The review scentists at Notebookcheck finished their ASUS T100 Chi review last month and I’ve just read through it and compared it, virtually, with the Surface 3 and the Dell Venue 10 Pro I reviewed last week. Other reviews are out too and in summary it looks very good indeed for the T100 Chi despite it not having an Atom X7 CPU. There are a few issues to think about though.
I have a feeling we’ll see an updated T90 Chi at Computex next week so if you’re looking for the ultimate in portable productivity you might want to wait but consider this: With a 1.1KG total weight and a great Full HD screen, a digitizer layer, USB 3.0, high-end Z3775 CPU and a lot of style – for just $399 – the T100 Chi is a leading option in the ultra-mobile PC space.
The use of this Shutterstock image might have just landed ASUS in trouble and it might cost them more than the €79.50 it cost to download the image from Shutterstock. While they’re not in trouble with Shutterstock as far as I can see, they appear to have changed an image such that it misrepresents an Apple product. That’s the last company you want to be doing that with!
ASUS have created waves with their Transformer Book T90 Chi. Most hands-on reports I’ve read so far are very positive and it appears to be rapidly gaining fans in comment sections across the web. It might be because it’s loosely associated with Intel Core M (only the T300 has core M, the T90 Chi uses that ‘classic’ Baytrail-T platform) or that it looks svelte. It might be because of the price or it might be because it looks like a very cute mini laptop.
Fresh from the ASUS press conference at CES 2015 is this hands-on video of the Transformer Book T90 Chi. This is the Atom-based (Z3775) 8.9-inch tablet and dock that weighs just 850 grams together and starts at $299.
it looks like a tidy combination and the pen (no stowage) is going to make this a really interesting all-round UMPC. We expect the pen to be an additional cost but even if this comes in at $350 it’s not a bad deal. A 64GB SSD might cost you another $50 so budget $400 if you want the full specs. Soeakign of which we’ve found out a few more. Here’s a full specification set.
ASUS have just launched three devices under the Chi brand. The 12.5-inch T300, 10.1-inch T100 and the 8.9-inch T90.
We’ve seen the T300 Chi before through an accidental hands-on. It will launch with a Full HD display, Core M CPU and 128GB SSD for $699 in February. The ASUS T100 Chi is an Atom-based 2-in-1 much the same as the T100 that already exists. A Full HD screen, a year of Office 365, 2GB RAM and 64GB storage will cost you $399. Finally the T90 Chi is an 8.9-inch tablet and bluetooth keyboard with 1280×768 screen, Intel Atom CPU and a year of Office 365 will start at $299. A 64GB SSD option is available on the T90 Chi.
ASUS Press release here. (We’re updating information below as we get it…)
The Transformer Book T90 is the one that will interest many readers here.
Pricing for the T300 looks good if you’re not interested in a WQHD screen as long as the SSD is a real one. It’s listed as an iSSD on the ASUS website which could mean ‘integrated’ (which would mean eMMC.) We’ll have to wait for details on that. Here are the official specs we have so far for the T300 Chi.
Processor Intel Core M 5Y71 processor @1.2Ghz / Intel® Core® M 5Y10 processor @0.8Ghz
Display 12.5″ LED backlit WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS panel / 12.5″ LED backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel
Touch panel: capacitive multi-touch
Main memory LPDDR3 1600MHz 4/8GB
Storage iSSD 64/128GB Storage
Bluetooth 4.0, HS
Camera Front: 2MP HD camera (720p video recording)
Dimensions Pad: 317.8 x 191.6x 7.6mm
Dock: 317.8 x 191.6 x 8.9mm
Pad+Dock: 317.8 x 191.6 x 16.5mm
Weight Pad: 720g
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An early sample of the 12.5-inch Asus Transformer Book T300Fa 2-in-1 has been reviewed by Ultrabookreview. The 812 gram fanless tablet (1.79 pounds) is not as light as the ASUS Chi but at around 600 Euro (based on one online pre-order price) it looks like a good value and yet powerful 2-in-1. A 1366×768 screen might put off those thinking about replacing a laptop for productive use but there’s a nice feature in the docking-keyboard drive-bay.
A few noteworthy take-aways from the review include the relatively slow eMMC disk speeds. They’re no faster than a $200 PC and should have been better. Having said that there’s a disk bay that can be used. It’s a USB-connected SATA interface and speeds, with the right SSD, should be better than the eMMC. Unfortunately that wasn’t tested in the review. The other slightly disappointing thing is the battery which, at 30Wh is small for a 1.6KG total weight. ASUS haven’t put a battery in the dock so you’re looking at around 5 hours of browsing on the tablet and less if you’re docked to the hard drive.
Core M performance is as we would expect with Ultrabook-level 3D performance and sub-Ultrabook CPU performance which is impressive on a fanless device. Weight still needs to come down though so for the best ultra-mobile PC experience on a 12.5-inch 2-in-1 you’ll have to wait for the ASUS Transformer Book Chi.
Seconds after I made this video at an IFA press event this ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi was taken away. it shouldn’t have been there but my video camera had already been rolling.
The ASUS Transformer Book Chi has a really lightweight screen but it’s quite wide. The keyboard is great and the hinge and dock seem high quality. The casing too. I’ll jut leave you to enjoy the video…
ASUS has just launched the EeeBook X205, a n 11.6-inch Windows laptop featuring ‘long’ battery life and a full-size keyboard for just €199. It weighs just 980 grams.
Running the Baytrail platform (Z3000-series as seen in the cheap tablets) it’s undercutting even ASUS’ own cheap Chromebook, the C200. In the model I got hands-on with there was only 1GB of RAM. ASUS specifications show 2GB RAM. I hope it’s the latter because 1GB RAM is not enough (as I found out in my review of the Toshiba Encore 2 WT8 at Notebookcheck
The keyboard isn’t the best quality but it’s big and was stress-free in my 5-line test. There’s no touch and of course it’s a sealed unit. Note that you’re likely to find soldered RAM and eMMC storage inside so don’t expect to be able to do any DIY upgrades.
This isn’t the first ASUS laptop that’s retailed for this price but it’s the first that isn’t constrained by a 10-inch screen. Multiple colour options could turn this into a big seller in the next quarter.
In my hands-on I saw an 18Wh battery which is really small for an 11.6-inch laptop and won’t give 12 hours battery life for the average user. It’s possible I was handling a non-final build though so let’s hope for a bigger battery in the final version.
I’ve previously done work with ChromeOS and Chromebooks but this is the first time I’ve done a top-to-bottom, deep-dive analysis of a Chromebook. The two weeks of testing and analysis has just been published at Notebookcheck.net and the overview video is below.
The ASUS C200 is probably the most productive PC per $ that I’ve ever tested. It offers over 10 hours of battery life in some scenarios and along with that it’s got a good keyboard, it’s light (1.2KG) and it’s completely silent. But it’s a Chromebook and it has its limitations. It’s also running on a low power Intel Baytrail-M platform so that has limits too.
Luckily the C200 is running a high-end Baytrail-M platform so performance isn’t a major issue for web browsing but when it gets to HTML5 applications there are some issues. Documents in Google Drive took a long time to load as did my large Google Play Music collection and even good old Tweetdeck. These long loading times aren’t due to poor WiFi performance as the AC-capable module was strong throughout the test.
Good speakers mean you’ve got the potential for a good video experience and this 32GB model had enough space to load up a number of films. With 10 hours of offline video viewing available with one charge you’ll have no problem on a long-haul flight although it must be said that this non-IPS 1366×768 screen has limited viewing angles.
ASUS have done a good job with the C200. It’s not a direct competitor to the Acer C720 which you would probably choose if you were more into web-based working. If you’re more into a casual web experience, the C200 is the Chromebook to buy.
It’s well-built and incredible value. $229 right now on Amazon. Looking forward to 2015 and a time when Android Runtime and local apps are starting to be ported over it could solve some of the issues I listed in the full review. Here’s a summary of those Chromebook issues:
Chromebook issues: Skype, local storage, printing, Microsoft Office and other Windows (or OSX) productivity suites, offline applications, USB device support, network attached storage using SMB, NFS and DLNA,video format support, AC3 and DTS audio incompatibility, music player synchronization, Amazon Prime Video outside the USA.
Enjoy the video and the full review and if you have any questions, let me know.
I was a little surprised that ASUS didn’t mention the Transformer Book T200TA in the press event at Computex yesterday but at least it showed-up on the Asus booth today. This 399 Euro 2-in-1 should raise some eyebrows.
Mobilegeeks got hands-on and here’s a round-up of the specifications for you. Video below.
How do you solve the problem of Google not allowing Dual-OS on a laptop? You do what Asus has just done with the Asus Transformer Book V (five) 5-in-1 laptop/smartphone which was demonstrated at the Asus press conference in Taiwan today.
Looking a bit like the Asus Padfone products which allow you to dock a phone into a screen and keyboard module the Transformer Book V5 does a similar thing but allows you to dock an Android phone into the back of a WIndows Notebook thus allowing the user to either view the phone as a small window or to go full-screen for a full Android laptop experience.
The feature only works between the two specially developed devices and it looks like there’s not much in terms of sharing. For example it’s not clear if you can use the LTE on the phone from the Windows OS. Does the laptop charge the phone? Can you drag and drop files between the two devices or even share storage?
Video demo below.
The laptop comprises a ‘HD IPS’ 12.5-inch touchscreen and runs Windows on an unspecified ‘next generation’ Core processor. There’s a very simple set of ports available.
Up to 1TB drive
The phone has a 5-inch screen and runs Android 4.4 on an Intel Atom quad-core CPU, has ‘up to’ 128GB of storage (possibly with MicroSD?) and a 2500mah battery.
Watch out for a bit of smoke and a few mirrors here because while the demo looks great the integration between the two devices might not be as deep as you think. This simple integration could be exactly what some people are looking for, at the right price. Engadget have some more info on the specs and they look relatively high-end.
Update: MicroHDMI on tablet.
Transformer Book V
Transformer Book V is the world’s first five-mode, three-in-one converged laptop that features a Windows and Android laptop and tablet as well as an Android smartphone, making it an incredibly flexible device able to excel in any usage scenario. Its revolutionary and elegant design comprises a laptop with a detachable 12.5-inch screen that becomes a separate tablet and a 5-inch smartphone that docks into the tablet.
As a laptop, Transformer Book V includes a full QWERTY keyboard and touchpad, and runs both Windows 8.1 and Android 4.4 KitKat. A dedicated hardware button provides instant and seamless switching between the two operating systems. The laptop features a next-generation Intel® Core™ processor providing high performance for an efficient and productive user experience. The 12.5-inch HD IPS display has sharp graphics and rich, vibrant color, and touch support adds additional convenience and functionality when using Windows 8.1. Transformer Book V comes with ample storage of up to 1TB for apps, documents, media and more.
As a tablet, Transformer Book V also works as a standalone Windows 8.1 tablet and an Android 4.4 KitKat tablet when the phone is docked. Switching between the two systems only takes a tap on the screen. Access to the Google Play Store and Windows Store provides a massive amount of apps and games to choose from, making Transformer Book V a highly-mobile entertainment and productivity powerhouse. Its built-in storage of up to 128GB offers plenty of room to store those apps along with movies, photos, music and more.
As a phone, Transformer Book V runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and is the world’s first 5-inch LTE smartphone powered by an Intel® AtomTM quad-core processor, giving it unparalleled performance when running apps, playing games or browsing the internet. Its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) support delivers a superior internet experience with network speeds that are up to four times faster than 3G. Transformer Book V comes with a 2500mah battery that provides up to 10 hours of web browsing time.
Transformer Book V combines the power of a laptop with the mobility of both a tablet and smartphone, and provides the flexibility to run a wide range of apps. Together with the easy ability to switch between modes and share data between devices, Transformer Book V delivers an unparalleled user experience.
Three hours after this article is posted ASUS will hold a press conference at Computex Taiwan. You’ll see a number of products launched and one of them is probably going to be this new ASUS Transformer Book T200TA – an 11.6-inch tablet weighing 750 grams running quad-core Baytrail that’s been leaked.
Mobilegeeks have published the news that came via research at online retailers. As usual one of them had jumped the gun to get the lead on SEO which is a shame because the ASUS press event was shaping up to be pretty exciting ‘blend.’
The 11.6-inch ASUS Transfomer Book T200A tablet runs on an Intel Z3775 (Baytrail-T 1.46-2.39Ghz.) 2GB of RAM won’t impress those looking for a productivity-focused 11.6-inch 2-in-1 and the 1366×768 display resolution will look poor even to many consumers.
There’s a hard disk in the keyboard base (optional, probably connected via USB3.0) and a total weight of about 1.65 KG so this isn’t a lightweight 11.6-inch 2-in-1. Charging is via a separate DC-in port and there’s an HDMI and USB 3.0 port. 32 or 64GB SSD (eMMC) options that indicate that this is going to be a consumer focused 2-in-1.
The price is the deciding factor here. A German site talks of a 399 Euro (inc. taxes) price so if that’s true and if there’s a comfortable keyboard, good battery life and a year of Office 365 we could be looking at another big Widows 8.1 2-in-1 seller.
Further specifications revealed include a 38Wh battery, microSD and microUSB 2.0 port.
We’ll get full details at 6am GMT. (0800 Berlin. 1400hrs Taiwan)