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Thread: ** Farewell to a friend? Really, really hoping not . . . **

  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    ** Farewell to a friend? Really, really hoping not . . . **

    A bit of background first:

    Though it seems like yesterday, it was actually back in May, 2011 when I bought Mrs S an Asus Transformer TF101 for her birthday. She'd never been interested in computers or computing. And I knew nothing about Asus or Android. But we'd seen a friend's Apple tablet and been amazed at what a 'tablet' could actually do (you'll gather, neither of us are computer freaks.)

    Having always had a distinct aversion to Apple's imperious diktat, I've never bought one of its products nor ever will. The Asus, then, seemed not merely an alternative to servitude in the kingdom of The Jobs, it offered even more: high concept hi-tech, a tablet with a docking keyboard that contained a second battery, expandable memory, multiplicity of ports etc etc -- a laptop that wasn't a laptop but a darn sight better.

    We were therefore amongst all those (seemingly) 100s of prospective customers on Amazon UK, waiting for a shipment of TF101s to come into stock. Never mind Apple and its fanbois: I doubt any tablet has stirred up such excitement as did the TF101's debut. And when it finally arrived, ah! God! Just look at it! Substantial and flawless -- and utterly and completely beyond me. Which meant, Mrs S then sat down and learned About Android. Invested her time in the product and thus, inevitably, became attached to the product in more ways than one.

    It was, and remains, her Transformer. It did what it said it would do and since May 2011 has never failed. It has travelled 1,000s of miles with us, all over Europe, all over the USA, all over the UK. It has, literally, been the essential companion.

    Me, I was so impressed with it I bought the so-called Asus Prime -- so-called, because it turned out to be expensive dross, the first sign either of Asus's inability to properly mine the gold seam it had found or (as seemed more likely) Asus's utter indifference to its customer base. The Prime was a designer-led disaster that couldn't get a wifi signal and had beveled edges 'cos they looked oh-so cool but with non-beveled ports so that a HDMI cable fell out as soon as it was pushed in. Asus must've known the Prime wasn't fit for purpose, but instead a rush job to pander to those suckered in by what's cool rather than attracted by what works. I've rarely felt more despairing of a manufacturer than I have with Asus: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory has never been more stupidly, more needlessly, evident.

    So then. Mrs S's magnificent, non-slim, non-light, non-flexing, non-beveled, non-trendy, non-cool TF101 -- which she could, astonishingly enough, take everywhere and use everywhere despite lacking the Schwarzenegger musculature which apparently you have to possess nowadays if tech reviewers and manufacturers' marketing departments are to be believed: lighter, lighter, slimmer, slimmer, because the poor trend-setting darlings out there have trouble lifting even a feather.

    But now, well, now it's not as magnificent as before. Not being a tecchie, I'll have to spell the symptoms out in a way I can understand. If it seems tediously simplistic: apologies.

    On boot-up, the TF101 spins its wheels for 50 seconds and then the home screen appears. The screen is dimmed. It's dimmed because the unit is waiting for its owner to tap in the password to unlock it. My wife does so. The screen immediately brightens and stays that way. The unit immediately works. And stays that way.

    Or, well, it did. What's happening now -- and with accelerating frequency -- is that boot-up, log-in, screen dim-to-bright all takes place exactly as it always has done. But then, maybe 5 minutes later, or 30 minutes, or at some random time or other during normal operation, the screen suddenly dims. Dims to the reduced level of illumination that exists after boot-up but before log-in. And then, after maybe 10 seconds of dimness. . . Nothing. The screen goes black. The unit's controls cease to function. The TF101 is, to all intents and purposes, dead -- even though it is still powered up.

    Mrs S has learned how to cold start (?) and by fiddling with power and volume buttons is able to bring the TF101 back to life. But she's having to do this more and more often. Clearly, things can't carry on like this.

    Neither of us know if she's contending with a hardware or software failure. The problem occurs whether the Transformer is docked or not. Whether the screen brightness is running on manual or auto. Whether battery power is at 100% or less than 25%. (There's certainly no issue here about charging.) If it's a hardware failure -- a loose connector, perhaps, somewhere inside? -- then that seems unlikely: she has deliberately started it up and walked around with it, jolted it, turned it around, and it has been fine. . . until the screen turns dim and blacks out. But. . . she has also deliberately started the unit up on a level surface and never moved it, never jolted it, yet still the dimming and then the black-out has later occurred.

    Mrs S, as may be gathered, is very fond of her Transformer. So, to be honest, am I. If it is the case that its time is up, then yes, we've had five years of real pleasure from what is, after all, just another inanimate object. And five years, I guess, is a lonnnnng time. And yet, and yet. . . we'd both like a little bit more. Between us, then, we're going to try a factory re-set -- but before embarking on that, I'd be grateful to hear from anyone who has also experienced the dim / black-out situation (NOT 'flickering', this is not an instance of the screen shimmering / flickering / failing to render correctly) and if they can say whether this prized TF101 has reached the end of the line -- or if a factory reset has worked for others who may've encountered this problem?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a hardware issue to me - but then your much loved tf101 is now well past its normal life expectancy...

    A Factory Reset will not hurt, but it probably won't fix it, either. It can't hurt to try, though.
    leeshor and Swansduck like this.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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  3. #3
    Soundwave
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    Thanks janner43; we'll give it a try and see how it goes. Fingers crossed . . .

 

 

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