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25-07-2014


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ASUS Transformer Book T100TA laptop-transformer: review and testing

Taiwanese company ASUS is literally a legislator and a pioneer in class of devices, such as transformers which were first introduced in 2011. Their main feature is the combination of tablet and detachable keyboard dock-station with touchpad, extra battery and a number of other features, depending on the specific model. Such devices have the advantages of desktop and mobile computers, while maintaining the relative compactness, good ergonomics and long battery life.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

In our test lab we have ASUS Transformer Book T100TA - the youngest representative of the line of transformers. It is positioned not only as a center for multimedia entertainment, but as an affordable and versatile Windows-based device to perform most everyday scenarios at home and at work. The manufacturer classifies the solution as an ultraportablelaptop with a 10.1-inch tablet, it is a two-on-one. We suggest to start with a review of the technical characteristics of new item:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Transformer Book T100TA

Type, form factor

Laptop, transformer

CPU

Intel Atom Z3740: 4 х 1,33 - 1,86 GHz, L2 caceh – 2 х 1024 kB

GPU

Intel HD Graphics

Display

IPS 10,1", 1366 х 768 p (155 ppi), multi-touch (up to 5 touches), protective glass

RAM

2 GB LPDDR3

Memory

32 GB

Card-reader

microSD

Interfaces

1 x micro-HDMI

1 x micro-USB

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 mm

1 х dock-station socket

1 х USB 3.0

Multimedia

Speaker

Stereo

Sound processing

SRS Audio

Microphone

One

Front camera

1,2 Мp, video recording in format 720p

Communication

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n

Bluetooth

4.0

GSM/3G

-

GPS/GLONASS

-/-

NFC

-

IrLED

-

DLNA

-

Sensors

Accelerometer, gyroscope, lightning sensor, LED indicator

Battery

31 W·h

Charging device

ASUS W12-010N3B with capacity of 10 W (5 V at 2 А)

Other

Full version of Office Home & Student 2013

Dimensions

264 x 170 x 23 mm

Weight

Tablet: 550 g

Dock-station: 520 g

Color

Dark gray

OS

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Warranty

12 months

Producer website

ASUS

Packaging and content

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The novelty is shipped in compact cardboard box. The front panel has the image of the tablet and the dock station clearly demonstrating the process of the device transformation. In general, the design is typical for products of ASUS: restrained colors and a minimum of information, only a few logos and a sticker with the technical data.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

Scope of delivery of model ASUS Transformer Book T100TA includes:

  • compact power adapter ASUS W12-010N3B with capacity of 10 W (5 V at 2 A);
  • cable USB ↔ micro-USB for connection the charging;
  • a booklet with a license key for the OS;
  • a set of documentation.

Look and elements layout

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA is made in the familiar trademark style characterized by fairly plain and pleasant look. Most of the front panel takes the display covered with protective glass. Frame around it are made of glossy black plastic, with advantages and disadvantages. They have a considerable width along (20 mm) and a little less across.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

At the top of the front panel are 1.2 Mp webcam and a light sensor, and closer to the edge - the company logo.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

At the top end closer to the left is the power button which also acts as block function. Next to it is a miniature LED light. It is white when the battery is charged and orange during charging). Closer to the right edge of the upper face there is a microphone.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The bottom end has a universal connector with two fixing holes to connect the keyboard dock.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

On the left side there are rocker volume control and hardware key of Windows. By the way, when press the key Windows and the power button you can activate Task Manager, which is quite convenient. It should be noted that the keys are quite stiff and have faded travel, but it is a kind of protection against accidental pressing during operation. Most connectors are concentrated on the right side: slot for memory cards microSD, micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports and a combined audio jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm).

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

Rear panel of ASUS Transformer Book T100TA is made of glossy plastic, which has a dark gray color with a "spark" (very small inclusions).

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

In addition, the there is a company pattern of concentric circles that radiate across the surface of the silver ASUS logo in the center. On the edges are the stereo speakers, covered with fine perforation. At the bottom is official information in the form of transparent stickers.

It should be noted the absence of any ventilation openings, which indicates about very low heat generation which is enough for the passive cooling system. Thus replacement of any components common to Windows-based device in this case is impossible.

In general ASUS Transformer Book T100TA has good build quality: without any gaps and backlash. Rigidity of the chassis is good: it is very solid; does not bend and does not change its geometry n case of moderate torsion; screen does not collect stains.

In general, despite the absence of bonus materials on the case, the tablet looks pretty nice. A special attention is given to the back panel, which changes its color depending on the light conditions. Despite the considerable size and weight (550 g), the novelty is quite comfortable to hold with one hand, even for a long time.

Dock station

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The main feature of the ASUS Transformer Book T100TA is supplied keyboard dock that turns the tablet into a full-fledged compact laptop. It is also made of plastic, but it is more practical for the user. Working surface is similar to brushed metal with longitudinal texture.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The bottom part is made of a nice f (very similar to the soft-touch) dark gray plastic. Due to this the dock station actively counteracts the appearance of fingerprints. Also on the basis are four rubber legs that add stability on slippery surfaces.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The rear part has the mount for the tablet with a proprietary connector and quite large guides. Hinge is made of metal and has a decorative coating of dark gray plastic. The inner part of it is framed with a soft fabric looks like a microfiber that prevents scratches on the tablet and screen.

To install the tablet into the dock the user should combine the necessary holes with spring guides and pull it down until it clicks. For detachment is enough to press the expulsion key. The mount is quite reliable and tough. Even with moderate shaking, holding for the screen, the guides do not go out of their seats.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

To open the screen you should use both hands, since the hinge is quite tight. By the way, the opening angle is relatively small 110-120°, which should be sufficient taking into account the use of IPS-display. Along the perimeter of the working surface there are inserts that protect the tablet and the screen in the closed position.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

It should be noted that during opening the back part of the base is lifted into place of rubber legs is replaced by smoother plastic placed on the hinge. Thereby decreases the resistance on smooth surfaces, but increases the convenience of typing.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

Note that the laptop is well fulfills standard actions during opening and closing the lid, turning off lights and turning it into sleep mode thus saving the energy.

At this time, the manufacturer is not equipped dock with additional battery or hard drive that is justified taking into account the positioning of the device. In fact, we have a keyboard unit with touchpad and only one full-size USB 3.0 port on the left side. Ideally we would like to see a few more USB ports. This would significantly improve comfort when working with ASUS Transformer Book T100TA especially when using the optional peripherals.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The keypad has a complete set of the keys and uses the full available width. Despite this, the keys have undergone a significant decrease. If you have already worked with keyboards of compact laptops, you won’t have problems. Otherwise it will take some time to get used to. The keyboard has island type. Keys are based on the scissor-membrane mechanism (Scissors System) and have the following dimensions: the letters - 14 x 11 mm; arrow block - 10 x 11 mm; functional series - 11 x 7 mm. They are easily pressed and have a short travel. Symbols are applied by printing method and they are highlighted in white. The tested model has no Cyrillic.

The basis of the keyboard unit is pretty well fixed. Only under strong pressure we could observe an insignificant punching. To a great extent it is due to the fact that the back side is little bit elevated.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA

The touchpad has a compact size (76 x 72 mm) and is equipped with only one physical button. It is somewhat buried in the area and has a clearly defined boundaries, and the touch panel has a pleasant smooth surface. Most of it, at the program level takes gesture control of Windows 8, but all the gestures can be turned off in the driver settings. Using the key combination Fn+F9 you can disable the touchpad.


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