Asus Transformer Book T100 review

The T100 is beyond reasonably priced, but can it get the job done?

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The Asus Transformer Book T100 is an impressive attempt at marring some of the more appealing aspects of netbooks with the versatility of modern convertibles. It's not going to be the leader in the laptop or tablet category, but when the two are combined into a single, portable offering, it immediately ups the appeal by a notch or two.

Its build quality is plastic, but not overly so, and its backwards-extending hinge slightly bizarre. The T100 isn't any worse off for it though - just different. Its 10.1-inch screen size works well in both laptop and tablet mode, and if you're prepared to have a little faith in Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Store, the tablet portion of the device could come into its own in the future, making it something of an affordable investment.

However, should you already have a separate laptop, opting for a quality, affordable tablet such as Google's new Nexus 7 would be a sensible decision if you're not sold on carrying the two around together.

We liked

As a tablet, the T100 is light, plenty responsive and feels great to hold. It's only let down in this area by a lack of apps in MIcrosoft's Windows Store, which is growing all the time. It offers excellent battery life, meaning that you can juice it up and take it on the road knowing that it'll go for most of the day. That it can charge via micro-USB is a bonus too, even if it takes an age.

The addition of a USB 3.0 port on the dock isn't something to be sniffed at. It lends the T100 greater versatility and saves you having to mess around with micro-USB convertors.

You would be forgiven for not paying too much attention to Asus' own apps on the device, but the 1TB of storage is a handy amount for a year - particularly for UK users that can only get their hands on a version with 32GB flash memory. It's even more of a productivity boon when used with Microsoft's free Office applications, which wouldn't be much more responsive on considerably more expensive hardware.

We disliked

It's a shame, but the T100 has to be ruled out for anyone who considers a below-par typing experience a deal breaker. The keys are cramped and leave you hunched over the device - you will have to adjust your typing style and work at it - which may not be a problem depending on how often you type.

If you're unsure, track down a T100 to test out its keyboard for peace of mind.

The lack of a rear-facing camera is annoying but far from a deal breaker if you have a separate snapper or decent smartphone. Additionally, the T100 only serves up average performance, which is to be expected at this price point, and you'll be restricted to installing desktop programs that won't ask too much of its modest CPU.

Gamers shouldn't expect to run any games that aren't from Microsoft's Windows Store if a smooth experience is a must.

Final Verdict

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is almost a bargain considering how much less it will cost compared with Windows 8.1 convertibles such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 - but you have to make the purchase with realistic expectations to avoid disappointment.

The device is certainly waving the flat for Windows 8.1 and opens up the OS to a wider audience by appealing to anyone looking for a laptop, tablet or combination of the two.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeNet-tablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time11 Hour
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyTransformer Book T100TA
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor ModelZ3740
ColourGrey
Operating SystemWindows 8.1
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorHybrid
Processor Speed1.33 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.03 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityErP, RoHS, ENERGY STAR
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardLPDDR3-1067
Height23.6 mm
Width263 mm
Depth171 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyLPDDR3
Product SeriesT100TA
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelT100TA-DK002H
Product NameTransformer Book T100TA-DK002H Net-tablet PC
Product LineTransformer Book
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberT100TA-DK002H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing InformationLightening Performance

The Transformer Book T100 provides the world's best performance in a 10.1" Windows Tablet. It has Intel latest Bay Trail-T Quad Core CPU inside and a multi-touch HD screen to make the most of Windows 8.1. The Transformer Book is also the first Windows 8.1 tablet to feature USB3.0 allowing up to 10X faster data transfer speeds.

Work and Fun

The T100TA's optimum-comfort keys and 19mm travel distance keyboard combined with MS Office Home & Student 2013 gives users an unforgettable typing experience. Also theT100TA's detachable docking station provides high mobility, perfect for the different usage scenarios.

Package Contents
  • Transformer Book T100TA-DK002H Net-tablet PC
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Keyboard Dock
Limited Warranty1 Year