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Asus Transformer Book T200 review

Asus takes another stab at the transforming tablet

Asus Transformer Book T200
Asus Transformer Book T200

Benchmarks

  • 3D Mark: Fire Strike: Would not complete; Sky Diver: 527; Cloud Gate: 1424; Ice Storm Unlimited: 16722; Ice Storm Extreme: 10307
  • Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 1.31pts (Multi); 0.23 (Single); Graphics: 7.04pts
  • PCMark 8 (Home Test) 1307
  • PCMark 8 (Battery Life): 10 hours and 9 minutes

The T200 comes with Intel's low-power Atom BayTrail-series processor, the same family of CPU that was found in the earlier model, but it has been uprated from 1.33GHz to 1.46GHz. Whilst the earlier iteration of this processor was found in a range of laptops hybrids, this particular Atom seems limited to Asus' range of Transformers and netbooks.

Other variations of this processor can be found in competitors such as the Lenovo Yoga 2, but with a higher resolution display and other features, they tend to be clocked that little bit higher.

It's definitely faster than Clover Trail processors that came before it and easily copes with day-to-day applications and web browsing. The integrated Intel graphics chip doesn't pack enough punch to handle any triple-A gaming, but the T200 is more than capable of handling gaming or playing back HD video with other programs open in the background.

When running the 3D Mark benchmarks, some scores were better than I had expected, earning the Transformer Book T200 16722 and 10307 in the Ice Storm Unlimited and Extreme tests - around 10 per cent better than the Asus Transformer Book T100. The more intensive Cloud Gate and Sky Diver benchmarks, however, showed up the lack of graphical grunt, with very low scores and low frame rates across the board.

2GB of RAM in this particular model of the T200, means multi-tasking is a little limited, but it doesn't hamper the overall performance with a handful of programs open. Other models with 4GB of RAM are available, should you be after a bit more for more memory-hungry applications.

With the frugal consumption of Intel's newest Atom, it should come as no surprise that the T200 manages to out-do other cheap laptops, chewing through many loops of the PC Mark battery test for over 10 hours before completely running flat.

Bundled Software

Thankfully, Asus hasn't gone overboard with the pre-loaded software on the T200. There are some relatively useful apps such as the Asus-branded PhotoDirector and PowerDirector software, which are capable of basic image and video editing.

Asus also bundles the Zinio magazine app, which is a pleasant way of digesting content without visiting multiple websites through the browser. Netflix, the Line messaging app and Twitter apps also come pre-installed and Asus bundles in a year of unlimited cloud storage, though afterwards the pricing is pretty average compared to alternatives from Microsoft or Google.

The only thing missing is any kind of Office productivity sweet, so most buyers will need to spend a little extra on a Microsoft Office license, or make do with a freeware equivalent.