Asus Transformer Book T100TA Test Review
The Asus Transformer Boot T100TA is especially useful to Mac users looking for a device for personal use that does not cost as much as the Apple Macbook Air. This Asus T100TA review looks at the best features of the device.
Delivery- this includes everything you will need to start: one USB to Micro USB cable, power cord, quick start guides and the Office Home & Student license.
Packaging- here the dominant material is plastic which is unfortunately high gloss and thus a fingerprint magnet. It creaks and does not feel good to me: at this price you get what you pay for.
Power: everything works smoothly here- even multitasking works just fine (surfing on one hand and streaming on the other). To test the graphics performance, I downloaded the game “Zombi HQ” from the App Store. The graphics are nice and the game runs quite smoothly.
Operating System: getting a fully-fledge operating system was important to me. I should mention here that Windows RT is not installed. However, genuine Windows 8.1 is installed on top of which one can install the usual programs.
Memory: I opted consciously for the 32GB version. After installing Office, Antivir and Firefox, I am now left with 12GB of free memory. I use a NAS at home anyway and thus only need a little space on the device. When in doubt, a Micro-SD can be easily retrofitted (maximum 64GB).
Battery Life: When using Office applications and surfing, the battery lasts about 10 hours and takes about six hours to charge.
Application: I use the tablet mainly for office applications and surfing. Excel and Word are especially fast to use and I am very impressed with the speed of these applications.
Weaknesses/ Problems: Unfortunately, the tablet also has its downsides. One is the non-functioning sleep-mode. The tablet cannot be partially turned off and this is remedied by pressing the volume button plus the on/off switch. The tablet immediately reboots when you use this combination. The other weakness is the Touchpad-the mouse pointe appears to temporarily freeze and moves only after 2-3 attempts.
For both weaknesses, I suspect it is a software defect because there is a lot of information on the internet concerning the combination of Windows 8.1 and mice.
One solution to this problem that appears to work well is the disabling of gesture control feature on the mouse pad. I have now deactivated the sleep mode and the Asus T10TA turns on immediately –the only problem with this is that battery performance will suffer.
An extra keyboard dock is included with the 500GB version. The US 3.0 port provides enough power a 2.5” USB 3.0 hard drive. I tested it with a Toshiba 1TB external hard drive and a WD 750GB ICY box and it worked perfectly.
I also tested a Transcend TS32GUSDHC10E SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 and a 64GB Samsung microSDHC 8GB (from my old Samsung Galaxy) on the Asus Transformer Book T100TA. It detected the cards though am yet to perform a thorough performance test on them
When it comes to computing devices, you can either use a bulky laptop with full Windows functionality or a tablet with iOS/ Android without the full capabilities of a PC. This is the problem the ASUS Transformer Book T100TA attempts to solve.
It is both a tablet with full Windows and (if you prefer it) flat surface, but with an integrated keyboard to act as a fully-fledged laptop. Before the ASUS T100TA, such convertibles were far bigger, difficult to use (Lenovo X220T) or did not have sufficient power for the current Windows version.
With the quad-core technology, the Transformer Book has enough power for office, surfing, video streaming and even working on small videos. It has a 2GB Intel Atom Z3740 memory which is sufficient.
The Asus Transformer Book T100TA is available in four variants including the 32GB eMMC, 64GB eMMC each with or without 500GB HDD. When the keyboard is disconnected (tablet mode), the optional HDD is not available.
Since the memory card slot is also connected via USB 2.0, it is slower than the internal eMMC memory. I would advise that one buys the slightly more expensive 64GB variant and not the 32GB versions.
Apart from the ASUS Transformer Book, other similar devices in the market include the Aspire Switch 10 from Acer and Lenovo Mix 2. Both are available with a seemingly better processor (Z3745) which however, is not faster.
Only the graphics core is a little bit faster. Unfortunately for me, two out of three of my Lenovo purchases have arrived defective. Even the functioning of the device left me with a bad impression because of the extremely stiff USB socket and flexing keyboard.
As for the Aspire Switch 10 on the other hand, I had seen in it at a local trade fair. There were several issues such as defect on the touchpad as well as numerous complaints across the board on Amazon.
The two potential competitors of the Asus Transformer Book have therefore been given a technical knockout on account of their defects. I was surprised at the excellent build quality of the Transformer Book.
The keyboard is solid and does not wobble when connected. The connection is tight and does not interfere with the functioning of the tablet.
With a display of 1366X768 pixels, this is a good resolution for the unit size. For a higher resolution like 1920X1200, the Lenovo can hardly operate well with normal Windows programs. Although Windows can scale according to the display, buttons, content and menus are not always scaled to size.
However, the display of the ASUS Transformer Book is not very bright and working outside in bright light can be a bit of a challenge. This is an issue because even a normal ceiling lamp already gives noticeable reflection.
The Transformer Book processor performance on the other hand is far more superior to that of its nearest competition. While the Lenovo under-clocks under continuous load on all four cores, the Asus is constantly working at 1.33GHz and is noticeably faster.
Another shortcoming of the ASUS Transformer Book is the power supply. When the device is switched off, charging through the Micro-USB will take about six hours. If one is using the device, charging is almost negligible. In addition to this, the power supply of the ASUS is the Micro-USB jack. A separate power supply connection for fast charging on the go while retaining the Micro-USB option would have been desirable.
A major advantage of the Transformer Books however, is the USB 3.0 port on the keyboard where the energy-hungry and fast mass storage devices can also be connected. Another positive aspect is the extremely long battery life – at 9 to 10 hours, it is a boon for anyone using it on the go.
In summary, I can say that the device is well made with solid internal performance as well as a robust keyboard. The overall performance is way above expectation at that price point with very few defects. Only the very dark display and lack of a quick charge option tarnish the otherwise good impression of the Asus Transformer book.
The ASUS Transformer Book T100TA is a reasonably priced device at $349.99 and is available from the Amazon store: