I have an Asus EEE Pad Transformer TF101 Android tablet and docking station. It came with Android v3.2 installed, and I have since then upgraded OTA to 4.0.
I haven't used the dock much but it used to work. Recently I did a factory reset, because I intend to sell this. But now, the physical keyboard of the docking station is not working. The tablet shows the docked indicator when docked. The touchpad works. The extra battery works. The USB ports work, but not the keyboard. The virtual keyboard is showing hardware keyboard ON when docked but keypresses does nothing. If I move the slider to OFF then the virtual keyboard is working.
hardware keyboard ON
I have reset a few times now and the same issue remains. What happened, and how can I try to fix this?
Can you charge the Asus Transformer (or the newer Prime) without the keyboard dock?
Since the tablet itself does not have any USB ports, I don't see how you could charge the tablet without the dock or a very clunky proprietary charging cable. However, It seems insane to manufacture and market a high-end tablet that can't charge without a giant peripheral (and sell/price the thing independently too).
Am I missing something? Or, is Asus just insane?
It comes with an AC adapter and a charging/data cable which can plug directly into the tablet, though it does still use their proprietary cable connection since it plugs into the same connector that the keyboard dock uses (the other end is male USB).
Using proprietary charging cables is not unheard of - Samsung and Apple have done this; I don't personally like it when companies use proprietary cables, but in this case it's mostly because the charging/data port doubles as the dock connector.
Here's an image from Engadget's unboxing/review of the Prime. The AC adapter is at the bottom.
First off, the charging cable for Transformer is not that clunky. Sure, inconvenient having to carry another cable and adapter, but it's not that bad.
Second, Asus is not the only manufacturer to use a proprietary port (with the required proprietary charging/data cable) instead of USB or MicroUSB connections. Samsung tablets are notorious for requiring a similarly shaped 30-pin cable and A/C adapter for charging and data transfer. All Apple's iOS devices also have a similar cable/adapter requirement.
As others have pointed out, the Transformer does require a proprietary cable for charging. There are a couple of drawbacks to this.
I am not sure why Asus went with a proprietary cable for charging. I suspect it's because that port is meant to be a multipurpose port for the dock, charging, and accessories, and that using a proprietary port makes all that much easier. However there aren't really any accessories for it and anyway they could have included a micro-usb port along with the dock/accessory port.
In any case, you would still need the wall plug adapter because of the higher power requirements for charging this device.
I think the proprietary charger is needed because of the higher voltages required by the dual-battery design. I guess you could use the regular usb connector, but it might annoy people when a regular cable did not work because it does not provide the right voltages. Using the odd connector ensures that the correct charger gets used.
From what I can see, the transformer charger works much simpeler. If you look closely into the USB connections, you can see an extra set of five pins. At the charger USB socket, a pair of these pins supplies +15V to the tablet. References on the net state that is OK to connect a +12V source to the USB power pins.
Most of these answers are correct as far as they go.
You CAN charge the ASUS Transformer without the base using any standard USB source (computer, plug, etc) with the proprietary cable. The Transformer needs to be off or at least have the screen blank in order for this to work, and with less than 10 volts it will NOT indicate that it is charging...but it is, albeit very slowly.
The included wall charger uses pin 3 of the USB to determine if it is connected to an ASUS transformer or another device. It supplies 15 volts if connected to the Transformer or base, and 5 volts to any other device so it can be safely used to charge a phone or other device.
Many people have successfully charged their transformer with a direct connection to a 12-volt source like a car battery. The positive terminal needs to go to USB pin 1 (red wire) and the negative to the ground at pin 4. BE AWARE THAT WHILE THIS WORKS, IT MAY VOID YOUR WARRANTY. Such a charging setup CANNOT BE USED FOR PHONES OR OTHER DEVICES!
!I found a PowerBolt Duo Car Charger by Kensington at Tiger Direct. One USB connector puts out 2.1 amps, which is what the ASUS transformer wants, and the other is 1.0 amp. I am sure that there are others available. It doesn't solve the "short cable" problem though