You would be forgiven for mistaking Asus’ low-cost convertible notebook-tablet device for one of the company’s early netbooks. With its detachable keyboard shut over the devices plastic shell the Transformer Book T100 does look, at first glance, a 10-inch Eee PC.
Grab hold of the device and the illusion quickly disappears. You’ll find that the 10.4” x 6.7” x 0.4” Transformer Book is extremely lighter than the typical netbook and definitely more pleasing to touch with a variety of finishes for the back, keyboard and bottom surfaces.
The muted colour scheme gives the T100 a classy look and the Gorilla Glass on the tablet’s screen gives it’s a solid feel.
While the device’s design is akin to Asus’ Transformer Android tablets, the T100 is probably closer to the VivoTab Smart ME400 which also runs on Windows. But rather than being paired with a wireless keyboard, the T100 sports a hinged, full function keyboard that can be clicked on an off of the tablet portion of the device.
Power it up, you’ll also find that this lightweight (around 2.6 lbs.) Windows tablet packs a considerable value for users looking for a flexible device for some Web browsing and even some work-related tasks. For a retail price of $419 for the 32GB version, the Transformer Book T100 is certainly a good buy.
The T100 is powered by the Intel Atom bay Trail chipset which includes the 1.33 GHz quad core Atom Z3740 processor. It runs on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating systems. It is good for most everyday Web browsing, and even light office work but with just 2GB of non-expandable RAM, the device would find it hard to run multiple apps at the same time and tackle more demanding workloads.
The device come with a choice of 32GB or 64GB storage, which is less than what some smartphones have but Asus’ offers optional an 500GB HDD. There’s also the option of using the company’s WebStorage service which provides free unlimited cloud storage for one year or Microsoft’s ore-installed OneDrive cloud storage.
Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0. There is no mobile broadband or Ethernet option.
Ports and connectors are on the lean side. There’s one USB 3.0 port on the keyboard while the tablet portion houses a Micro-HDMI and Micro-USB slots, a MicroSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The device comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013.
The T100’s 1,366 x 768 pixel screen renders pretty good images and text viewing performance. Brightness was adequate although there was some noticeable colour washout. Because of its compact design and lightness, the T100 could be a perfect travel companion but its screen size could make working with text on the road quite difficult.
Battery performance was amazing. I was able to use the T100 for some typing, Web browsing and some video streaming and then keeping the device on sleep during breaks for up to 9 hours without needing to recharge. Asus puts battery power at around 11 hours.
The Asus Transformer Book T100 has too few connectors, a pretty small keyboard, not enough RAM and storage and lacks the functions of a full Windows PC to be seriously considered for real work duty.
However, this device will definitely resonate with consumers looking for a portable, low-cost, but stylish daily duty machine for Web browsing, watching occasional videos and doing light work-related tasks.