One of the biggest advances in computer and phone design has to be the inclusion of the USB Type-C port, as it has the potential to bring faster transfers and battery charging. Apple was there first, and now a few phones are seeing it, but what about a laptop for a budget price point?
If the $500 mark is where you’re looking and you feel you need the USB Type-C port, an 11.6 inch hybrid tablet laptop is on the way from Asus, coming in the form of the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200.
Aside from the overly long name, you’ll find the TP200 arrives with a high definition 1366×768 display atop a tablet featuring an Intel Celeron N3050 inside, which isn’t exactly high end, but should suit web surfing and regular productivity jobs.
Storage is set to 32GB inside this model with a 32GB SD card found inside the box to bring that storage amount up to 64GB, while 2GB RAM sits running alongside.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 also runs on this computer out of the box, and Office 365 is also included for one year, which should be handy for people, too.
Connection options are pretty solid, offering 802.11ac WiFi (compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n too), as well as Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, and then something a little different: USB Type-C.
If that sounds familiar, it’s the same port found on the Apple MacBook offering what will likely be the next connection standard, providing high-speed transfers, video out, and even the possibility to charge from.
That being said, we don’t think the Type-C port on the TP200 will be used in the same way, with Asus highlighting it for high speeds — up to 5 Gigabits (625MB/s)! — and not for charging.
In fact, if you look at the side of the TP200, it’s clear a different port is used for charging the machine, giving us the best indication that the Asus Transformer Book Flip isn’t going to be charged over Type-C USB.
That being said, it does have the luxury of being able to work as both a tablet and a laptop, and is only the second laptop to arrive in Australia that we’ve seen to feature the high-speed Type-C USB port, even if it doesn’t do everything we had hoped for.
At least that’s part one of the package, and so we expect that the next version of this (or even the version after that) will have a more complete USB Type-C package.
We should have a review shortly, however, so if spending around $500 grabs you for this sort of package, you should find it in stores this month.