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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

The Asus Transformer Book T200 is a very usable combination of tablet and laptop-replacement with an appealing design and a very reasonable price. Whilst it may be neither the best tablet available, or the most powerful laptop money can buy, where convertibles are concerned, the T200 is an appealing solution.

Whilst being of plastic build all round, it doesn't necessarily feel cheap. As you would expect from Asus, it feels solid and is equally usable whether in tablet or laptop mode.

Whilst the Windows 8.1 store still has yet to reach any kind of maturity, a Windows-based tablet has its own familiar qualities when it comes to using program compatibility, and the ability to run multiple programs simultaneously.

Although the overall package is good value for money, those with deeper pockets might want to consider a more powerful standalone laptop and separate tablet such as the Apple Air 2.

We Liked

Where the tablet is concerned, the T200 is quiet, light, well built and feels responsive during normal usage. Battery life is excellent, so you won't find yourself hunting obsessively for charging points throughout the day.

The 'smart' hard drive bay adds plenty of storage space alongside the speedy 32GB SSD, and despite having a disappointing resolution, the IPS display is at least vibrant with good viewing angles.

Good connectivity in the form of USB 3.0 and RJ45 ports are welcome additions, with a reasonable pre-loaded software set finishing off the package nicely.

We Disliked

Though the T200 is an attractive all-round package, a couple of niggles keep it from gaining the unblemished seal of approval. Most noticeably is the lower resolution screen, which despite being bright and vibrant looks incredibly pixelated alongside modern smartphones and many other tablets.

Though it's not exactly fat, I couldn't help thinking that the keyboard dock could have been made thinner to create a slimmer overall package. When put alongside many other tablets, the T200 is considerably bulkier, whilst in laptop form, alternatives are available that are at less than half the thickness.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a combination of Windows laptop and tablet, the Asus Transformer Book T200 is a very appealing option that offers a fair amount for only $539 (around £349, or AU$690).

Whilst personally I would have liked to see a higher resolution screen, and a thinner body, these compromises were clearly made in order to make an affordable convertible that is considerably cheaper than buying a separate laptop and tablet.

As long as you aren't planning on doing any intensive video, music or photo editing and will survive without installing the latest edition of Crysis, the T200 has plenty of power and a long enough battery life to get by with ease.

For those with a little more cash to splash, the Surface Pro 3 is a very appealing option that offers similar functionality in a slimmer form, and with much more power. Otherwise, if you are looking for something a little larger, Asus' own 13-inch Transformer Book TX300 packs an i7 processor and a full-HD screen.