Asus Transformer Book T100 Review

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This hybrid may represent the future of budget laptops. It's small, light, and powerful, and it turns into a tablet. The incredible battery life tops 11 hours.

The Asus Transformer Book T100 (starting at $349, Amazon) is a tablet-laptop hybrid, a prime example of the direction portable computers have been moving in the past couple of years. They've gotten a lot smaller while also getting faster. Most convertibles cost well north of $600, but Asus managed to put this model together for less than $350. In an Asus Transformer Book T100 review, an expert at PC Mag names the device an Editors' Choice. It includes a detachable keyboard that's easy to dock and undock from the touchscreen, which can also be used as a tablet. The PC Mag reviewer found the keyboard quite comfortable to use. However, the touchpad didn't always register swipes. The reviewer was impressed that Asus gave this system an IPS-based display rather than a cheaper TN display. (In-plane switching technology provides much wider viewing angles.) The Asus Transformer Book T100 is very powerful for such a small device, the reviewer says, but perhaps its most notable accomplishment is the battery life. PC Mag testers managed to squeeze 11 hours and 20 minutes out of a single charge, far better than most laptops.

At Notebook Review, an expert observes that this hybrid tablet has enough punch to run a full version of Windows 8.1 without any hiccups. It's fine for running office programs and tackling essential tasks such as web surfing, streaming video, and the like. The keyboard is a bit on the small side, but the reviewer found that it was pretty easy to get used to. Like the PC Mag reviewer, she appreciates how easily the keyboard attaches and detaches from the touchscreen but notes that the touchpad isn't always reliable. Still, the Asus Transformer Book T100 proves to be a good little machine -- highly portable and more functional than a typical Chromebook.

The Asus Transformer Book T100 uses an Intel Atom Z3740 processor made especially for portable devices. It has a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a high-definition resolution of 1366 x 768, or 720p. The system comes with a 64GB SSD, or solid-state drive, along with one year of free, unlimited Asus WebStorage. Although it has only 2GB of RAM, Asus Transformer Book T100 reviews report nimble performance thanks to the speedy SSD and peppy "Bay Trail" processor. The Asus Transformer Book T100 includes support for Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11a/b/g/n wireless connections (but no Ethernet port). It also has one USB 3.0 port, a micro HDMI port, and a built-in microSD card reader. The two-cell battery may not sound like much, but tests prove it's a long-distance runner that easily handles the demands of the hardware. The laptop with keyboard attached weighs 2.4 pounds.

If portability is your priority, the Asus Transformer Book T100 is a dream machine. It's small and light but surprisingly snappy given its small size and low price.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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