Asus Transformer T100 Review: Windows 8.1 convertible for less than $500

By Scorpus · 31 replies
Jan 29, 2014
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  1. Stereo speakers probably only good thing in this tablet in comparison to peers
    glossy plastic is just awful and will be scratched very fast, no full sized usb on tablet with w8, no battery in dock
    7' 8' tablets look more interesting, functional and mobile for around same price if not cheaper
  2. Mike Steele

    Mike Steele TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +6

    I came away thinking this product is garbage. I own one so I can give a real world review. the asus transformer is an awesome netbook/tablet. in real world time you don't notice any difference in screen resolution, or any other hardware functions. this runs smooth and steady even on battery power. for $450 this was by far one of the better purchases I've made. as for it being heavy, I lift things all day, 1kg isn't heavy if you're a healthy human. everything runs perfect on windows 8. I prefer the dock instead of fingering up the screen. as a tablet, its one of the better ones. I'm comparing this to my asus android tablet and the ipad I own. with windows 8 this asus netbook/tablet is like an extension of my desktop. it's actually productive, where the android and ipad seem more of a play thing or novelty.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,342   +843

    1366x768 is perfectly fine for a 10 inch display. People with unreasonably high standards shouldn't make reviews of lower-mid end devices cause they always make them look bad. 1kg heavy? grow some testies.
    drjekel_mrhyde likes this.
  4. As an owner and daily user of this tablet, I agree with the above comments that this review downplays the greatness of the T100. I think I read 4 paragraphs crapping on about the screen resolution! It's fine, but I did get a colour profile from transformerforums that made one hell of an improvement to colour accuracy.

    Perhaps the review should have been on the 64Gb version (which as far as I know is the only version sold in Oz) and mentioned (among sooo many other things not stated in this review) that you can EASILY open the keyboard dock to remove a rather large weight that stops the tablet falling over backward when docked. This makes the dock very light indeed! You can also easily reinsert it should you need to make a warranty claim.

    If, when reviewing budget tablets etc, you overstate all the things it (obviously) doesn't have, like second battery in the keyboard, then you are wasting page space that could be talking about the other things it DOES have. I'm surprised you didn't harp on that there is no secondary storage in the dock either - though apparently Asus is going to make that an option in a future version.

    As this device runs FULL Win8.1 supporting desktop apps, it is indeed an iKiller. Who needs modern apps when you have a real Win desktop? I agree 100% with the comment above that the T100 makes iPads and Android tabs seem like toys. I'm sure that Apple are secretly pooing in their pants that Microsoft have finally woken up and will soon be smelling the bacon. Heck, when I pickup an iAnything after using the T100, it feels like I'm about 8 years old. Apple has really had it's run, and it's time to get real about what a tablet CAN do.
    Phr3d likes this.
  5. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Posts: 178   +12

    I'll chime in also. I was an early adopter and picker the 64GB version from Amazon for $349 before Thanksgiving. I used Nexus 7 (2013) (shared with my wife) and then picked this little thing up. I agree, that the screen resolution may be low compared to Nexus 7, but it beats the hell out of any other tablet in terms of versatility. It feels more comfortable as a tablet when running apps (I just like W8.1 jestures better) and converts into a small laptop in a matter of seconds. It is powerful enough to browse Internet, watch videos, have a bunch of windows open to flip between the documents or even play some games. It is my main device when I work in my electronics lab. Have references open, Arduino software running and I hook up my oscilloscope and multimeter to it if I want to save some waveforms and readings.

    One real complaint is the trackpad buttons - it is just bad design.

    In other words - for the price (at about $400) you can't go wrong with it. Completely different level of freedom compared to Android and iPad. And, from complete off, it powers up twice as fast as my Nexus 7.
  6. nazartp

    nazartp TS Enthusiast Posts: 178   +12

    Wanted to add that T100 was under $400, $330 for 32 GB and $370 for 64GB model. Now it is almost $500 - people are voting with their wallets. It sells well, apparently.
  7. I have one of these. It's a brilliant bit of kit!
  8. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,676   +991

    I tend to agree with some of the comments above. On paper a full Windows tablet/hybrid for less than $500 sounds amazing, especially if you are looking for a modern netbook on steroids. However, Tim has vast experience reviewing mobile devices and I don't blame him to be spoiled when a full HD tablet like the Nexus 7 costs $229. Depending on your needs, it may be an effective replacement or it may be apple and oranges, but regardless, it's one of the biggest hurdles Microsoft is having to face to sell Windows 8-based slates in volume.
  9. My mum's been thinking about getting the T100, its amazing value for the money I think.

    The Surface 2 and Nokia Lumia 2520 were pretty strong contenders, both are very nice tablets, however get very pricey when you add they keyboard docks on them and your stuck with only modern apps + office (which I do get would be perfect for some people)

    Surface 2 32gb - £360 + £100 for the touch cover, so £460 (Windows RT)
    Nokia Lumia 2520 32gb - £400 + £150 for the "power keyboard" so £550 (Windows RT)
    Asus Transformer Book T100*- 32gb, includes keyboard and Microsoft Office Home and Student - £349.00 (Windows 8.1)

    If you can live without a 1080p screen and a rear facing camera, I think the Asus T100 is the perfect tablet. Windows how Microsoft intended on a touch screen, but with the ability to make a good second computer / modern day Netbook when docked to a keyboard.
  10. Having owned both a Surface 2 and now a T100, I can say I use the T100 much more than I used the Surface 2. I'm even using it more than my Nexus 10 and Nexus 7.

    Yes, the screen is a lower resolution, but I rarely notice when watching videos (MKV, Hi10, multiple audio streams, multiple subtitle streams. Try doing that on RT...), playing games, browsing the web or using Office. I've also been getting up to 12 hours straight of battery life out of mine (battery is a little screwed, runs for another hour after it reaches 0%...).

    My only gripe with the T100 would be the Wi-Fi. It's terrible, even when using the older drivers. I pretty much have to use a wifi dongle to get a stable connection. However, Wi-Fi has always been an Asus bugbear. It's also not all plain sailing on the Microsoft devices either.
  11. I feel very much the same way as the previous posters in that this review downplays much of the positive aspects of this tablet. I was a fortunate individual who was able to grab the 64gb version for $299 during a lightning sale on Amazon last November. For both home and school this tablet has been fantastic and Windows 8.1 runs butter smooth. The battery life is fantastic for a device running a full copy of Windows and I couldn't ask for more at this point. Intel really has done well with Bay Trail. My biggest complaint is not about the tablet but the actual keyboard dock itself - the touchpad is pretty terrible. I usually have to tap it twice just to get it to start registering my finger movements. Pretty annoying to say the least, but far from being a deal breaker. Having a convenient convertible with an acceptable display, strong battery life and compatibility with all the applications I need is unbeatable for the price.
  12. I have one of these, here are a few notes:
    - It might be a 64bit chip, but the installation is Win 8.1 32bit. As there is only 2GB RAM, this is actually a good thing.
    - I have the 64GB HD version (was $379 at Walmart a few months ago, not sure what it is now). I moved the recovery partition to USB key so have a fair bit of HD space.
    - Fingerprint magnet - yeah, like my cell phone.
    - Resolution is PERFECT as it is. If expect to use quite a bit of desktop apps. The surface pro with 1080p resolution is too high for resolution size. Scaling doesn't work well in many (most?) applications, especially at 125%.
    - Has been dropped a few times without issue. I hope the buttons are strong enough.
    - Keyboard is weighted - can remove the weight but then will be tippy.
    - Screen does not tilt back far enough to use on lap comfortably.
    - no fans! doesn't seem to get too hot even when running Portal 2 (note - runs smoothly at native resolution at medium quality).
    - In desktop mode, I often use a Bluetooth mouse. Touchpad is bearable but not great.

    In the end, it is hard to get this out of the hands of wife, kids and coworkers. And at this price it is stunning. At work where there is several Surface Pros, everyone preferred the T100 regardless of price.
  13. Rylan

    Rylan TS Rookie

    I have owned the t100 for a couple of months with the expressed purpose to get out of iPad. At las, freedom I can enjoy. I love my transformer in everyway. I would recommend this investment to anyone who wants to keep up with all cutting edge technologies. It has aided and helped me learn faster the thrill of Win 8.1 experience.
    I have found only one draw back and that is the storage slot for the 'micro-sd' slot. I purchased one 64 GB and because of the way it sticks out a little bit when inserted, it got bumped and unknowingly it sprung out. Then the next move BROKE my sd card in half. You can't leave it in the device. Where to store such a little chip without losing it.
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    That is quite low for a $400+ tablet. I would take the dated Nexus 10 over this.
  15. The price quoted is really high--I paid less than $300 for the 32GB version. I placed a 64GB flash card for extra storage and for running portable apps. Using a bluetooth mouse. The one USB 3.0 port on the dock = super fast. Internet Explorer works the best for me. The only spec off that I notice is the battery life. My usage doesn't come close to the nine or a bit more hours. Maybe five hours with realistic use. Charges fast. I definitely wouldn't pay $500 for any size version.
  16. Due to the overwhelming comments above, and seemingly LARGE amount of detail that Tim left out, I suggest he re-work this review and come up with something a little more accurate. His final summary was equally weak.

    Back to the reviewers desk please Tim...
  17. angela keilitz

    angela keilitz TS Rookie

    I purchased this product mainly for my writing, it is small compact and has everything I need. I have had no problems with the ASUS Transformer t100 with windows 8.1 I love it. I guess if you are a gamer and have higher expectations of a notebook you should get a beefed up desk top. I have only the expectations of having a word processing program which this came with. so I would have to say this product for its price (460 dollars) is an excellent investment. I can dock it and write or sit in bed undocked and write either way I am making progress.
  18. I agree with the other comments. I own this device too.
    - screen res is fine for 10.1''
    - having full windows8 is great! can use as 'tablet win8' or work as a 'netbook'
    - includes full MSoffice 2013 licence for free
    - keyboard works well. trackpad is not good, but has touchscreen anyway
    - 1 x usb 3, and 1 x usb 2 (use OTG adaptor),
    - international models seem better spec. I was also concerned about the small storage, but mine has 500GB HDD in the keyboard dock. bought in malaysia: 1399MYR = 420USD. storage spec: 32GB in tablet + SD expansion, 500GB in keyboard.
    - the device is not perfect (what device is?!) but given the number of features and the price,
    I love it!
  19. The only one thing that this device lacks is integrated 3G support..
  20. The res is fine for this tablet. If you want a higher res then go get that, thats not the reason a majority of people bought this tablet for anyways. The T100 is a stellar Win 8 machine. It is a great laptop replacement. I use mine all the time when I am traveling around campus or visiting. And 1Kg is light, quit being a nancy and get off the computer for 5 min a day and get in some kind of shape. If anything I would say the screen can get too bright. People these days have there lumens cranked too far up and need to adjust to a proper, non burning your retinas brightness. And would you rather have the dock weigh 5XX g or your tablet fall over all the time? Thats just good engineering, not a reason to complain. Other then that the review was decent. But the T100 speaks volumes on its own, if your in the market for a laptop replacement, extended business solution, etc then go try one out and see.
  21. I also bought one (64GB version) about a month ago and I love it. This is what a netbook should've been all along. It's extremely versatile for it's package. I agree with all the positive things other commenters said about this. It's light, it's zippy, the battery last very long for what it is etc. I also wanted to add that I use this in a dual screen setup via the HDMI out (isn't that great, iPad?). It an literally drive it's own 768p scren plus my Dell 1920 x 1200 monitor at the same time. I can stream two 720p videos at the same time, no problems. And do I have to remind you that it has no fans so it's totally silent while also staying cool? Also, the speakers are also fantastic for a device like this. They completely kill my Gigabyte "gaming" laptop (P34G) speakers in every aspect. That's how good they are.

    Ok, downsides. Yeah, the touch pad. It's really bad. You do want to you use a mouse whenever you can, thank god for the touch screen when you can't. Also, the problem with the screen isn't the resolution, that's fine for the size. It's the brightness. It is a pretty dim screen. But hey, it's IPS, so viewing angles and colours are great. Not the best screen out there, but definitely not that bad. One last thing I can say is the charging time. Yes, it's long. In fact, if you plug it in while it's on and do something slightly more intensive than just web browsing (such as playing a simple game or video) the charger can't keep up with the power consumption so it still continues to consume battery (albeit much slower). It's not a major problem for me because I just charge it over night and use it for two days but it might be fore some. Other than that this is one of the best value tech devices I've ever owned, in all categories. That's saying a lot...
  22. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 303   +108

    I'm planning on buying this transformer, but I would like to know if it can play a 1080p movie after installing the proper codes, does it have enough power to do such a thing?
  23. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,342   +843

    I'm pretty sure that with a quad core processor it can play any kind of video without problems but don't take my word for it.
  24. I'm thinking of purchasing one of these, and I'm just wondering if the battery life for just wifi and an application or two like word running, actually reaches around 8-10 hours?

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