01.The transformer: an affordable hybrid?
Asus Transformer Book T100
Hybrid computers don’t usually come cheap but the Transformer Book T100 edges towards affordability by cutting out the fat.
Rather than push for style and power, the T100 is designed to get the job done with mid-range specs that should suit the needs of most people.
A 10-inch Windows hybrid used to cost an arm and a leg if you wanted to run the full operating system with a keyboard dock. The T100 runs the full Windows 8.1 (32-bit) operating system, which gives you the freedom to install the latest range of programs. Windows 8 feels right at home on a hybrid due to its built-in support for touch navigation.
This is one of the first tablets to run the 1.33GHz Intel quad-core Bay Trail Atom processor, a low-powered processor designed for low power consumption. It also includes 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage (expandable up to a maximum of 128GB with micro SD) and a full version of Microsoft Office Home and Student.
The detachable keyboard is very compact, with smaller keys that require some getting used to, but it has a solid feel. Asus has improved the lock mechanism so the tablet stays firmly in place for easier attaching and removal.
Noticeably absent for a tablet is the lack of 3/4G, mobile support. It has only one USB 3.0 port and the 1366 x 768 screen resolution is low by tablet standards. Although the build quality is far from poor the plastic casing shows its economy pedigree and it’s a magnet for fingerprints.
Nevertheless, the T100 walks the line between a tablet and laptop quite well.
Power users may find it limiting but for the average user there are few alternatives that offer similar bang for your buck.