I picked up my Asus Transformer Book T100 last year through Smart Bro since I needed a backup mobile computer for my aging but reliable MacBook Air. It was the only Windows 8 Tablet that appealed to me a lot, mainly because it came with a detachable keyboard which I need for my work and blogging. Asus came up with an upgrade for the T100, and loaned me a review unit during the Christmas holidays. Is it a better model than the previous Transformer Book T100 I’ve purchased? Read on!
OS: Windows 8.1
Processor: 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Quad-Core Z3775
Display: 1366×768 pixels, 10.1 inches IPS HD Display
Wireless Connections: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0,
Memory: 64GB storage with expandable memory up to 64GB (Micro SD card), 2 GB RAM
Ports: Micro USB, Micro HDMI
Camera: 1.2 Megapixels at the front
SRP: Php 23,990
Prior to the updated Transformer Book T100, Asus released 2 versions of the older model. They first released the tablet with 64GB Internal Storage, then a 32GB model with a 500GB drive built-in to the keyboard dock.
This was a dilemma to me because I want a bigger internal storage on my Tablet, but thought of the 500GB storage to be more beneficial even if it makes the keyboard thicker and heavier. I eventually got the latter even if it made me a bit uncomfortable with a lower amount of storage in the tablet.
The upgraded Asus Transformer Book T100 comes with a 500GB drive built-in to the keyboard dock, which now looks identical to my variant of the T100. I have checked each corner of the Tablet and Keyboard and I couldn’t find any distinct changes. Place these two Transformer Book T100s beside each other and you’ll never know which is the newer version.
The good news is, the newer T100’s specs is better and comes in more attractive colors. I wished they loaned me the Red variant as it looked good with the Asus Zenfone 5 Lite Red which they also loaned to me for evaluation.
Generally, all Windows 8 tablets have good displays, and the Asus Transformer Book T100 is one of them. Screen is vibrant which is nice for watching videos and playing games. Don’t try to use this under the sunlight though unless you want to see your reflection. Its resolution is still set at 1366 x 768 but I think that’s just fine since the screen display is only 10.1 inches.
THE KEYBOARD DOCK
Since it came with a keyboard dock, I thought of reviewing it as well. Given the tablet’s small size, the keyboard is similar to the ones seen in netbooks years ago. I’ve used a full sized keyboard for years so I had to adjust to the small keys when I got my unit last year. Good thing I was able to adjust and found the keys to be responsive and despite of its small size I was able to type several blog articles. I’m glad that the trackpad is included too because keyboards that came with other Windows 8 tablets left it out to maintain their small sizes.
The hinge makes it possible for the T100 to be tilted in different angles as well as closing it like a laptop. This, and the Acer Switch 10 are the only tablets that make it possible for users to work while on the go. Other Windows 8 tablets with keyboards rely on flimsy origami styled stands which makes it hard to stand on the person’s lap. While other stands similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro can be sturdy, it won’t be able to adjust the viewing angle. The dock is very solid, so don’t worry whether it will become loose after 2 years. I’m sure it will last a lot longer than that.
The Keyboard Dock comes with a 500GB hard drive as mentioned earlier which makes it convenient to store large files. My caveat here is I have to “eject” the drive whenever I remove the tablet from the dock, unlike the first version where you can simply attach and detach without any worries. Well, you can do that to the current T100, at your own risk of course. There’s a USB 3.0 slot on the left where you can connect your external drives or USB peripherals. If you wish, you can make the T100 work like a desktop PC by connecting a USB Hub to the dock then connect all those USB mouse, keyboard, external drives then attach a HDMI cable to the tablet and connect the other end to the monitor.
The main upgrade is the processor found inside the Asus Transformer Book T100. The new Intel Atom Z3775 Quad-Core processor replaces the Atom Z3740 which my current T100 uses. In spite of this upgrade, I didn’t feel the extra oomph on the new processor. I was still able to do all the things I’ve done on my current T100 like working on Google Docs with 10 tabs open on the Chrome browser, messaging and calls on Skype, watching videos stored on the keyboard dock, and a couple of games like NBA2K14. I couldn’t believe I played NBA2K14 on this tablet, though I encountered a few hiccups during gameplay. The good thing here is I was not able to experience any hiccups at all for my other usage, and based on what I’ve read, the Intel Atom Z3775 can handle more multi-tasking activities have I pushed it more.
The 2GB of RAM is good enough for a device with this kind of power, and I’m thankful they didn’t offer a 32GB variant anymore for this upgraded model. If I only waited for this model, I would’ve gotten myself a 64GB storage instead of my current 32GB. There is also a MicroSD slot on the right side of the tablet where you can insert a 64GB card to double your storage on the tablet.
You can use Windows 8.1 in 2 ways with the Asus Transformer Book T100 – as a laptop and as a tablet. Either way, the Windows 8.1 experience on both types of usages are pretty good. Again, there’s little or no difference whether the OS is faster on the upgraded T100.
It came with extra software from Asus like Asus Storage but the deal clincher here is the bundled Microsoft Office 2013. Other Windows 8 Tablets in the Market offer only a trial of a Microsoft Office 360 for one year.
One thing I really love about Windows 8 Tablets is its battery life. Thanks to newer chipsets from Intel like the Atom Z3775, I am able to use the Transformer Book T100 up to 10 hours of straight use. What I did for 10 straight hours were web browsing, working on spreadsheets/documents and Skype chat/calls. If you need this for office work, then you’ll be happy to know that you can use the Transformer Book T100 for a full workday. However, playing multimedia files and games will definitely drain your battery faster.
Reviewing the Asus Transformer Book T100 made me bring out my current T100 and sent it to Asus for repairs (I accidentally dropped it a couple of months back which caused a small crack on the screen). It reminded me how portable and versatile this Windows 8 Tablet can function in different scenarios. Asus did well in coming up with such a fine Windows 8 Tablet, and I applaud them for including a very functional and solid keyboard dock, Microsoft Office 2013, and a price that is just right at Php 23,900.
What if you have the older version of the T100? I mentioned that there’s not much difference with the old and new processors of these T100s. The differences however are mostly about the keyboard dock, so here are my suggestions. If you have the 64GB version with a keyboard dock that doesn’t have a 500GB storage, upgrade to the latest so you can get that extra 500. Otherwise, stick to your current unit. If you are like me who has a 32GB internal storage and a keyboard dock with 500GB hard drive, you can let this upgrade pass. As I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s a MicroSD slot anyway to give you more storage in the tablet, but if you still think it’s necessary to get a 64GB version, go ahead, and make sure you choose red or white colors so others would know you got a spanking brand new Asus Transformer Book T100 Windows 8 Tablet.
- 500GB drive on the keyboard dock
- Long Battery Life
- Comes with Microsoft Office 2013 for FREE!
- Small Keyboard
* Thanks to Asus Philippines for loaning their Asus Transformer Book T100