Long before Windows 8 tablet hybrids were introduced, Asus was one of the first brands that took tablet/laptop hybrid seriously. The Asus Transformer series was arguably the first tablet in the market that came with a proprietary keyboard attachment that gave the tablet some laptop functionalities. The new Asus Transformer Book T100TA now comes with a Windows 8.1 operating system that further elevates the tablet’s productivity utility (see the ‘Features’ section below). Here is a closer look at this excellent Tablet-Laptop hybrid.
The T100TA sports a gray, glossy back that, contrary to what is seems, provides a pretty good grip thanks to a special clear coating that is also pretty scratch resistant. The tablet on its own measures in at 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.41 inches in dimensions and weigh in at just 1.2 pounds. This tablet is sold together with its detachable keyboard, and when it is attached to the tablet, in laptop mode, the device measures in at 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.93 inches in dimensions and weighs 2.4 pounds. Whether it is in tablet or ultrabook/laptop model, the Asus Transformer Book T100TA is one of the lightest and thinnest in both categories.
When it comes to laptop-tablet convertibles, one of the most important factors when it comes to design is its build quality. How well does the tablet fit on to the keyboard? How easily detachable is the keyboard? Being a veteran in the tablet-laptop hybrid market, it comes as no surprise that Asus excels in with this respect. Both the tablet and keyboard is very solidly built, even when they are attached. The tablet fits in snugly onto the keyboard with no squeaks nor signs of wobbliness when being moved around. The keyboard can easily be detached by a push of a button.
The keyboard has chiclet-style keys with a multi-touch trackpad. While it would be quite a stretch to call the design of the keyboard ‘industry leading’, the keyboard and trackpad is comfortable enough for its 10-inch size. If you are transitioning from a full-sized laptop or keyboard to this, it will take a day or two before you fully get used to it. The keyboard comes with a USB 3.0 port for extra connectivity. Some of its other connectors include Bluetooth 4.0, a HDMI port, micro SD card reader and a micro USB port.
Features & Performance
In terms of processing power, the Asus Transformer Book T100TA comes with a decent set of specs that includes a quad core Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3740 processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and (up to) a 64GB solid state hard drive for storage. The device also comes with one year of free unlimited cloud storage.
From a tablet point of view, this set of specs is amongst one of the most powerful in the market. From a laptop/ultrabook point of view, the specs would prove to be sufficient for light-moderate use. Thanks to its competent set of specs, the tablet is extremely fast where it can boot up in just a blazing 11 seconds. As mentioned earlier, this convertible tablet runs on the Windows 8.1 OS. It is also worth mentioning that the T100TA comes preinstalled with Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student that include all the usually productivity software such as Words, Excel and PowerPoint, making the tablet a productivity workhorse straight out of the box.
The 10.1-inch IPS screen on the tablet has a 1366x 768 resolution and couple with the ASUS SonicMaster stereo speakers, is great for watching videos and movies. On top of the screen you will find a 1.2MP camera for making video calls. The battery on the tablet can last up to 11 hours on one charge, which is more than enough for the average user.
I have save one of the best features on the Asus Transformer Book T100TA for last. At the time of writing, you can get the 64GB version of this tablet, bundled together with the detachable keyboard for under $380, which is an amazing deal by any standards. While there is a noticeable absence of groundbreaking features, the strategic combination of a powerful processor, decent specs, bundled keyboard and a competitive price tag have propelled the T100TA tablet convertible to become one of the best-selling tablet models at the time this was written. At this price point, it is, hands-down, the best laptop-tablet convertible that money can buy.
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