Transformer Book T100 Chi review

Say Chi - here's a 2-in-1 that'll make you smile

Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi

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Simply put, the revamped T100 Chi delivers a greater improvement than its marginally greater cost over the T100 would suggest. It makes big strides in build quality, has a superior display and features the same great battery life as its predecessor. If only its two parts felt a little more naturally related, rather than two slabs of plastic and aluminium communicating at arms' length, it would be even more of a joy to use. Maybe that's being reserved for the T200 Chi, ay, Asus?

We liked

The T100 Chi is a small, versatile laptop and tablet thanks to its sturdy aluminium construction, something that you don't often get at this price point. You can sling it in a bag without worrying about it becoming damaged or scratched, it'll handle 1080p video without any problems, and you can watch video for hours on end without reaching for the charger thanks to its great battery life. Though it costs extra, the stylus is an welcome option as it allows you to pick out parts of the display with greater accuracy.

We disliked

The inclusion of a Bay Trail-based Atom CPU instead of a Cherry Trail variant feels like a missed opportunity, though it likely hasn't negatively impacted the T100 Chi's performance too much when it comes to day-to-day computing activities.

Regardless, if you need a device to do any heavy lifting - whether that's converting video into different formats or editing high-resolution photographs - the T100 Chi isn't going to be it. Slapping micro-USB connections all over the device isn't going to please the full-size USB traditionalists either. And if you've got big hands, the T100 Chi's small chiclet-spaced keyboard may prove too cramped.

Final verdict

Save for a Cherry Trail chip, full-sized USB ports and smaller bezels, the Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi has delivered just about every improvement over its predecessor that you could want. While it's not going to set the world alight, it's a solid upgrade and an attractive proposition compared to a similarly-priced laptop or Chromebook - particularly so if you you need a Windows tablet.

Deciding between the T100 Chi and its predecessor is a no brainer - it's worth the extra money in every sense. If you're got plenty of sense and money, splashing out a bit more on the Chi T300 would net you an even more capable, if less portable device.

Alternatively, the Surface 3 has a better processor and comes with the option of a pressure-sensitive stylus but costs a chunk more due to the cost of Microsoft's Type Cover accessory. Both have superb high-resolution displays, and in many ways deciding between the two comes down to a matter of preference.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.