Asus Transformer Book T100 review
10.1 in 1,366x768 display, 1.1kg, 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z3740, 2.00GB RAM, 32GB disk, Windows 8.1
At £340, the Asus Transformer Book T100 must be the cheapest laptop-tablet hybrid we’ve seen. At the press of a button, the T100TA’s 10.1in screen detaches from its tiny keyboard dock so that you can use it as a tablet. At 550g the T100TA’s screen is just 81g heavier than an iPad Air, so it’s light enough to hold for long periods, and its rounded edges are both comfortable and easy to grip.
The T100TA is almost twice as heavy when the screen is combined with the keyboard dock, but is still highly portable and easy to carry around. Its glossy plastic chassis feels a bit cheap to the touch, but it’s surprisingly well made as we didn’t see any signs of flex in the tablet’s back panel.
The T100 has few ports, though, with just a single USB3 port on the keyboard dock, a micro SD card reader, micro USB and HDMI ports, and a combined headphone and microphone jack. The T100TA has 32GB of storage space, but only 28.2GB was available for use, so you may want to pay more for the 64GB version if you need to store a lot of files. As the T100TA runs the full version of Windows 8.1 you can install any program you like on it, which makes it look better value in comparison to Windows RT devices such as the Microsoft Surface 2.
The T100TA also uses one of Intel’s latest Baytrail Atom processors, which gives it a huge performance boost compared to last year’s Atom-based tablets. The T100TA’s 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z3740 still isn’t suited to running lots of programs at once, but it still scored an impressive 22 overall in our multimedia benchmarks. It’s almost as quick as the Sandy bridge-based Asus X550C, which scored 24 overall.
It’s no good for playing 3D games, but less demanding games from the Windows 8 Store should still work fine. Titles such as Jetpack Joyride played smoothly, for example.
The T100TA’s small keyboard felt a little cramped at times, but it’s pleasant to type on once you get used to its size and the spacing of its compact keys. The tiny all-in-one touchpad, on the other hand, proved more fiddly to use. It was fine for moving the cursor across the screen and for clicking files and folders, but we found multi-touch gestures such as pinch-zooming difficult to control.