Asus Transformer T100 is calling my name

Asus Transformer T100 is calling my name

Summary: This gadget whisperer has the tables turned as the Transformer T100 hybrid is close to drawing me into its lair.

Asus Transformer T100 (Image: Asus) Click to enlarge

I buy a lot of gadgets. Far too many of them. My desk is literally covered with all the gadgets I own, there's not a clear spot for another. So why on earth would I be considering purchasing the Asus Transformer T100 hybrid?

First of all, it is a hybrid. The T100 is a nice 10.1-inch tablet that weighs only 1.2lbs. It's a good form for a tablet and I'm pretty sure I'd like using it. It has a keyboard dock that turns it into a real laptop. Pop the tablet in and you're good to go.

See related: ASUS Transformer Prime: Perfect for business trips (review)What I want: ASUS Transformer Prime running Windows 8 | Necessary battery life for laptops: 8 hours | CNET review

I'm familiar with the Transformer style of hybrid, I really liked the original model running Android. It worked well for my writing work and as a tablet, too. The T100 should be even better as it runs Windows 8.1. I've come to like Windows 8.1 on tablets, and I suspect I'd like it a lot on the T100.

Then there's the hardware specs of the Transformer T100, especially that Bay Trail processor. It's reported to get 11 hours on a charge with that CPU, and that meets my criteria for the minimum required battery life.

Transformer T100 full frontal (Image: Asus)

Transformer T100 hardware specs:

  • Processor: 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Quad-core (Bay Trail)

  • Memory: 2GB

  • Display: 10.1-inch, 1366x768, IPS

  • Camera: 1.2MP

  • OS: Windows 8.1

  • Storage: 64GB SSD

  • Ports: 1-USB 3.0 (dock), audio combo, microHDMI, microSD card reader, microUSB

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0

  • Battery: 31Whr, 11 hours

  • Dimensions: Notebook: 10.4" x 6.7" x 0.93"; Tablet only: 10.4" x 6.7" x 0.41"

  • Weight: Notebook: 2.4lbs; Tablet only: 1.2lbs

As if these hardware specs weren't enough to entice me, even though it's full Windows 8.1 Asus has included Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. That's additional value to the overall package.

I like my ThinkPad Tablet 2 but its pre-Bay Trail processor is looking a bit old next to the Transformer. Plus, the ThinkPad's keyboard is a separate unit, unlike the laptop dock of the T100. It's a good keyboard but not as convenient as the dock model.

OK, I'm offering excuses to justify why I should buy this Transformer. To be fair, I've been using Windows 8.1 for a while and I've tested lots of tablets so I know it would serve me well. I wouldn't be taking a risk buying one so I might as well. If I can find one in stock somewhere.

I admit what set me off wanting a T100 was running into a young lady in the coffee shop this week who had one. I got a chance to see it up close and I liked it, plus she loved it. That got my gadget lust running in full gear, even though I certainly don't need one. But that never stopped me before.

If you own a Transformer T100, tell me how you like it in the comments. I'm particularly interested in your thoughts on performance, and if there's something you wish was better.

UPDATE: Uh oh, just found the 32GB model on Best Buy for just $299. They throw in a $25 gift card for the Microsoft Store, too. I like to think of myself as the gadget whisperer, but this hybrid from Asus has turned the tables and is calling my name.

Topics: Mobility, Laptops, Tablets, Windows 8

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • T100

    I picked one up this week at the Microsoft store and it's a pretty slick device. I plan to use it with Basecamp and Streets and Trips as my rally routing computer. I've never used windows 8 so there is a learning curve but I'm getting the the hang of it. For the money, with Office included, it's hard to resist. I wouldn't want it as my only tablet but you definitely don't have thatn problem. :)
    • It'd be OK

      If it didn't use that piece of crap Windows operating system.
      • I agree

        you are a baby.
      • You may not like it.

        But Windows 8 is the first full fledged OS to be put on a tablet. That has it's pros and cons. In my opinion it's a good balance between traditional PC and tablet. They're by far the most capable tablets, especially the hybrid models. It I wanted simple to use and somewhat limited, I'd go with the iPad, for everything else get a windows 8.x tablet.
        Sam Wagner
        • James you forgot to mention the...

          price difference between this device an other Windows 8.1 tablet/laptop devices. The price difference is very significant. The T100 is advertised at $349. That's even cheaper than the ASUS Android hybrid devices because the $349 price includes the keyboard dock.
      • Try Android

        If you do not like Windows, there is an ASUS Transformer running Android too. Of course, that machine does not include Office.
    • Does the keyboard dock have a battery too...

      like on the other ASUS Transformer hybrid devices?
      • Not for T100

        Unfortunately they didn't put a battery in the keyboard dock, just a USB 3.0 port. I assume putting a battery in there would have moved the price up quite a bit.

        What I would like is a docking station which could power the tablet and be used like other laptop for one-click monitor/keyboard/mouse all connected to the dock with extra USB and other stuff.
      • No, unfortunately.

        Just a battery or MicroSD slot (there is one on the tablet itself). The keyboard does have a USB3 port.
    • Basecamp

      pstmstr, have you been able to get Basecamp running on the T100? I've had my T100 about a week and love it. I've been able to install everything with no problem except Basecamp and POILoader. They both fail with a "GarminInstaller has stopped working" message. Garmin hasn't been of any help so far.
  • I have one too - great value, v. useful machine

    Long term Android user - phones and tablets but needed an MS machine for a core work system after my XP system croaked after 7+ years.

    Was looking at Lenovo Yogas but was unsure about Windows 8 and they're a lot more expensive so got this to try and then pass on if I move to a Yoga.

    You know what? Its a great machine despite Windows 8.1 which I've almost eradicated from interfering with what I want to/need to do.

    Baytrail is very speedy and although there was only the 32Gb SSD available, its fine with a SanDisk Ultra Android 64GB MicroSDXC card holding the data. I actually like the small-ish keyboard, I do a lot of writing, but don't like the touchpad so I have a Bluetooth mouse.

    The touch screen has value even in desktop mode, scrolling through web pages or focusing the cursor on a data entry field. And the all day power claim is true, easily 9-10 hours for my usage pattern. If it was 50% more expensive, I would probably still have bought it but at this price, its a steal, and I won't be going to the Lenovo or any other bigger screen model any time soon.
  • I'm torn...

    I'm torn between this device and the Dell Venue 11 Pro Bay Trail version. The Dell is better built, has a bit larger screen higher resolution (same as the Surface Pro) and the keyboard base includes a built in battery (for a claimed 17 hours of use). It's also $630.00 with keyboard vs. the $380.00 64Gb Dell at Walmart.

    But the Dell has a smaller screen that is much more easily held in one hand in tablet mode, is significantly cheaper, just a little bit slower.

    Both devices suffer from the fact that the built in 64Gb eMMC is all the fast internal storage you will. That may be a lot of storage for an iPad or an Android device, but these are full blown Windows machines we're talking about, and out of the box the OS and other ancilliaires are already gobbling up 26Gb or so. That's an argument for the T100, IMHO. After all, if there's a chance you'll be buying another device in a couple of years because 64Gb of internal storage just doesn't cut it, would you rather spend $630 or $380 today?
    • Danged lack of edit button!

      "Both devices suffer from the fact that the built in 64Gb eMMC is all the fast internal storage you will ever have..."
      • re: 64GB storage

        Maybe true - but it sports an easily accessible microSD card slot where you can add another 64GB it needed. I have a 32GB card in there now, and about 28GB free on the internal (and that after several apps and both the Home & Student AND Professional versions of MS Office being installed).

        Honestly, for most people, its not going to be an issue.
        • SD

          is fine for media- files, music, videos. the speed of internal storage is really only important for running apps. regardless I wish I had more though. eventually anything can be filled up with relative ease.
          • use mklink/j

            if you want to install apps on your SD Card, use that.
            Ram U
          • Does that work for

            the modern apps? It's easy to install desktop applications on the SD card. I made the mistake of getting a 32 GB tablet, even with just modern apps (especially a few games) it's not hard to fill up. If only they'd allow the installation of apps on SD cards...
            Sam Wagner
          • I never tried with modern apps,

            but thats a good question. I will check.
            Ram U
          • Here is how to install Windows Store Apps (Modern UI Apps)

            on SD Card.
            Ram U
    • memory

      Don't forget you can get a 64 gig microSD card for 128 gig of memory for about 50 bucks.