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Monday, October 6, 2014

Gadget of the Week - ASUS Transformer Book T100

Throughout September, we featured the Nokia XL, Samsung ATIV Smart PC, and the ASUS Padfone.
These weekly gizmos all have something that sets them apart from competing devices and which presents great benefits to the end user (customer).

This week, our gadget is the ASUS Transformer Book T100.

It is a 10.1 inch, 2-in-1 laptop that runs full Windows 8.1. It has a quad core Intel (BayTrail) Atom Z3740 processor, 2GB RAM and comes with 32GB or 64GB on-board memory.

According to ASUS, the Transformer Book T100 is a 2-in-1 ultra-portable laptop with 10-inch tablet.

Where it Stands Out

Several things make this device a better value proposition when compared to others with similar specs:
  • a 31Whr battery that lasts up to 11 hours on a single charge.
  • a keyboard dock that features a USB 3.0 high speed port.
  • the quad core Intel Atom processor which has significantly better performance than the Clover Trail processors before it.
  • affordability, with a sub USD 400 starting price.
  • a full Windows 8.1 OS, with Microsoft Office preloaded.

Expert Reviews

The Laptop Mag review is pretty exhaustive, touching on everything from overall design, keyboard and touchpad, display, audio, ports, webcam, performance, graphics, battery life, software and OS, configurations and standard benchmark tests.

The review is mostly positive, but notes several drawbacks such as very slow charging, an inconsistent and stiff touchpad, a cramped keyboard and awkward placement of the Start button.

Here is the LaptopMag verdict:
The ASUS Transformer Book T100 offers fantastic battery life, a peppy Atom Bay Trail processor and a keyboard for less than the Surface 2.
Over at Trusted Reviews, the Transformer Book T100 is touted an excellent value and flexible design device, with a great battery life. It however notes that the screen doesn't match what the non-Windows rivals have to offer.

All in all:

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a fairly low-cost 10-inch Windows 8 tablet that can also function as a laptop thanks to its keyboard segment. It’s not the first affordable Windows 8 hybrid Asus has made but it is easily the best thanks to a practical laptop-style hinge.
This isn’t a true laptop replacement thanks to its relatively low-power Atom processor, but for $349 it is a great-value, flexible device.

User Opinions 

Jon says this device has fantastic value... but with some caveats:
This has got to be one of the best tech values besides the Nexus 5 and Nokia 520. Fro $350-400, you get a FULL FEATURED 10 inch Windows 8 tablet that comes with a keyboard dock! Tablet one second, netbook the other! Its a fantastic device that gets 5 stars for its superb value alone!

For Andrew Peter Atkinson, touch functionality is exceptional, with the trackpad also good. He says:
I didn't buy it for the tablet option, though that is useful. I bought it for a few reasons - 10 hrs of Microsoft usage without plugging in. Good touchscreen. Light - very important - it must fit in my small shoulder bag with my Nexus 10 and a book without strain. Fast processor - at least four times faster than the Atom dual core in my Asus 1201n, which really was cutting edge in Sept. 2010 (still pretty solid).

Pricing and Availability

ASUS Transformer Book T100 is available in many local stores in Kenya. The price range is Ksh 45,000 to Ksh 50,000. At TextBookCentre, it costs Ksh 46,000.

It costs USD 343 on Amazon.