Home Icon
asus-transformer-book-t100-review-2013-13

Netbooks return (sort of): Asus Transformer Book T100 reviewed

By Leigh D. Stark | 8:18 am 04/12/2013

Asus returns to the netbook style of computing with the T100, a blend of the Transformer tablet principle the company first released years ago with the power and usefulness of Windows 8.1, and all for under $600.

Features

Another in the entry in the long running Transformer series, the T100 is a new tablet-laptop hybrid from Asus.

The first tablet we’ve seen to sport an Intel Atom quad-core chip, this runs the new Bay Trail chip launched in September, clocked at 1.33GHz and running alongside 2GB RAM, the default amount for most other laptops sporting an Atom chip.

Storage in the Australian Asus T100 is set to 64GB, though a little over 30GB is available to you once you start playing with it after Windows is installed. Fortunately, you can upgrade the storage through a microSD slot that is left uncovered on the right edge.

Intel HD graphics takes care of any video processing and games graphics, though spec-wise, we wouldn’t say this machine has been made for gaming in mind.

Connections on the T100 include 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, as well as a few wired port options, including microHDMI, a combined microphone and headphone 3.5mm jack, and the microUSB port used for charging.

One camera is included, with a 1.2 megapixel camera located above the screen on this hybrid tablet-laptop. No rear camera is available on this machine.

All of this sits under a 10.1 inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) touchscreen, supporting a resolution of 1366×768, which is enough to be called high definition (HD), but nothing more.

Two speakers are also included in this tablet, as is a microphone, but you also get a keyboard to dock with the tablet.

This keyboard dock includes a keyboard and slim touchpad mouse with a button underneath, as well as a USB 3.0 port.

The battery in the Transformer Book T100 is not removable and is a two cell battery.

Performance

Asus has been building small-scale computers longer than most.

You might remember the Eee computer, which was one of the world’s first netbooks, tiny laptops that packed in either Linux or Windows into computers with 7 or 10 inch screens, often working on low power Intel chips with either small solid-state drives or spacious hard drives, a relatively small amount of memory, and just enough oomph to let you surf the web, write documents, check emails, and do some work.

These computers first came out in 2007, but disappeared in 2011 as tablets started to surface more.

Now, two years from the death of the netbook, Asus has revisited that style and created a new breed of netbook in the form of the T100.

We need to step back for a second, though, as Asus has also been responsible for another style of computer called the “Transformer” hybrid tablet-notebook. First available in the TF101, these computers blended a 10 inch Android tablet with a keyboard dock, allowing the tablet to transform into a netbook when connected to the dock keyboard.

That series went through several evolutions, and recently in the VivoTab, we saw the company’s first attempt at making the Transformer range support Windows 8.

This year, however, the VivoTab has taken a step down, and with the T100, we’re looking at an interesting melding of the two ideas: netbook and Windows 8 Transformer tablet.

So what is it?

It probably won’t surprise you much, but the Asus T100 is a tablet with all of the innards of a light computer inside.

The T100 comes with a keyboard section, but you don’t have to use it with the keyboard, and can disconnect this section, relying instead on the on-screen virtual keyboard for your typing if you choose to.

Pick up the tablet by itself, and you’re greeted with a 10 inch tablet encased entirely in shiny plastic. It needs to be said that the Asus T100 is a fingerprint magnet, the metallic plastic back showing your greasy mitts without any problems.

That said, the 10.1 inch tablet is a comfortable fit and is well weighted, bringing to mind the tablets Asus previously used in the tablet range.

With the help of the new breed of Intel Atom chips inside, Windows 8.1 runs on T100, providing enough horsepower to do basic things, such as surfing the web, writing documents, social networking, and anything else that won’t tax a graphics card too much.

Fortunately, the Windows running here is the proper Windows 8, and not that handicapped Windows RT we recently saw on the Microsoft Surface 2. That means you can run apps from outside the Windows Store, and can install software from Windows Vista and 7, as well as 8, making it useful for anyone who desperately needs to run more than just what a tablet comes with out of the box.

The touchscreen helps you accomplish this quite well, operating quickly as you swipe from the side to bring up the menus, flick up and down for scrolling, and zoom in and out using the push-pull gestures that so many other tablets have helped to provide.

Pages: 1 2

Price (RRP)

$599

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Comes with the keyboard; Screen is nice, clear, and responsive for the price; Charges on microUSB and not some proprietary standard; Keyboard dock includes a USB 3.0 port; Great battery life;

Product Cons

Keyboard isn't fantastic, and reminds us of early netbook keyboards; Build material of the tablet is plastic, and very fingerprint-showing plastic at that; Only one USB port; No SD card slot in the dock;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Design

Latest reviews

  • Review: HP ElitePad 1000 G2

    When you talk about business grade tablets, there aren't a lot of choices, but HP's ElitePad 1000 G2 looks to provide a dose of shiny silver aluminium professionalism to…
  • Apple's iPhone 6 Plus reviewed

    Apple has steered clear of tablet-sized phones for a while now, leaving it to Samsung and other manufacturers, but now Apple is here with a phablet of its own.…
  • Review: LG G Pad 10.1

    LG's G3 really grabbed our attention earlier in the year, so we're expecting good things from a tablet launched around the same time, but is the G Pad 10.1…
  • Review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro headphones

    Headphones that cut out the noise from the outside world generally require you to be tethered to your phone, but not a new pair of cans from Plantronics, as…
  • Review: Moto G (2014, G2)

    Big phones are in, and to go with that trend, Motorola is upgrading one of its entry-level handsets, increasing the screen size of its G series phone to make…
  • Review: Acer Aspire Switch 10

    Acer's 10 inch Windows tablet hasn't been updated since Windows 8 first came out, and that was two years ago, so what has Acer been cooking up, and does…
  • Review: Dyson Cool (AM06)

    Here come the warmer months and that reason to get the old trusty fan out. But before you do, you might want to consider a healthy update of the…
  • You little beauty: Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact reviewed

    Smartphones may well be getting bigger, but Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact aims to show people that a smartphone doesn’t need to be big to be powerful, boasting high-end specs…
  • Review: Bose QuietComfort 25i (QC25/QC25i)

    If there's one company that tends to do well in the field of noise cancellation, it's Bose. We've seen its headphones used by so many on overseas trips, and…
  • Review: Oppo N1 Mini

    Do you like selfies but are sick of the one or two megapixel cameras smartphones are coming with? Oppo's answer to this is an interesting one, putting the 13…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More