Asus Transformer Book T100 Review

By Swapnil Mathur | Updated May 23 2014
Asus Transformer Book T100  Review
DIGIT RATING
70 /100
  • design

    60

  • performance

    80

  • value for money

    70

  • features

    80

User Rating : 3.5/5 Out of 2 Reviews
  • PROS
  • The screen has good viewing angles
  • The Atom processor matches Core i3 performance
  • The dock is actually quite functional
  • Decent build quality
  • CONS
  • The rubber feet at the bottom are ineffective
  • Very minimal number of ports
  • The dock has no additional battery for extended life

Verdict

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a hybrid machine from Asus that runs Windows 8.1 Pro and is powered by the latest Intel Atom quad-core chips that are not only more power efficient than the previous generation of Atom chips, all the while delivering more performance. The build of the T100 could have been better, but that would have increased the price of this otherwise rather economical hybrid. We don't like the slippery feet as it makes using the tablet with the dock really annoying on a smooth surface. The battery life is rather good (up to 8 hours in our test, which included a lot of browsing and some YouTube goodness). Looking past the average build, one would realize that the T100 is actually a rather good tablet to tote around, especially if you're looking for quality hardware on a budget.

BUY Asus Transformer Book T100
Price 34099

Asus Transformer Book T100 detailed review

Asus has been on a roll ever since the tablet form factor became popular. First, it established itself as a credible player in the field and since then it has been creating tablet after tablet using the popular design language. The Transformer T100 is something along similar lines, but with a few twists of its own. We take a look at this Windows 8 Pro tablet to see whether it’s worth your hard earned cash or not.

Design and Configuration
The Asus Transformer T100 comes in the standard tablet-keyboard dock set. By itself, it is a 10.1 inch Windows 8 tablet. What differs this tablet from the others is the processors powering it. It is a quad core Intel Processor from the Bay Trail lineup. Coupled up with 2GB of RAM, which is pretty standard for Windows 8 tablet, the tablet also sports a resolution of 1,366 x 768 which offers pretty wide viewing angles. The IPS panel has a rating of 300 nit brightness, which offers pretty decent readability even under harsh sunlight, for anyone wondering.



The Asus Transformer Book T100's IPS Panel offers excellent viewing angles

While the hardware configuration on the T100 is pretty standard (save for the Bay Trail heart), the design of the tablet has been crafted from a different book that its predecessors. While the Transformer Prime was made of machined aluminium, the T100 is crafted from plastic, and it feels like it. The keyboard dock is also made from the same material and sadly, not only does it show, but feels so as well. While this could be a little disappointing for those who are used to the premium finish of Asus products, we felt that it wasn’t so bad, especially when you consider the price point. Despite the plastic construction, the tablet does feel well built, though the dock does creak a little.

Dock n Port
The tablet comes with a few standard, decent number of connectivity options. On the tablet itself, there is a microSD card slot for increasing the on board 32 GB of storage capacity. On the other side, there’s the micro USB port for charging the tablet, a microHDMI out and a headphone-microphone jack. It’s a little lack-lustre we must admit and the dock doesn’t really make up for it either. All it adds is one single USB 3.0 port, through which you can attach an external USB drive or a cellphone for tethering to the Internet.
 


Asus has taken a very minimalist approach when it comes to adorning the T100 with ports

Let’s take a minute to talk about how the tablet locks into place on the dock. While there is a proprietary pin that helps the tablet to talk to the dock, there is a two-hook mechanism that actually holds the tablet in place. Along with that, there is a nice little support that hooks onto the back of the tablet that secures the tablet in place and prevents it from tipping over backwards. This is an incredibly helpful feature as most hybrids that we’ve come across tend to suffer from this balance issue.

 
The tablet locks into the dock through two hooks which hold it in place on a connecctor
 
The hinge that keeps the tablet balanced (left) the release button that must be pushed to undock the tablet (right)

Performance and Handling
The really exciting thing about the T100’s specs happens to be the processor. It is the first Bay Trail design hybrid we've tested, and we’re only starting to understand the capabilities of this processor. The chip running the T100, specifically, happens to be an Intel Atom Z3740 processor built on the 22nm die. The processor is clocked at 1.3 GHz (scalable up to 1.9 GHz) and has a quad core configuration, a first for the Atom chips. In our PCMark Vantage benchmark, the tablet racked up a score of 2373, which is well within the realms of Intel Core i3 performance. While we did expect the Bay Trail processor to improve performance, it did come as a surprise to see the numbers were significantly higher than expected.

We were able to run all our daily need programs such as Word, Excel, north of 40 browser windows and Winamp all at the same time on the tablet without experiencing any significant lag while typing. When using the hybrid in just tablet mode, we found it to be quite easy to use. It’s light enough to hold in the hands for an hour or two (though we don’t recommend it). The screen has great viewing angles and the IPS panels renders colours with great accuracy, although those used to artificially boosted colours of the AMOLED type display might find them slightly muted. The gestures work extremely well, meaning the screen is rather sensitive and responds to touch very well. We didn’t experience any hitches in this area even once.

When the tablet is docked onto the keyboard, there are a few notable changes. Firstly, the whole setup becomes slightly heavier, but it doesn't feel too uncomfortable. The good thing was that despite using it on the lap, it didn’t tip over. However, the Asus T100 in its netbook form has one huge drawback. The rubber feet at the bottom of the dock happen to be extremely slippery (or just incredibly inept at gripping the surface), which made typing on the keyboard quite cumbersome as the tablet kept slipping all over the place. Great for using on laps, not so much on hard, smooth surfaces, like tables.
 


One can get used to the trackpad, but the non-effective rubber feet are just too annoying

The keyboard dock itself is just about alright, with the keys being spaced decently apart, but what really bothered us was the touchpad. The touchpad has gestures enabled by default and takes quite a bit of getting used to. Expect your screen to jump around because you accidently initiated a gesture on this trackpad. The other problem we had was with the mouse clicks. They are too loud, and require an unusually large amount of force to register. Prolonged use would definitely lead to some aches in the fingers, as it did with ours.

Bottomline

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a hybrid machine from Asus that runs Windows 8.1 Pro and is powered by the latest Intel Atom quad-core chips that are not only more power efficient than the previous generation of Atom chips, all the while delivering more performance. The build of the T100 could have been better, but that would have increased the price of this otherwise rather economical hybrid. We don't like the slippery feet as it makes using the tablet with the dock really annoying on a smooth surface. The battery life is rather good (up to 8 hours in our test, which included a lot of browsing and some YouTube goodness). Looking past the average build, one would realize that the T100 is actually a rather good tablet to tote around, especially if you're looking for quality hardware on a budget.

Asus Transformer Book T100 Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Price: ₹34099
Release Date: 30 Oct 2013
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • OS OS
    NA
  • Screen Size (inch) Screen Size (inch)
    10.1
  • Resolution Resolution
    1366 x 768
  • Memory Memory
    64 GB/2 GB DDR3
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Swapnil Mathur

Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor

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Asus Transformer Book T100

Price : ₹34099

Asus Transformer Book T100

Price : ₹34099

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