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