My colleagues at Notebookcheck have just finished the full review of the ASUS Transformer Book T100HA which is a 2-in-1 PC that I and many other people here have been interested in. It takes the successful Transformer Book and makes a big step forward with a new design, new port set-up and even offers a 4GB RAM option for $299. I have requested a T100HA for video review and I hope that it comes soon but let me highlight some points from the Notebookcheck full review that just went live.
BTW – If you’re wondering why I’m always talking about Notebookcheck, here’s the reason. It’s a win-win!
Let’s start with the price. $299 for a 4GB Atom X5 Z8500-baed 2-in-1 the 64 GB storage is eye-opening, especially when the performance scores are coming close to the relatively expensive Surface 3 and that option comes without a keyboard! So why is the ASUS Transformer T100HA so cheap?
The keyboard, screen and mouse are our starting point for usability and there are some things to consider here. You like 1280 x 800 resolution? It’s an issue. It’s extremely bright, has a reasonable color range and accuracy and great contrast but surely they could have put a Full HD option in. I’d pay $50 more for that.
The keyboard is similar to the earlier Transformer Book T100 models in design but there’s one thing to note… “a more notable sense of flex and bounce while typing, accompanied by a hollow rattling sound that is less noticeable but cheaper-sounding than that of the Surface Pro type cover.” The touchpad buttons aren’t high-end either.
There’s your trade-off although I would argue that there aren’t many options that beat the T100HA. The Toshiba Click Mini has a high-resolution screen but terrible hinge and a similar keyboard and touchpad experience. The HP Pavilion X2 10 is a similar story. Based on my experience, the new Acer Switch 10V might be the best choice in the keyboard-video-mouse department. (Video here.)
Next-up on my checklist would be battery life. Check! The battery life figures are good. I recently reviewed an Atom X5-based HP Pro tablet and although its performance was bad due to overheating, the efficiency I saw was good. I’m getting a feeling, as time goes on, that the move to X5 / X7 with Windows 10 is going to bring noticeable efficiency improvements.
For the performance figures I’m going to direct you over to the full review because it’s worth diving down into the CPU and GPU figures here. Not the good (not great) eMMC SSD figures and that fact that CPU and GPU performance is starting to overlap some of the lower-end figures I was seeing on the first round of Ultrabooks. The first Samsung Series 5, for example, wasn’t much more powerful than the Transformer Book T100HA. Memory, Bus, eMMC, connectivity and WiFi play an important role in performance and productivity and we mustn’t forget that advanced ARM processors like the Snapdragon 810 are playing in this arena too now but, just like they did with the original T100 two years ago, it looks like ASUS have an Amazon bestseller on their hands. I hope to get it in my hands soon too although recently I’ve been a little more interested in the Transformer Book TP200 as a grab-PC for home. The limits of Chrome OS (Skype) on the Lenovo N20P are starting to cause productivity issues and I’m a fan of single-unit convertibles.
My T100HA hands-on from IFA here. Notebookcheck full review of the ASUS T100HA here. I know some of you have already bought the T100HA so if you’re one of them, let us know how you’re getting on with it. Any surprises?