MSI unveils S100 hybrid Windows 8.1 tablet using Intel Bay Trail CPU

MSI unveils S100 hybrid Windows 8.1 tablet using Intel Bay Trail CPU

Summary: The 10.1-inch device includes a separate keyboard to convert it into a laptop or tiny all-in-one desktop as well as coming with a protective sleeve.

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You can buy a keyboard for your iPad, or grab a Microsoft Surface with a Type Cover, but the cheapest tablet-plus-laptop combo may just be one of the many hybrid, or convertible, devices that started flooding the market with the arrival of Windows 8 (even if their long-term success in the market has been questioned). The latest member of that family comes from MSI, known for components and specialty laptops more than for tablets. 

With its new S100, the company provides a 10.1-inch slate with a keyboard to create a package that works as a standalone tablet, laptop, or even a small all-in-one PC if you use it on a desk. That 3-in-1 nature (though the "3" is a bit of stretch) makes it a competitor to Acer's Aspire Switch, which has mostly similar specs and which ZDNet's James Kendrick reviewed favorably a couple of months ago.

Like the Switch, the S100 comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage for running Windows 8.1. The two diverge slightly in screen resolution (1,366x768 for the Switch versus the S100's 1,280x800) and in choice of Intel Atom "Bay Trail" quad-core processor, with the Switch making use of the Z3745 and the S100 including the slightly older Z3740. Unlike the Switch, the S100 ships with a protective sleeve as part of the standard package.

Given its slightly weaker specs, the S100 may cost a little less than the Acer hybrid, though the inclusion of the sleeve might complicate that assumption. We have to speculate on the price because MSI has neither disclosed that information nor a release date. Most Switch configurations hover between $400-$500, so that seems like a fair price range to assume the MSI will fall into.

Topics: Mobility, Laptops, Tablets, Windows

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5 comments
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  • Looks interesting

    Looks interesting. I wonder if that keyboard is magnetically attached to the case. I've got a keyboard case for my Galaxy Tab that looks pretty similar, though in that case it's a bluetooth keyboard. Allows for a nice range of adjustments.

    All in all, though, I really wish Microsoft would release a Bay Trail powered surface in the $500 range. Would quickly become the best budget Win 8 tablet available.
    dsf3g
    • Not where MS wants to be

      Microsoft wants to position themselves at the premium segment of the market where profit margins are higher and compete head to head with the Macbook Air.

      This also allows them to claim they aren't competing against their own OEM partners for the budget tablet market.
      MajorlyCool
  • I seriously thought it was saying the thing was $100

    until it just now it finally hit me its called the S100.
    drwong
  • $500 price range not as good as it sounds.

    Its pretty steep for a Atom cpu build. You can get the Acer w700 for $500 which brings a core i3. It also bundles a much better package (cradle dock, BT builtin keyboard case, hdmi micro to vga adapter, plus its a premium built tablet aluminum frame). core i3 performs much better than atoms. I've noticed a trend for these atom builds being around the 500 dollar range. I think a atom build shouldn't pass 400. I know atoms allow for a slimmer tablet due to the core needing a fan, but the extra millimeter or two is worth it for a performance 2 in 1.
    KillBot Project
  • You can get a Meegopad F10 2G/64G with magnetically stylish keyboard $300

    Meegopad F10, 2G 64G U$300 around with keyboard,with GPS,with broadcom dual band 5G wifi.
    Most competition 10.1inch windows tablet.
    Nice quality.
    You can buy from many place like Aliexpress,Alibaba,some other website.
    Elaine-April