Asus Transformer Mini T102HA review

Small, portable, flexible

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Our Verdict

If you care more about battery life than raw power, the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA may be the Windows 10 2-in-1 convertible for you.

For

  • Easily portable
  • Good battery life
  • Keyboard cover included

Against

  • Poor performance
  • Charging via USB is slow
  • Trackpad isn't very accurate
Spec Sheet

Here is the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 4GB SDRAM
Screen: 10.1-inch LED 1280x800 display
Storage: 64GB
Optical drive: None
Ports: 1 x COMBO audio jack, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x micro USB, 1 x micro HDMI, 1 x Fingerprint,  1 x microSD card
Connectivity: 801.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Camera: 2 megapixel
Weight: 790g (1.74lb)
Size: 259 x 170 x 8.2mm (W x D x H)

The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is a small, easily portable Windows 10 tablet that comes with a cover that doubles as a keyboard – making it quick, easy and convenient to swap between tablet and laptop states. 

Thanks to Microsoft’s efforts in making Windows 10 an operating system that works well in both desktop and touchscreen tablet modes, devices such as the Asus Transformer Mini allow users to switch between convenience and productivity. 

So, while Microsoft’s mobile ambitions may be floundering when it comes to smartphones, 2-in-1 designs such as the Asus Transformer Mini, the Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 4 show that there's a healthy demand for Windows 10 devices that can be easily carried around. And this laptop ranks well in our best laptop top 15 list.

Price, availability and value

The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA comes in a number of configurations and prices; the version we were sent to test was the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA-GR038T, which comes with a price tag of £600 in the UK and $429.99 in the US. The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA isn't available in Australia, but the similar Asus Transformer Book T100HA can be had.

That price puts it well below the Dell XPS 13 and Surface Pro 4 – in fact it’s almost half the price of those premium machines. The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA has no such premium aspirations, and instead pitches itself as a mid-range device, with a design and specifications to match.

Its closest competitors when it comes to price are the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 and the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360, and both of those are still a bit more expensive.

That’s not to say the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is cheap, however, and for the price you could get a nicely-performing laptop if you didn’t mind sacrificing the tablet mode.

Whether or not the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is good value, then, depends on how it performs, and considering the specification of the review unit we had (more on that later), it faces an uphill struggle.

Design

As we mentioned earlier, the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA isn't pitched as a premium device, like many of its 2-in-1 Windows 10 competitors, so rather than an expensive-looking (and feeling) brushed aluminium chassis, super-thin design and subdued colors, the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA features a brightly colored case (ours came in orange) that protects the screen as well as doubling up as a physical keyboard and trackpad. 

The case itself feels sturdy, and should be enough to protect the screen against minor knocks, bumps and drops. Because it's designed to cover the 10.1-inch screen, the keyboard is a little on the small side, but generally it feels comfortable enough to work on.

The keys do feel a little plasticky though, lacking the premium quality of other (more expensive) keyboard covers. Still, it does the job, and it's a lot more comfortable to use than an on-screen keyboard. A built-in trackpad is also included, mimicking a laptop’s trackpad. 

The movement of the mouse is accurate and smooth, although it’s a little fiddly when you need to press down on the trackpad to ‘click’ the mouse. The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA’s trackpad also lacks multi-touch capabilities that are often found on modern trackpads – but then you can always use the Transformer Mini’s touchscreen for those kind of tasks.

The keyboard case also has a small loop for holding your stylus, and the case itself can be easily removed and reattached via a magnetic connection. The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA will also go into sleep mode when the case is closed over the screen.

The tablet itself is made of a Magnesium-aluminum alloy that feels durable. It weighs 530g on its own, and 790g with the keyboard cover attached. It’s certainly a tablet that's easy to carry around, with dimensions of 259 x 170 x 8.2mm. On the top edge of the tablet are a microSD slot and power button, with the volume controls located on the right-hand side of the tablet.

On the left side is a headphone/mic port, a full-size USB 3.0 port, a micro HDMI and a micro USB port, which also doubles as a charging port. The full-size USB 3.0 is particularly welcome, as it gives you flexibility to plug in a range of peripherals without needing an adaptor.

On the back of the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is a fingerprint scanner for logging into Windows 10 using biometrics, and the bottom half of the back can be pulled out to act as a stand.