For those of you with Asus Transformer tablets on the stock firmware, there’s never been a better time to switch over to a custom ROM like CROMI-X. Sbdags’ new CROMi-X custom ROM left beta on Sept 17th and, as of now, has received 3 further updates since then (5.0.3).
The ROM is initially for the Asus TF700, however according to sbdags:
THIS ROM IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE ASUS PAD TF300T & TF300TG, PRIME TF201 AND THE ME301T PAD SMART 10
sbdags’ new features for CROMi-X 5!
Here are just a few of the things you can get excited over:
• File system and performance tweaks!
• TF700T : ASUS 10.6.1.27.1 Stock Kernel by sbdags
• Data2sd enabling / disabling (only works with _that’s and hunds kernels)
See the XDA post here for more on how to install it.
Note: You must be unlocked and have a Custom Recovery (like TWRP or ClockworkMOD) installed!
If you haven’t already installed TWRP Recovery, it’s incredibly easy;
- Get GooManager from the PlayStore
- Install it, open it
- In the upper-right corner click the 3 dots (settings) and “Install OpenRecovery Script”
Goo Manager will do the rest
If you haven’t unlocked your device:
You can get the official unlock tool for the TF700 from Asus’ website: here.
– The unlock tool was tested by XDA member rickymh19, which he wrote about in this post saying;
UNDER “UTILITES” THE SECOND SAYS VERSION 7 ASUS UNLOCK TOOL (YES I’M AWARE IT SAYS FOR ICS ONLY BUT I HAVE TRIED IT AND IT WORKS WITH JB 4.2.1)
DOWNLOAD IT EITHER FROM THE TABLET ITSELF OR LOAD IT TO AN SD CARD.
IT IS AN APK FILE SO IT WILL INSTALL AS AN APP.
RUN IT, AND *SCROLL DOWN TO THE END* ON THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, AND AGREE TO IT. THE TABLET WILL REBOOT AND ON THE TOP LEFT CORNER IT WILL SAY “UNLOCKING DEVICE” GIVE IT 5 MINS DONT FREAK OUT. ONCE DONE, IT WILL SAY “DEVICE UNLOCKED” AND THERE YOU GO. YOU’RE OFFICIALLY UNLOCKED!!
My Experience with the new CROMi-X
So what are my own thoughts on the new CROMi-X ROM? Well here’s my experience with it;
I was already running a beta version of CROMi-X 5 and I figured I’d be fine to install the newer one without a system or data partition wipe (which I was). It’s always nice to not have to re-enter all your different email and online social accounts when you upgrade to a newer ROM. Although a full wipe is still probably better for a smoother experience.
I went with the ODEX version of CROMi-X which is a little faster than the DEODEX version.
Here’s a better explanation on that.
I disabled fsync for a nice IO boost. Something which is very noticeable if you do a lot of file transferring.
Read more about fsync here.
Whenever I care more about stability that speed, I usually go with _that’s kernels just because I’ve had a better time with them in the past.
Usually if you upgrade to a newer ROM and it’s all buggy or something isn’t being recognized, or something won’t pair… it’s usually the kernel that is causing you problems and not the ROM. And installing a new kernel is really easy, I just use the Kernel Installer that sbdags provides for his ROM’s since they’re made to work together. You can install any of the kernels using TWRP and just pick what kernel you want, whether you want to experiment with a new kernel or you want to switch because your OS is buggy.
Some of the things I’ve noticed since switching from stock to CROMi is that my wi-fi connection has improved, which is very nice. I remember when my tf700t was new it was constantly dropping the wi-fi connection which was annoying to say the least.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I’ve noticed any real improvements in terms of graphics speed, even with the cpu set to 1.8 GHz. Some people say that setting it to “Performance Mode” actually decreases performance, this is because supposedly the tablet will overheat and that will cause instability, which is true. However I usually have the brightness turned all the way down, and that’s what really makes the device hot. If you turn down the brightness you won’t have as much of a heat problem.
I also believe that the app, Android Tuner Pro, is a must, just because it does all kinds of nice things for you, like optimize database access, clean memory, trim partitions…etc. and running that on my tablet has made a huge difference as well. Although I no longer try and use it for CPU control anymore, because in my case I’m not sure that it actually does. If you’re running Hundsbah’s kernel (which is fast… but less stable that _that’s) he has an app to overclock your CPU.
I do use Android Tuner to overvolt my CPU though, this can increase the heat output, or if you undervolt too much, it can cause instability. I try and keep my CPU around 1400 mv so it stays stable in performance mode.
Ultimately, CROMi-X keeps my tablet fast and stable. I’ve gotten better performance out of it with CROMi than I did with the stock ROM even though CROMi is stock based.
It’s not all cookies and cream though… there are still things that could be improved.
I’m constantly freeing up memory because it seems I’m always running out of it, even with just two or three apps running. I doubt half the background processes running are even necessary. The worst though is FireFox which is a memory monster, I can literally feel my tablet halting to a crawl every time I open it. What would be nice is if CROMi could give me an option to set memory limits per app, basically saying this app can use X amount of memory, but no more.
The stability is good but it could always be better, of course a lot of that has to do with the drivers between Android and the tablet which are the kernel’s responsibility.
It seems all ROMS and even most Kernels are lacking something in the efficiency department. The TF700 has a 1.5 or 1.8 GHz OC and yet why is it that when I try and open an office app, or a web browser, I feel like I’m working with a 533 Mhz processor?
Something else that I think would be nice, is if there was a stronger separation of processes, so that when one process crashes it doesn’t crash the whole system. I know that Android already has something like that, if an app crashes you get the alert to wait or close it, but there have been a few times when an app crashed my whole system.
In closing, it’s a great ROM and chances are if you do experience any problems, you just need to use the CROMi Kernel Installer to install a different Kernel (again, I recommend _that, for stability). CROMi is great for allowing all kinds of modification options or overclocking possibilities, and since it’s based on the stock ROM pretty much anything that ran on stock ROM will run in CROMi.
Don’t forget to donate to sbdags if you like CROMi-X!