ASUS Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 Hybrid - HotHardware

ASUS Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 Hybrid

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The Transformer Book's composite body sits neatly between the light plastic that Samsung typically uses for its own devices and the magnesium alloy Microsoft uses for its own Surface hardware. Microsoft still sets the gold standard for building Windows tablet bodies, but the Asus T100 doesn't feel cheap or fragile and the body isn't overly slick. There were, however, a few odd decisions made on the display. First, there's the nature of the physical "Start" button. On every Windows tablet I've seen to date, including Microsoft's Surface, the physical start button functions just like a keyboard Start button.


The icon is visible here, right above the dock

The Asus Transformer Book T100 still has an icon in precisely the same place -- but the icon does absolutely nothing when pressed. Instead, the button's functionality has been moved to the right-hand side of the unit, where it fits just below the volume button rocker switch. The problem with the side mounted button is that it's not as easy to hit as the flat button at the bottom. If you've gotten used to hitting the physical windows button, seeing the icon leads to a lot of useless tapping.  Personally, I liked the center placement more, but moving it is not a major issue.

Keyboard, Touchpad, and Dock



Docks have always been a sore spot for me. For years, manufacturers treated them as luxury add-ons, with prices ranging from patently absurd (like the original dock for the Atrix 4G) to pricey, but somewhat acceptable ($100-$150 for typical Windows 8 convertible tablets). Given that a dock is typically a keyboard and a USB 3.0 port, the price adder was tough to justify. Thankfully, companies like Asus have realized this -- the Transformer Book's dock is part of the base product and included in the $349 asking price.

The T100's keys are not full sized. The alpha keys are 90% the width of a standard mobile keyboard, but just 74% of the height, which gives them a distinctly rectangular appearance. If you're fat-fingered, and I am, this may throw you off your typing until you adjust to it. While smaller keys are more difficult to type on, the keyboard response is actually excellent, particularly for a mobile device. The degree of key travel is satisfying without feeling mushy or stiff and the travel distance is large enough that you can always tell if you've properly hit a key or not.



The trackpad is small, but well designed. The left and right-click functions are snappy and precise and it offers tap-to-click functionality as well. Equally important is the fact that the trackpad is pretty good at ignoring accidental touches while typing. This simple issue can make using a laptop nearly impossible without a separate mouse, so we're glad to see it dealt with here.

The dock has three primary goals. 1). Balance the weight of the monitor. 2).  Securely attach to the monitor.  3).  Offer additional ports and in some cases, additional battery capacity. Of these three, the Transformer Book T100 nails the first two. The integrated USB 3.0 port is welcome, to be sure, but that's all the expanded capability you get. There's no internal battery and no expandable storage.

Still, at $350, that's enough to get the job done. The housing and case are strong on all points.
 

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Under the box contents you list the "Nexus 7" as being included. Fairly sure that's not the case :p

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Corrected... and yes, that's clearly not the case. :-/

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I don’t understand the negative reviews on this fully loaded tablet. Yes, fully loaded! I love the fact it has Windows 8.1, and a full version of Microsoft Office 2013. Yes, Microsoft Office is included. I love the fact that it comes with a click-type keyboard, which also serves as a cover. There is nothing cheap about this tablet. The look and feel of this tablet is expensive. It may not have full HD resolution, but I guarantee you won’t notice the difference. The display is super vivid and sharp. The keyboard is a little smaller, but that is to be expected with a tablet. I think the other reviewers are comparing this to a full size laptop.

This is not a laptop … but has all the features of a laptop in a very compact, portable size. It weighs about 2 pounds with the keyboard/cover. I especially enjoy the large 10.1” display, and ease of use. I use a stylus pen that I purchased for $10 to swipe and tap. It keeps the screen free of finger prints. I never got used to using a touch pad, not even with a laptop, so I connected a mouse using Bluetooth. Now I have all the functionality of a desktop in a tablet. My primary reason for purchasing this tablet is to take my work with me. I am now able to access all my Excel files through SkyDrive, so a large hard drive is no longer an issue.

The 32 GB hard drive on this tablet is more than sufficient. Now let’s talk price. With all its features, I only paid $340. Dell’s Venue comparable tablet with a keyboard is over $700. Microsoft Surface 2 Pro is over $1000 with a keyboard. The Microsoft Surface 2 RT is not a full functional Windows product, so there’s no comparison. The Surface 2 has many limitations, including Office. You cannot run macros with Windows RT. The Asus Transformer Book has the full version of Windows 8.1, so you can run applications like Java. It is the perfect tablet for access to the Internet, Netflix, email, music and games.

You get full functionality of Office, and you can even set this device up with Google Chromecast. Just install the Chrome browser. Buy the TV adapter for $35 and you can wirelessly connect this tablet to your HDTV. I know I must sound like a salesperson for Asus or Google, but I can assure you I am not. I am just so impressed with this product, that I cannot say enough about it. The bottom line: The features are right. The feel of this product is right. And most importantly, the price is right.

I hope it helps.

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Just finished the review, great stuff! I really loved my RT, but wanted a little better performance, access to some code editors and the ability to play some games. This definitely sounds like the ticket :)

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At $399 for the 64GB variant with keyboard dock, you really can't go wrong. A 64GB iPad with no dock is $699.

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I just read a few comments about long charging times and occasional black screens when charging which required a restart. I don't recall anything in the review mentioning how long charging takes or mentioning any other issues other then that one game. Do you have any information on either of those issues?

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Hi. I have had this tablet since it was released and it is a lifesaver for me. Yes, it takes a while to charge - if you want to charge it up from zero, you have to give it about 6 or 7 hours, so I basically leave it on charge overnight. The maximum unplugged time I have had out of it is about 9 hours without doing anything too crazy on it. However, I think that is more than enough for me.

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Seriously considering this as a Christmas present. A couple questions if I may:

How secure is the connection to the dock?

How much of that 64 GB is usable?

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I just got mine from the UPS man. The dock connector seems really secure.

36gbs free of 49. You should be able to increase that by removing the recovery partition but I'm just going to utilize the SD slot and usb 3 connector (depending on gaming abilities I'm thinking an SSD that can be packed with it).

Overall way more premium then I was thinking. The back of the display is a little meh, I would have preferred something matte and the keyboard is cramped but overall pretty cool. Way better then my old Surface RT :)

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Thanks!

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