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).
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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.
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