Netbook Evolved: ASUS Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 Hybrid Review

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News Posted: Mon, Nov 11 2013 11:00 AM
The ASUS Transformer Book T100 packs an impressive list of features into a diminutive chassis and companion keyboard dock. After working with system, it's clear that ASUS is hoping to capture lightning in a bottle, for the second time...

It has been six years since ASUS launched the first Eee PC and kicked off a miniature revolution in mobile computing. Eee PC models weren't fast, they weren't particularly well-featured, and they didn't have the best displays. Even so, these lightweight boxes were the harbingers of the netbook bonanza that kicked off in earnest with the launch of Intel's Atom processor (codename: Silverthorne).

The Transformer Book T100 isn't a netbook but it's impossible to look at the system and not see netbook DNA. Don't be fooled. This is the evolved form -- the fully upgraded Zergling (minus the troublesome lemon juice allergy). It avoids the problems that dogged the launch of early Windows 8 tablets and convertibles last year and presents a far saner, smarter idea of what an inexpensive combination device should look like at this price point.


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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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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Nov 11 2013 11:32 AM

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

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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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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Nov 11 2013 11:57 AM

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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CDeeter replied on Tue, Nov 12 2013 7:19 PM

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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CDeeter replied on Thu, Nov 14 2013 7:18 PM

Thanks!

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np :) After a day using it I have a little more to say about it. Definitely a great upgrade from my RT and a fantastic tablet, but a few things to be aware of.

1.) As far as i can tell this doesn't have any sort of rotation detection, so if you turn it on its side it stays in landscape mode. Maybe I just haven't found the option.

2.) The battery takes forever to charge. 2.5 hours in and it's halfway full. Thank god it lasts so long.

3.) The keyboard and trackpad are fine, but nothing to write home about. I keep hitting the up arrow instead of the shift, but my typing speed is great. The trackpad is a little hit and miss, but nothing horrid. Just not Apple quality at all.

Overall I'm really happy with my purchase, but this is a $379 tablet (on sale at amazon right now) so some things were skimped on.

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Nov 17 2013 12:21 AM

Hey, thanks for the feedback Daniel! Good stuff. I think you have the rotation lock set or something because it definitely should have screen reorientation. I think it's a great deal for the price actually too.

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Joel H replied on Sun, Nov 17 2013 3:45 AM

A few follow-ups.

1). The charge time really is terrible - I didn't realize how bad it was when I wrote the review because I plugged it in to charge over night, then worked with it all day, without running short of battery. Having now taken it on a trip, I noticed the problem. This is a major flaw in the system. If you're running the screen at high brightness + using WiFi, it will charge 1-2% an hour. I may amend the review slightly to include this.

2). Rotation detection works perfectly on our sample, and exactly like you'd expect for a W8 device. Yours may be defective or it may be locked on.

3). I never saw a black screen while charging that required a restart. I did once have an odd crash that wouldn't restart until I plugged in the charge cable, but the problem didn't repeat.

Overall, having now taken the TB 100 on a trip, I'm still very happy with its overall performance and options. For $400, it's a great little system.

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You're totally right. Not sure what I did if anything but it worked fine after I post that. I'm really loving this tablet.

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Thanks for the reply Joel. The charging is indeed slow, but not as bad as you're experiencing. Using their charger plugged into the wall I got up about 20% while playing FTL (Faster then light) in about an hour and a half. If it's plugged into a computer or something the usb port or something could be limiting its charging speed. You might check out something like this http://www.thepowerpot.com/solar-power-optimized-practical-meter to see what sort of juice is actually getting to the laptop.

The charging speed hasn't been a huge issue for me so far because its battery last so damn long. I could see if you're on a trip or forgot to charge it that this could be an issue.

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I've had my T100 for about three weeks now. One thing that really speeded up charging was to do so with the tablet disconnected from the dock and turned off.

I know, kludgy, but it does help. Also, after several updates, the charging in all situations seems to go a bit faster.

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Joel H replied on Sun, Nov 17 2013 7:38 PM

Daniel,

All my remarks refer to wall power charging. I haven't even tried charging it off anything else.

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Fair enough :)

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Hey! If I found the keyboard was too cramped, is it possible to attach a different tablet keyboard? I'm not sure how tablets work, I didn't know how the keyboards attached if it was by USB or not. Thanks!

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Nov 21 2013 8:37 AM

MelissaCanavan:

Hey! If I found the keyboard was too cramped, is it possible to attach a different tablet keyboard? I'm not sure how tablets work, I didn't know how the keyboards attached if it was by USB or not. Thanks!

Hi Melissa, unfortunately the keyboard and dock connector are a custom design. However, you can probably find a Bluetooth keyboard to work with it and connect to it wirelessly.

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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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Habanero replied on Fri, Nov 29 2013 8:46 PM

I've been using it for a month now and I'm very satisfied with it. Affordable with great specs for my usage. It comes with Microsoft Office which is a great deal.

A few things to note tho...

1. Battery takes a long time to charge. av to leave it overnight to charge fully.

2. When you insert a MicroSD card, it looks like its gonna pop out anytime. It is protruding from the slot even tho it is inserted properly.

3. Trackpad's physical clicker is a bit annoying coz of its extremely loud clicks

4. Display's lux level is a bit low when outdoors.

The 2nd day I used it, I encountered OS issue. The device was unable to boot to desktop. I had to reset to its factory default.

I've been using it since for my work. There's no problem with it running AutoCAD 2013 LT, Photoshop CS5, TrueView 2014, Sketchbook Express.

Heck, I even tried playing Diablo III on its lowest setting and it worked.

I would highly recommend tis baby to others.

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Nov 30 2013 9:17 AM

Great feedback, Habanero, thanks!

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ZsebiDvid replied on Thu, Dec 19 2013 12:29 PM

please give some advice, i want to buy an Asus Transformer T100 and i want to use AutoCAD with it.. does the Transformers specifications compatible with the AutoCAD ??

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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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