How-to: Improve the ASUS Transformer Infinity Pad TF700T

The ASUS Transformer Infinity Pad TF700T is a great tablet. Well, at least until ASUS released the Android 4.2.1 update. That basically turned a great tablet into a piece of garbage. Well, not really garbage, but close enough. The biggest problem, at least for me, with the Infinity tablet ended up being lag. Serious lag. I basically abandoned the tablet because I couldn’t stand to use it. Performance was atrocious, and despite the Infinity’s superior specs, I actually preferred my Nexus 7 for most tasks.

Taking matters into my own hands

For my first few months, I actually believed that a quarterly factory reset would satisfactorily resolve my issue. Unfortunately, factory reset didn’t work too well. Sure, I’d get by for a short time, usually 1-2 weeks, but I’d be back struggling with lag shortly thereafter. I got frustrated. So, I decided to set about to correcting the issue — since ASUS doesn’t care — and reclaiming my tablet. I decided that I’d unlock my tablet and install a custom rom. In particular, I opted for the Crombi-KK ROM.

crombi1

Getting started

The first thing you need to remember is that you’re voiding your warranty by even starting this process. That’s because your first step involves unlocking your tablet’s bootloader. I was okay with this solution for two reasons. First, my tablet is 2 years old, so repairs aren’t covered by the warranty. And second, I know ASUS isn’t going to fix the issue. Please read this entire post before trudging off on the installation.

Once you’re okay with voiding your warranty, the first step is to unlock your bootloader. ASUS provides a bootloader unlock tool that you can download directly to your tablet.

Follow this link and select Android from the drop-down menu. Then expand Utilities, scroll down to find Version  V8_For Andorid 4.2. I selected the Global file. It’s packaged as a .rar file, so use any of the .zip installer apps (I used AndroZip) to get the file into an Android OS .apk file. You’ll install the new app onto your tablet. Note, you should have the box next to Uknown sources checked (look under Menu > Security) to allow installation. Open and run the sunlock tool once it’s installed. This should take a minute or two, so be patient. You’ll know it’s done, so just wait.

Installing TWRP

With the tablet unlocked, you’re ready to install the custom ROM. I followed these instructions, though they’re a little confusing at times. Note that you don’t need to root your tablet to finish this project.

If you haven’t installed a custom rom, do a quick search for custom rom installation, just to get a feel for what’s going on.

From this point forward, you’ll use your desktop computer for the installation.

The first step in the process is to download a recovery module (in this case TWRP — Team Win Recovery Package) and the ROM file — do this while you’re unlocking the tablet, it’ll save you some time.

Doing some TWRPing

For me, the most difficult part of this custom ROM installation was the TWRP step. Don’t get frustrated, because here’s what you need to know.

Use this ADB Installer (Windows) program to quickly get ADB on your desktop. ADB is part of the Android software development package, but you only need this small portion. Save yourself some time, hassle, and frustration with ADB Setup. Be sure to install the file directly to your C: drive. If you’ve done this right, you should have a folder structure that looks like this:

file structure

This will enable easy access in the very near future.

Download (if you haven’t already) the TWRP file. It’s packaged as a .zip folder, so use Windows (or your desktop’s) .zip unpacking program to extract the files to your desktop. Open the folder and look for the boot.blob file.

boot-blob file

Rename this to twrp.blob (right click > rename > twrp). Note that you can leave this as boot.blob, just remember the name for later.

Copy this file over to your ADB folder, which should now look like this:

adb folder full

Now, you’re ready to run some fastboot magic and install the TWRP recovery. This is extremely easy, though the instructions don’t tell you how (they assume you already know how to get fastboot).

Fastbooting

Plug in your tablet via USB and make sure your computer recognizes and installs the device drivers. If your computer doesn’t, this is a pain and you’ll need to go back to the ASUS site for driver downloads.

If you’re fortunate, Windows (or your system) will recognize your ASUS tablet, install the proper drivers, and you can reboot into fastboot mode to use ADB to flash your TWRP recovery program.

Get started by opening the terminal on your desktop. In Windows, use the Windows Key + R to open the run dialog. Type cmd in the box and click Enter. You should see the command terminal (old DOS for you pre-Windows folks with a memory).

command prompt

Change directories to your ADB folder — this is why it’s nice to sit ADB in the C: drive.

adb folder

Now, shut down and restart your tablet while holding Power + Vol- (volume down). You should see a “funky” screen with 3 icons: RCK, an Android, and “WIPE DATA.” If you’re restarting, you didn’t hold down the proper buttons, so try again. This is the fastboot screen.

Type the following fastboot commands on the line (no pictures because I already performed the step):

fastboot -i 0x0B05 flash recovery twrp.blob

Wait about 10-15 seconds for the recovery to finish. The command prompt says something like “successful”.

Reboot your tablet.

Installing the custom ROM

With the tablet rebooted, it’s time to move your downloaded custom ROM file over. You can do this ahead of time and save the hassle of rebooting. It’s up to you.

I like to use Windows Explorer to move the file. Simply copy (or cut) and paste the cm-11.0-20140719-crombi-kk-tf700t_signed.zip file from your desktop to your tablet’s root drive (at least somewhere you’ll easily find it). Wait a few minutes for the transfer, then reboot your tablet back into fastboot (Power + Vol-).

With fastboot loaded back, select the RCK icon — it should be flashing — and press Vol+ to select the option.

You should load directly to the TWRP recovery module and see a series of 8 icons, beginning with “Install”.

I prefer to wipe my devices before installing a custom ROM, so click Wipe > Advanced Wipe and select the partitions (generally the first four for me). Wait for the wipe to complete and return to the home screen.

Click Install and navigate to the location of the folder where you saved your Crombi file. Advanced tip: If you see a “signed” in the zip file name (best_rom_ever_signed.zip), make sure you check “verify zip signature” under the Install menu. Some devs sign their ROM zips – a better way to ensure file integrity than md5 sum.

You’re ready to install the custom ROM by answering the questions and following the steps. Crombi includes the Google apps files, so you don’t have to worry about installing those from a separate file. Complete the installation, restart your tablet, and you have a whole new device.

A whole new world

Crombi is really helping me to establish a whole new relationship with my ASUS Transformer tablet. You won’t see vast improvement for about 15-30 minutes as the device “settles down.” Be patient.

crombi-kk-screen

One of my biggest issues was the lag of the tablet. That’s almost disappeared from the system.

Admittedly, the ROM isn’t perfect, for instance, there are some quirks when I connect my keyboard, but overall, I’m loving the fact that I’ve reclaimed my tablet, and it’s usable.

If you’re struggling to love your ASUS Transformer Infinity Pad, perhaps Crombi-kk can help you love again.

49 Responses to How-to: Improve the ASUS Transformer Infinity Pad TF700T

  1. I was having the same lag issues with my Prime, so much so that I bought a TF701 last year to replace it. I did a factory reset on the Prime, which solved the lag issues for a while, but it started getting laggy again. I ended up rooting the Prime and installing Lagfix. I set Lagfix to run fstrim every night at midnight. Problem solved.

  2. I bought one of these used off ebay last year and already rommed. I have never got much use out of it because no matter what rom I put on it, it still freezes and lags and drives me insane. Right now it has cyanogen mod on it. Worked great for a couple of days – now it is basically useless. I keep meaning to sell it because it’s just sitting there while I go without a tablet.

  3. I bought one of these used off ebay last year and already rommed. I have never got much use out of it because no matter what rom I put on it, it still freezes and lags and drives me insane. Right now it has cyanogen mod on it. Worked great for a couple of days – now it is basically useless. I keep meaning to sell it because it’s just sitting there while I go without a tablet.

      • OK. As soon as I get in the mood to go through the whole ordeal again of switching roms, I definitely will. I’ll keep this post in mine. Every time I touch that tablet, though, I get so frustrated.

        • This process takes less than 10 minutes (after you’ve downloaded everything). Since you already have a recovery installed from Cyanogenmod, you can do it quite easily. Just download the ROM and transfer to your device, then boot to recovery and install.

      • Try what ROM? There isn’t an active hyperlink. In your directions above it says the same thing in “Getting Started”. You say “Follow this link” but there isn’t an active Hyperlink.

  4. When you said that there were some quirks when connecting the keyboard. What quirks did you see? Does the keyboard work?

  5. Thanks for an excellent post. I encountered an issue with twrp – it could not see my rom zip file from the install button. Solution was updating to the latest release (2.8) instead of the 2.6 I had installed. This also resolved an issue with my windows drivers I wasn’t even aware of yet. Moral: always check to be sure you have the latest release. Here’s the link: http://teamw.in/project/twrp2.

    Also note the following from the TeamWin website that saved my bacon when trying to move my ROM file over:
    “Note: Due to a weird bug with our MTP setup, you cannot copy a zip file to the root of storage with Windows. You can change the .zip to something else like .txt and then copy it to the root and rename the file back to .zip once it’s copied to the device. You can also copy the zip into any subfolder.”

    Thanks again.

  6. Jeff, a couple other things – The fastboot command should have the letter “i” not the number “1” as in the following:

    fastboot -i 0x0B05 flash recovery twrp.blog

    Also, the XDA post at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2688891 has another wonderful tutorial on this same topic with a couple of additional helpful tips and links. He also reminds the reader to create a backup/restore image in case things go south, which is good advice.

    Thanks again for a great article. I’ve been looking for a solution to the terrible lag problem that plagued this otherwise fine tablet. One of the advantages of the Android/open source option is the abilitiy to take matters into your own hands when your manufacturer (that’s YOU, Asus!) lets you down.

  7. Holy crap!!! I have spent several hours trying to just do the recovery module part and could not figure out why I’m having such an issue! your fastboot command prompt issue is typed wrong. It says . . . .flash recovery twrp.blog and instead should say “twrp.blob”!!! OMG!!! I was literally typing this stuff over and over and over wondering why it wasn’t working? Duh!

  8. Just saw the previous post regarding the correction from “1” to “i”. That was my major hangup today!!!! argghhh!

  9. A little issue when I trying to unlock. The unlocker says me that my passwords was incorrect, the i recieve a mail from google says that an insecure application is trying to access, i authorized that and every runs perfectly. Thank you for your post!!

    • Hi, I have the same issue and after change my google password and configs account with no solution, I reset tablet factory and in the screen to inform Google account I onky skip, and unlock boot loader works perfectly 🙂

  10. Hi, gave it a go and returned the following on the cmd line at fastboot stage: FAILED(remote: (InvalidState)). Can anuone help!

  11. Looks like when you’re using fastboot, it has to be over a USB 2.0 port. Had my tablet plugged into a 3.0 port and nothing happened. Left me pretty confused for 10 minutes.

  12. Hiya Jeff!

    Thanks for your posting above! This is awesome! Now my Asus Infinity TF700t is with its soul renewed! 🙂

    I had the serious lagging for ages until just recently I have decided to give it a factory reset. It begins with just Google-ing for ways to download or backup all Asus’s default apps like SuperNote, MyCould, MyNet, etc, even the Asus Task Manager and your website spotted my attention.

    You have made process/procedures or as you called it, ‘project’, so details and simple at the same time. Thank you again! cheers!

  13. Hey Jeff

    Quick question – How can I get/download both Asus MyNet & Asus Task Manager? I quite like features from these two apps though.

    Thanks / Henry

  14. Hi Jeff I follow carefully your step by step guide, i succesfully run command fastboot -i 0X0B05 flash recovery twrp.blob i got the finished propt, then i reboot device and there is where im stuck, it keeps rebooting again and again and nothing happens… please can you give me some help? or some tutorial, video, something that can help me? many thanks…

  15. Well, i could solve the bootloop problem, as my tablet was fresh factory reseted before the tutorial, i simply went to fastboot screen, and from my pc run fastboot erase userdata & fastboot erase cache. Then i could start the OS correctly and move the ROM file.

    • Great! I was going to suggest the same thing. Sounds like you had some error somewhere. I had a similar issue, probably as a result of a file transfer or something.

  16. I am unable to get past the wrong password prompt from the google sign in to confirm unlock. I am using the correct password, but it will not take. Any help?

  17. Update on my issue. I got it fixed and no help from endless searches pointing us in the direction of all things needing to be done through google. Simply remove your google account from your tablet under settings…accounts. and then try to run the unlock program. With no account to verify anything this went through like a breeze. You will have to answer a question asking if you still want to do this, stab yes and let er rip.

  18. Do you know if this works with android 4.2.1? I have tried to install and get msg that it is not installing. Thank you for your help.

  19. Hi. I am hoping you will see this. I saw you use a keyboard with your tf700t. Will this work via the usb port on the keyboard, as I have lost the usb/power cord (I only charge plugging in the wall atm)? Or do I have to buy a new usb/40pin data cable? I have a microusb/usb cord I can use with the keyboard.

    Thanks

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.