% or so, we could not verify all of the problems reported (multiple units, service, returns). However, I would like to give two examples that generally mimic a lot of this 20% contact.

2a- User reported in the forums and private messages purchasing and returning 5+ units, all of which had various problems. Actual purchase history indicated only 3 units purchased and for each purchase the user called for an RMA number, was granted an RMA number that day, and yet returned the unit the next day to the retailer and purchased another unit and then cycled the same process for the next two units. This user also has a repeat history of doing this process for other items including notebooks over the past couple of years and then claiming to receive a new product after said complaints. We tracked down one problem unit based on purchase/serial number history and guess what, no problems discovered and in fact the GPS works wonderfully on this unit as I sit here testing it. As to the other two units, we will locate and test those also.
2b - Users posted numerous times about a multitude of problems and yet would not return the unit for an RMA or replacement and instead offered to quit "bitching" in the forums if we would provide a free unit, replacement unit or upgrade. We still do not know if said user or users actually owns a unit or not. (note - had this situation play out several times with users in this forum and other forums)
2c - Total number of users we tried to assist reporting multiple TF201 problems - 43. I will leave the math up to you.

Also be aware that some companies will instruct personnel to post problems, complain about products or services and generally ensure some type of problem is mentioned numerous times while pimping their own products in forums. In addition, also be aware that legal representation from firms or users looking for a quick handout or settlement might be doing the same. I know several PMs I have received looked exactly like a legal beagle wrote the questions expecting a response that can be used in trial, especially once you run the message through heuristics. Of course, I could be incorrect and those questions were from extremely articulate individuals with product law knowledge that I apologize to for not answering the questions in requested detail.

As I stated before, I am not excusing any problems actually experienced due to a manufacturing defect or service issue. We certainly can and will improve but based on the hard numbers, what I am seeing is in alignment with most electronics and for the "A" users posting here, just do a search for WiFi, Screen bleed or lockup problems at their forum. This launch has been a humbling process in several areas, we fully recognize it and will improve our services and responses as quickly as possible.

At the same time, the amount of effort we expend tracking down false or misleading reports only serves to disrupt services to valued customers. I know this is part of doing business but it does not make it right. Just my personal opinion.

3/9/2012 Update:
General Comments-
1. Thank you to any members contacting me and including their serial number and email address, it really helps as I now receive email notifications directly once a PM is generated. It will cut down on the time required to respond and allow me access to requests regardless of travel or event schedules. I have one last request, please ensure the email address provided is current and working. About 25% of the email addresses provided yesterday bounced back. I think we cleared all of those up by this morning.
2. I will be working with our North American Service and Customer Care group shortly to train individuals to assist in tracking forum problems (product or service), product suggestions and in providing consistent information to our valued customers in this forum and others. Once we roll this out I will make an introduction to the new team members and contact instructions. I will still be available but will concentrate more on product trends and technical aspects of the hardware and software as this is my primary job responsibility. Of course, if you into a roadblock feel free to contact me.
3. Even though I am North American centric, I am still assisting international users at the moment. Hopefully, those users who contacted me over the past two weeks have been contacted by a regional rep today. If not, probably no later than Monday. In the meantime, the same requests I have asked of our Customer Care group for direct forum support in North America has also been requested of our other regions.
4. I apologize for any delays over the past couple of weeks and I should be current by Sunday night.

Product Comments-
1. Speaking of trends, I have noticed a pattern in several messages over the last couple of weeks with people complaining about slight pauses, hitches or browser closures. One item that seems to be a common thread in most of the messages is that the user recently downloaded the Chrome Beta. I will start a separate thread on this after I speak with Google/Nvidia on Monday. However, if you are up for wasting a few minutes and have these symptoms, please uninstall Chrome, reboot, uninstall Flash, reinstall Flash and see if the native browser works any better along with general system responsiveness.

3/20/21012 Update -

1. I will be back to the forums on 3/22/2012.
2. We will have a major ICS update (.19) arriving shortly (might be .20 now).
3. We will have a major announcement on the TF201 in the near future.
4. We will have dedicated forum assistance starting in the near future.

3/22/2012 Update -
1. I am back for the next few days. I will get caught up on messages and updates shortly.
2. The next firmware update is in qualification testing now. We are also working on solving some flickering problems reported by a few users and hopefully that will be addressed in this next release.
3. The announcements on the TF201 (not being canceled as speculated) will occur as soon as I have a release to do it.
4. Full time forum support at a few Android centric sites will be launched in the near future as discussed.

3/26/2012 Update
1. Firmware Update will be released by 3/30 for North America. Updates and fixes galore for the lack of better words.

3/29/2012 Update -
I hope to announce some TF201 updates in the near future. We are finishing testing and should be able to discuss the update shortly.

4/2/2012 Update -

Still working on the details regarding the announcement and once finalized it will be released as quickly as possible. In addition, I have gathered additional details from a few users who are seeing locks or weirdness after playing a Tegra 3 optimized game after a few hours. I will be in California next week to work with NVIDIA and Google on this problem and browser slowness or closure that a few users have also reported.

4/5/2012 Update -

I guess the cat is out of the bag in regards to the planned announcement discussed above. I cannot comment officially at this point but will provide a detailed update once released to do so. In addition, if you PM me, please include an email address for contact within your message. It will greatly facilitate receiving an answer.

4/9/2012 Update -

I am in California this week to meet with Google, NVIDIA and others on current software packages and upcoming products so there will be some delays in messages. As for the GPS Dongle program on the TF201, we will make an official announcement (program details and registration) next week.

4/20/2102 Update -
Please contact me if you are a North American owner and have any issues with the GPS dongle. To date, testing has proved successful on a wide variety of units but we want to ensure a pleasant user experience. Also, working on validation testing on a new firmware image now.

4/27/2012 Update -
We are still validating a new firmware release. We are also tracking user reported issues with Tegra 3 games, WiFi Direct and some continued random reboot/lock problems with a few units. Based on current regression testing at HQ, NVIDIA and Google it appears we will need to swap out a few units to pinpoint exact user problems. For the unlocked audience, we have requested a version of NVFlash that works properly for users who unlocked their units.

5/3/2012 Update -

We have new NV base code that is undergoing validation testing now. I will released this firmware to a few beta users in the near future. It addresses random reboot/lock problems among a few other items. In addition, we are still working with NV and Google on code changes to address browser issues once multiple browsers are installed and Flash is not uninstalled and reinstalled again after a cold reboot.

5/9/2012 Update -

I have been out with pneumonia but will have messages forwarded to the Customer Care Team.

5/10/2012 Update -
I will provide test build to a few power users tomorrow that addresses ANR problems identified with NVIDIA and Google. If this tests out fine, we will release as general beta to a wider group and then qualification release for users. Various browsers use different WebKit versions and thread priorities, which create some of the problems users with multiple browsers have been experiencing and even with other applications.
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8th March 2012, 08:30 PM |#2  
Wordlywisewiz's Avatar
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I got my refund from you guys (dock+ tablet+ shipping) thanks again! Hai trat was wonderful! Keep up the good work!
Don't let people discourage you!
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8th March 2012, 08:37 PM |#3  
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Can you post a "procedure" or "guide" to obtaining full refund based on displeasure with GPS performance? Along with detailed information on who is "qualified" and who "isn't".
8th March 2012, 08:44 PM |#4  
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Originally Posted by Gary Key

4. I will have some exciting news in about two weeks about the TF201.

Exciting! After returning mine for a bright pixel and being tabletless for a month, I'm hoping... price break or updated hardware with bulletproof GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and no light bleed. Now that there are 2048 x 1536 resolution tablets out there for $499, the value proposition doesn't work as well as it did even if the TF201 didn't have the alleged level of errors people are stating.
8th March 2012, 08:51 PM |#5  
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Very good post Gary, it really does make a difference to my own personal view on Asus.

I very much doubt that any other manufacturer would put as much effort into backing their product.

Please keep visiting and putting various issues at ease, its what makes a big difference, although you will never keep everyone happy.

Very interested to see whats in store for us with future updates etc .. keep us posted.

P.S. I wish there was a UK based Rep on the forums too.
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8th March 2012, 08:51 PM |#6  
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this is exciting news!

Thanks for the update and hopefully wifi/bt dropout will be fixed soon!
8th March 2012, 08:54 PM |#7  
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Thanks for getting me my refund Gary I cant wait to buy the next Asus tablet that comes along.
8th March 2012, 09:02 PM |#8  
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Can't wait to hear the "exciting news" about the TF201 in a couple of weeks. Except, now you have me getting all anxious again!
8th March 2012, 09:04 PM |#9  
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Good to see you guys really taking care of the issues and in contact with the users
8th March 2012, 09:05 PM |#10  
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Thanks for taking the time to come to the forums and put a face to Asus. Not many companies will reach out like that, and it's much appreciated. I know all you mainly hear are the negatives, so as a new prime owner as of yesterday, I can tell you thus far I'm very happy with the device.

Based on the level of community involvement and my brief experience with the device so far, I'd be more than comfortable recommending an Asus tablet to friends or family.
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8th March 2012, 09:25 PM |#11  
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Thumbs up Thank you Gary, good on you!
but please get rid of your ugly
in the signature. No insult buddy, but many people are allergic to apples. You might try dates or a link to figs, much sweeter...

We all agree on being happy not having to post in that thread and this link makes another great and exceptional statement little.

Give me a thanks and help me survive till the 17Th or so
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