Asus Transformer Book T100
Asus Transformer Book T100
Great battery life
Screen doesn’t match non-Windows rival
Insufficient display resolution
Plastic body and keyboard
No rear-facing camera
Unpolished keyboard touch-pad
The Asus TransformerBook T100 is perfect for users with basic computing needs that want the flexibility of a convertible notebook without the steep price tag.
Screen size (diagonal)
2-in-1 ultra-portable laptop with 10” tablet
The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a fairly low-cost 10-inch Windows 8 tablet that can also function as a laptop thanks to its keyboard segment. It’s not the first affordable Windows 8 hybrid Asus has made – last year’s VivoTab Smart ME400 is still on shelves – but it is easily the best thanks to a practical laptop-style hinge. This isn’t a true laptop replacement thanks to its relatively low-power Atom processor, but for £349 it is a great-value, flexible device.
- Windows 8.1 Pro or other editions available
- Small and light, with an Intel® quad-core processor
- Comfortable keyboard dock and IPS display
- Up to 11 hours battery life for all-day mobile use
Whether it’s flitting between webpages or running the full version of PhotoShop CS6, everything works beautifully thanks to a new and improved 1.33GHz Intel Atom ‘Baytrail’ processor. With dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, browsing and downloads are nice and nippy with an impressive SunSpider 1.0.2 benchmark score of 410.3ms
Asus Transformer Book T100 – Keyboard and Trackpad
The Asus Transformer Book T100 has a full keyboard, lacking only the separate numerical pad you get in a large laptop keyboard. Keys are smaller than normal, though, meaning it’ll take a while for those used to larger keyboards to get up to full speed.
The keyboard dock has a very useful full-sized USB 3.0 hub. An incredible array of peripheral devices can be connected via USB to this 2-in-1, like any printer, an additional USB hub, a mouse, even a larger keyboard.
Software and Performance
One of the triumphs of the Asus Transformer Book T100 is that it runs full Windows 8.1 rather than the cut-down RT version. Windows RT doesn’t let you install any and every Windows app, just ones from the Windows Store, making it pretty limited.
What is a more obvious cost saving is the rear camera – the Asus Transformer Book T100 doesn’t have one.
It only has the one front camera, used for video chat. It’s a 1.2-megapixel sensor that produces unremarkable images. Photos are noisy and lacking in detail, and there’s light bloom around strong light sources that marks out a pretty low-end camera sensor.
Of course, with there being no rear-facing camera, you won't want able to take any pictures with the tablet unless you're happy with pointing and shooting blind. For a start, you won't be able to see what you're taking a picture of.
In everyday use, the new face of Intel’s Atom brings as dramatic a transformation as you could hope for. Compared to our experiences of Windows 8 on the previous generation of Atom devices (Clover Trail), the Asus is a speed demon. Applications load far more energetically, web browsing is slick and smooth, and the overall experience remains impressively responsive, right up to the point where the limitations of the 2GB of RAM
start to show.
The dock adds a single USB 3 port, which is a most welcome addition. As a result, offloading files from the main 32GB system drive is painless.
By far the most attractive feature of the T100, however, is the bundled software. Somehow, Asus has found room in the budget to provide a full copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. For many, that will be enough to turn the Asus from being a highly tempting purchase into an absolutely essential one.
Intel Atom Z3740 CPU; 2GB RAM; 64GB storage; 10.1-inch 1,366 x 768 pixel screen; Windows 8.1