How about a Windows 8.1 computer/tablet hybrid, the successor of the well-known Eee PC netbook, but with a 10.1-inch touchscreen, 2GB of RAM and 64GB SSD storage for $400. That must have got your attention. This is Asus Transformer Book T100T.
he tablet attaches to the keyboard dock with the help of a hinge which is placed centrally
The 2-in-1 mobile experience here is delivered in a plastic dark-grey body. Of course with such a low price tag we knew we couldn’t expect miracles from this one, but still the whole package looks good and well-build. There is an effective concentric texture on top of the lid but the glossy surface attracts lots of fingerprints. The tablet attaches to the keyboard dock with the help of a hinge which is placed centrally.
The whole construction weighs 1.2 pounds and is slim enough to fit into a briefcase.
Once it’s locked to the keyboard the tablet is released again with a press on the key on top of the hinge mechanism. When closed this hinge provides a comfortable grip to carry the machine. The whole construction weighs 1.2 pounds and is slim enough to fit into a briefcase.
On the right edge of the tablet a microSD card slot is placed to make up for the little internal storage. Along with it there is a micro USB port, a micro HDMI port and a headphone jack. Well, obviously an AC adapter is missing, this is because the tablet is charged through the USB port. Windows 8 devices usually have a touch sensitive Windows key in the middle of the bottom display border to open the Windows slide menu.
The Windows button is placed on the left edge, just below the volume rocker.
We were surprised to find out that such a key is missing here. Instead, the Windows button is placed on the left edge, just below the volume rocker.
Internal storage is what suffers the most from the low price. There is a 32GB version at $350, the 64GB costs $400, keyboard included. But not exactly a problem as you can add 64GB more on an SD card.
Browsing, multitasking and the most common office and multimedia software is this device’s specialty. The hybrid is powered by an Intel CPU that is especially optimized for tablets. This is a quad-core Bay Trail TZ3740 CPU, backed up by 2GB of RAM. Productivity levels are high during the common daily multitasking and going through numerous web pages.
There is a 32GB version at $350, the 64GB costs $400
But the machine still comes back to its netbook roots when you try to work with more professional software like for example Adobe applications. Intel HD graphics are responsible for the video performance here.
The display on the Transformer Book T100T offers something which is extremely rare at this price – a touchscreen. The 10.1-inch diagonal works at 1366×768 pixel resolution and supports 5-finger multitouch. It is sharp and vivid, with wide viewing angles thanks to the IPS technology used. It’s what we are most fond of on this device – great viewing experience on a low budget. On top there is the 1.2MP web camera.
The keyboard dock offers a full-sized USB 3 on its left side.
The keyboard dock offers a full-sized USB 3 on its left side
The keyboard itself is more of a minimized version of common island-style keyboards. The keys have a smaller surface and are squished together just like it was the case with netbooks. It’s not impossible to type fast and comfortable but it will definitely take some time for you to get used. The touchpad below is also more of a mini version and a little stiff and irresponsible at times. The keyboard dock doesn’t have its own battery.
And on top of all, the new generation Bay Trail processor gives you long battery life so that you can work and browse for a long time before you need to plug the cable.
Asus Transformer Book T100 doesn’t scream bad quality despite of its low price, all that gets budget cut is internal storage.