Asus Transformer Book T100 Review



Windows 8.1 is finally spreading to the masses, but as we approach ever so closer to that crucial busy holiday time frame, we’re bound to see manufacturers competing against with one another on a more aggressive manner. Taiwanese company Asus is a familiar staple in the Windows front, having been a major player last year when Microsoft rolled out its long awaited new desktop OS. Targeting budget conscious consumers, the Asus Transformer Book T100 is one tough Windows 8.1 tablet to overlook – more so when it’s attached with an oh-so attractive starting price point of $349 including a keyboard dock!

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Keyboard dock
  • User manual
  • Warranty card


Much like the other darlings in the affordable tablet category (we’re looking at you Google Nexus 7), the Asus Transformer Book T100 has a pretty decent looking design that doesn’t come off as cheap or tacky. From the front, it looks like your average slate, but flip it around, it has a pleasant looking glossy plastic finish that has a bit of luster due to its pattern design. Although the plastic helps to keep it lightweight, it’s slick and very prone to smudges, fingerprints, and scratches. Overall, it’s not the prettiest in the stable, nor the ugliest either – so we’re content in what we’re given with it.

Around the tablet’s trim, we find its volume control, dedicated start button, power key, 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port, microHDMI port, microSD slot, microphone, and dock connection port – the latter of which, allows us to connect it with the keyboard dock attachment.

Strangely, it appears as though there’s a capacitive start screen key beneath the keyboard, but in fact, it’s nothing more than a logo. Instead, the actual start button is located on the left side of the tablet – next to the volume control. And there’s no rear camera with this one either, mainly to keep its price low, but they happily armed it with a front-facing 1.2-megapixel snapper at least.


Absolutely a bargain, the tablet’s price also includes the keyboard dock attachment – turning this tablet into a convertible styled laptop. Unlike other docks we’ve seen from Asus, this one actually doesn’t have its own built-in battery to supplement the one in the tablet. Thankfully though, there’s a USB 3.0 port on its side, which adds to its arsenal.

Employing chicklet styled keys, it’s nice that the buttons are raised, distinct, and offer a decent amount of feedback when pressed. However, its cramped layout makes it tough speed typing – though, after some practice, we’re able to adjust properly. As for the trackpad, it’s a bit stiff to the touch, which sometimes requires us to use firm presses and swipes for it to register.


Okay, the display is nothing spectacular, but we’re forgiving about it – mainly because of the price point again. Donning a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 IPS LCD display, which delivers a pixel density count of 155 ppi, it’s not heavy with the details, naturally, but nevertheless, it’s a sufficient tally that provides an effective amount of visibility for most things. Other aspects of the display aren’t surprising either, like its washed out color production and weak viewing angles – again, the unfortunate compromises with an aggressively price tablet. Well, with those particular weaknesses, it doesn’t handle outdoor conditions all that well.

Interface and Functionality

When we hear about sub $500 Windows based tablets, we’re inclined to think they’re running Windows RT. In this particular case, however, we’re stoked that the Asus Transformer Book T100 is running the full blown Windows 8.1 experience. Therefore, it’s the same exact experience we see out of other notable tablets – like the higher priced Microsoft Surface Pro 2 - or what you will find on a laptop.

Just like Windows Phone 8, the beauty about Windows 8.1 is that the experience is consistent between different devices. It can be viewed either as a good or bad thing, depending on how you view it. Nevertheless, the updated experience is greeted with several enhancements that move the platform towards the correct direction. Beyond that, there’s nothing different with the experience here on the Transformer Book T100, since it’s all stock with this one.

Sorry productivity folks, Microsoft Office 2013 isn’t preloaded with this, which means that you’ll need to obtain it somehow – whether it’s buying it yourself or using some of the free alternatives out there. As for the core organizer apps, it’s packing along all the usual stuff to keep us organized throughout the day.
Needless to say, we recommend relying on the included keyboard dock for all of our typing needs. However, if you must rely on the on-screen options, you’ll be glad to know that it’s effective enough for the occasion – mainly due to its spacious layout and good response.

Processor and Memory

Generally speaking, Intel Atom based devices often get overlooked, especially in the face of better competition from Intel’s very own 4th generation Intel Core i chips. Well, the Transformer Book T100’s quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3740 processor with 2GB of RAM is an effective combo to run all of those tablet apps downloaded from the Windows Store. Despite its finesse and ease with those specific apps, it strains with other operations that are done through its Desktop Mode – like heavy video editing or playing PC games.

Shockingly, this $399 priced tablet boasts a spacious 64GB of internal storage – though, its actual tally out of the box is a little bit closer to 32GB. Then again, it’s nice to know that we can supplement that figure thanks to its microSD slot. And for those who are looking for lower price, the 32GB model can be nabbed for $349.

Internet and Connectivity

Even with a less than prized processor in tow, it manages to excel in the web browsing department, as it delivers all the fine qualities we love to see. Using Internet Explorer, complex web pages load in a speedy manner, page rendering is instantaneous for the most part, and it features snappy navigational controls. However, when we tax its processing power by having multiple tabs opened, in addition to running other apps, it tends to exhibit some lag and stutter.

From the looks of it, Asus has no plans on outfitting this tablet with any sort of cellular data connectivity – no surprises there people. Of course, it’s sporting the usual set of connectivity features though, which consists of aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. Usually it’s not something we see with budget tablets, but it’s nice to find a microHDMI port for quick video out functionality.


It might not have a rear camera, but it still sports a front-facing 1.2-megapixel one for video chatting and all of those selfies we’re sometimes inclined to shoot. As expected, there isn’t anything special with its still image quality, as it lacks any solid fine details. With the stock Windows 8.1 camera app, it’s a simple interface that focuses on making it easy to snap something.


Like the camera app, the XBOX Music app is the same familiar one we all know and love. Consistency rears its head once again here, as it sports the same interface found with all other Windows 8.1 devices. On one hand, we appreciate that its dual speakers are potent and loud with its volume, but it’s accompanied with a distinct shrill tone, which makes it sound irritating at times.

High definition videos pose no problem with this, since 1080p ones flawlessly play – though, the washed out nature of the display doesn’t entice us as much as other tablets. Still, it features support for all the popular video codecs out of the box.


Some people might think poorly about the tablet’s processor, but it doesn’t mess around when it comes to battery life. Thanks to the battery optimizations of its processor, its’ able to impress us with its near 10 hours of heavy usage. It’s not the single day tally of other ARM based tablets, but we can’t forget that this is a full blown Windows 8.1 tablet we’re dealing with. That tally is actually above average over other laptops and ultrabooks.


Hey, we still can’t wrap our heads around the fact that the Asus Transformer Book T100 is priced at $349 for the base 32GB model – with the 64GB at an equally pleasing $399. On top of that, the cost includes the keyboard dock attachment, which is something that normally requires an additional cost. Indeed, it’s not the most specs heavy, high performing, or features rich tablet on the scene, but there’s something so comforting about this one – more so knowing it’s running a desktop grade operating system. At its core, you get the best of both worlds with this particular tablet, mainly because it’s one part tablet, one part netbook. Best of all, you’re not going to be spending a fortune on picking it up!

Software version of reviewed unit: Windows 8.1

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  • Affordable cost
  • Include keyboard dock
  • Great battery life


  • Plastic casing is prone to scratches
  • Trackpad is stiff

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User Rating:

3 Reviews

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