The newly launched Asus Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 Hybrid tablet has to be the bargain of the year.
Three things make this a special device that have made many tech pundits drool over it.
1) Amazing performance and battery life from the newly launched Intel Atom-based processor. The heart of the CPU runs a 1.3Ghz quad-core Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processor. PC Mark benchmark shows it competes with the 3rd Gen Intel i3 processors. You really notice the difference between this CPU and last year’s Atom processors. In the past I wouldn’t touch an Atom based device due to it’s shortcomings in the performance stakes, but boy does this new baby from Intel fly in everyday usage.
It can happily run any office 2013 application that you throw at it, (BTW, it comes with a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 as standard. Do you get this with an iPad Air?) run an antivirus program in the background and watch a MKV movie in full screen with no problem.
The other great feature of the Intel Z3740 CPU is battery life. I found it to run about 9-11 hours easily depending on how you taxed the device. Microsoft listen up here with your Surface tablets. My Surface Pro only runs for about 4-5 hrs max before the charger needs to come out.
2) The Asus Transformer Book T100 runs full fat Windows 8.1 Home operating system. Again take note Apple iPad Air fanboys, yes you may have more apps but can you install all your standard software programs on the tablet too? No I didn’t think so. The combination of a docking keyboard, 10.1″ touchscreen tablet, rapid CPU and Windows 8.1 makes a fantastic marriage. The flexibility it allows a power user like myself to alternate between using Windows 8.1 apps from the app store to third party programs I can happily install on the 32 bit version of Windows 8.1 is very appealing and most welcomed.
3) Price. What can you say? £319.99p (*Cheapest at time of writing this article was from Staples with £10 voucher code) for a cracking Windows 8.1 tablet with docking keyboard, excellent performance from the Intel Atom processor. Add all day battery life and you have a device you can easily take everywhere for productivity in the day and a bit of fun in the evenings.
I can seriously say I hardly use my Surface Pro and i7 laptop since this little beauty came into my life. The Asus Transformer Book T100 is much lighter to hold with one hand compared to the heavy Surface Pro. The CPU in the Asus runs cool when taxed whereas the Surface Pro runs quite warm to the touch when you watch for example, YouTube.
OK you will be wondering there must be weaknesses in the Asus Transformer Book T100? Well the battery charger is not the quickest. I find it takes 5-6 hours to fully charge the unit so I tend to leave it charging overnight.
The screen is not Full HD but what do you expect from this price range? In fact everything looks sharp enough at this standard resolution with Windows 8.1.
The low 32GB SSD built into the Asus Transformer Book T100 leaves you with about 13GB after Windows 8.1. However Asus have sweetened the deal with a Micro SD slot for up to 128GB of extra storage space and free 1TB Asus web cloud storage for a year.
Some commentators have mentioned the not so good touchpad. To be honest I find I don’t really use it that much due to the touchscreen. You naturally touch the screen with this device rather than use the touchpad. If I was to turn the Asus Transformer Book T100 into a productivity workhorse, I would either buy an USB wireless mouse or use the excellent docking station from the great guys at Plugable. Something like the UD-3900 and attach all the USB peripherals I could ever need.
Overall I have no hesitation in recommending the Asus Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 tablet to anybody thinking of replacing their old laptop to cover general day to day computing or for someone who is thinking twice about purchasing an iPad Air or Android tablet.
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