Very recently, we received our latest addition to my never-ending collection of toys-for-boys: the Asus Transformer T100-TA. You guessed it right. This will be one of those boys-and-their-toys posts. And still, it’s not really my toy. It’s Chrisje’s toy. Although in the future we’ll probably use it both. I’d like to think that.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. We bought it from our own money, for our own use, and are now expressing our own opinion, completely independent. Just so you know.
Chrisje has a laptop that doesn’t close anymore. Something with the screen being broken once and me fixing that myself, but not quite completely because a few months later the lid didn’t close anymore. Still, it still works (sluggish most of the time though), it’s just not portable anymore. So we started thinking about a replacement for it.
Whenever we started talking about it, Chrisje told me that for her next laptop, she wanted a hybrid one. You know, those things that double as a laptop and a tablet. I guess some of you might recognize the following conversation:
Me: So you want a laptop that can double as a tablet. What do you want to use it for?
She: Well, Excel and Word and mail and internet and Facebook and some flash games like Candy Crush.
So, nothing too fancy. But with the Excel and Word, I thought best to go for a Windows environment. We both have an Android smartphone, and besides the screen size also I haven’t seen an office app comparable to Office.
At the moment you have a number of choices in the hybrid kind of laptops. Windows 8 even has the upper hand in choices, compared to the Android alternatives, if you’re looking for a laptop replacement. And choice is a good thing, right? Right. You have Asus, HP, Acer, Lenovo and others.
The downside? Price. A device with touch costs more than one without. One that clicks apart costs more than one that doesn’t. So essentially you’ll get one device that can function as two, but also costs the same as two.
That’s what I thought until I started digging, looking for lists and reading reviews everywhere on the internet. It’s at that moment I learned about a little gem by Asus called the Transformer T100. All the lists I found put it somewhere at the top. All reviews I read came to the same conclusion.
If you want something detachable, portable and affordable, get this. Now.
And so we did.
It took some time to get it to us, as the thing seems to sell out before it gets in stock. Requiring an “azerty” keyboard didn’t do availability any good either. But we got one. And right on time for what we’re aspiring later this month (but more on that later).
When opening the box, the very first thing I noticed is its size. It’s small. Hence portability is no issue at all.
When firing the thing up, the second thing I noticed was about the screen. It’s crisp. At least that’s our opinion. At a resolution of 1,366×768 you get the same amount of pixels on your screen as used to be the case for a regular 15.6″ laptop, but since your screen is only 10.1″, you get a much sharper image.
You get a 10W USB power adapter, and charging the tablet goes through its micro-USB connection.
It takes a little force to get the tablet in or out the dock. It’s a nice fit. It also throws a USB3 port in the mix. It does take a little getting used to the keyboard, being smaller than usual. Not that that’s a deal breaker, give it half an hour and you’re typing like never before (except for that right shift key, the little bugger).
Yet there’s also a little problem with the dock. The touch pad. I find it to be a little laggy sometimes, a little hard to move your cursor. My biggest problem is the clicking though. A double tap most of the times goes unnoticed, and the buttons are too recessed and hard to push to be a joy to use. Most of the times I just tap the screen instead.
You get a full Windows 8 on the system, not the RT version, so any regular Windows program can run. You also get an Office 2013 license with it, which makes it an even better deal than it already was!
A thing you only notice after a while is its battery life. The thing just keeps on going. You can easily work a day on it without depleting its juice. In different test I’ve encountered battery life of 11h, and even though I haven’t tested it myself, I’m quite sure you’ll end up in that region, with regular use. Use it during the day, charge by night! How much more convenient can it get?
We’ve got the 32GB version, as the 64GB seems almost impossible to get a hold of here in Europe. That’s not a lot, so one of the first (and probably only) upgrade will be a micro-SD card to provide some more storage for music and video. I won’t be putting large software suites on it anyway, so it should be sufficient.
I haven’t tried any hardcore stuff like gaming or photo editing (yet), but so far I can conclude this thing is more than worth every penny I paid for it. Would I buy it again? Yes. In the blink of an eye. No need to think about it. I’d even go one step further: should it fail on us right now, I’d order a new one. Right now. Because if you’re not aiming for high-performance, there’s nothing on the market that beats this little baby in bang-for-buck.
If you’ve read through all the way to here, and now your body is screaming “Me wants!”, you can get it at Amazon. Or at Bol (where we got ours, they have both azerty and qwerty format). Or at your local computer store, provided they have one in stock.
If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to express them in the comments.