Asus Transformer Book T100

Asus CEO, Jerry Shen, unveiled the Transformer Book T100 convertible at IDF in San Francisco. This latest model in the Transformer range packs the brand new quad-core Intel Bay Trail-T processor (the Atom Z3740), 2GB of RAM, a 10.1in 1366x768 IPS touchscreen, and Windows 8.1 (that’s the full version of Windows 8, not the hamstrung RT).

See also: Asus Transformer Book 300 review

See also: Intel's new Bay Trail chips - what you need to know

There are two models, one with 32GB of storage for $349 (expect that to be £349 inc VAT), and another with 64GB for $399 – again convert to pounds for the expected UK price. There’s also micro-SD so you can add considerably more storage.

Extra connectivity comprises micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a USB 3.0 port in the detachable keyboard. The keyboard doesn’t have its own battery, so the tablet’s 31Wh cell has to take the strain. Asus claims it will last a whopping 11 hours, though.

The tablet weighs 544g, and just over 1kg with the keyboard. Both halves are made of plastic, with the tablet part having a glossy painted finish, so both the back and touchscreen will undoubtedly need regular polishing.

However, aside from such minor worries, this is an impressive-looking convertible which really does offer the best of all worlds. It may not have the highest-resolution screen, but as well as using in as a plain tablet when the mood takes you (it will happily play 1080p video), it can also be a ‘proper’ laptop, running basic Windows desktop applications for multimedia and productivity.

Plus, with a scaled-down version of the integrated graphics chip from Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors, it should also play your favourite 3D games as well.

Try doing all that with a Google Chromebook.

For the money, which isn't a whole lot more than a Chromebook costs, the Transformer Book T100 seems great value, but Dell and Toshiba have also launched Windows 8.1 tablets, so the T100 isn’t without competition.

We’ll bring you a full review of the Transformer Book T100 as soon as we can.   

Follow Jim Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter and add Jim to your Google+ circles.