ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF Review

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November 13, 2014
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How does having a laptop and tablet in one computer sound to you? Great, perhaps? In that case, getting a convertible computer where the screen detaches from the keyboard might be good idea. An example of such a 2-in-1 device is ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF, which transforms from laptop to a tablet, just like the name suggests. Below, we’ll discuss whether this computer has something valuable to offer to you.

The main things

Besides the obvious convertible feature, ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF has a touchscreen. That is an understandable choice for Windows 8.1, and also because the tablet mode requires a touch display. The screen size is rather compact 10.1 inches, with a resolution of 1366×768. As you see, it’s not Full HD, but that resolution suffices for a 10-inch screen.

Is this computer a powerful one? It’s advertised as having “Intel-level performance”. That’s a very vague term, which simply means the processor is Intel Atom Z3735F. It runs on four-cores and 1.33GHz clock speed, and has far less performance than regular Core i3s. That is, however, not a problem because such a hybrid model is intended primarily for lightweight use. Everyday computing with such Atom processor should be effortless – problems only arise if you try to play new games on it.

Also the RAM amount gives strong signals about the laptop’s suitability for different tasks. There’s 2GB system memory installed onboard and more can’t be added. You have to deal with 2 gigabytes, which is probably adequate for basic tasks, although that leaves pretty much every power user out of the equation.

For storage, the ASUS has a 32GB solid-state drive. As you see, there’s just a fraction of space compared to hard drives. That might be a problem if you want to store movies, games or your personal image collection to this laptop. However, also ASUS realizes this inconvenience, and offers free unlimited storage from their cloud for one year. That naturally solves only part of the problem, leaving you with the issue of small internal storage.

Gaming

Playing games on ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF works to a small extent. The Atom processor has an integrated graphics card that bears the name Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail). Modern games like BF 3 & 4, Thief, and Alien won’t probably run on this rig at all even on low settings. Titles like Minecraft, WoW, Starcraft and Fifa 14 probably would, if you are happy with minimum settings and resolution.

Connections

ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF has 2 USB ports. Both are USB 2.0 (other one being micro USB 2.0), so you won’t be enjoying faster transfer speeds of USB 3.0.

It makes sense to connect a small 10.1″ laptop to a larger monitor, like HDTV, now and then. That is also possible with this ASUS. It has a micro HDMI output which you can connect to a HDTV with a special cable.

Such a tiny notebook doesn’t have a DVD drive. Instead, there is a media card reader for data transfer, supporting microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC formats.

There’s no place for an Ethernet port in this laptop. For networking, it relies on the built-in 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.

A 1.2MP webcam is installed on top of the screen for HD video sessions.

Something else to consider?

Portability is one of the strong sides of ASUS Transformer Book T100TAF-B1-BF. It weights just 2.4 pounds which is far less than what regular laptops weigh. Carrying it around should be a breeze, with average battery life of 9 hours giving power for a full day and perhaps some more.

In addition to Windows 8.1, the system comes with free one year Office 365 subscription. This means you’ll have access to Word, Excel and PowerPoint full versions.

The detachable keyboard doesn’t have 10-key numeric pad. For those who don’t require frequent access to number keys, not having a numeric pad in the way is definitely a good thing.

Verdict

These convertibles tend to be OK for many things, but excellent only for some. Compared to laptops, they compromise on the performance, but usually win conventional notebooks in portability: If you don’t want to take it all with you, just detach the keyboard and only take the screen. That way, laptop has turned into a tablet. If that thing fascinates you, going for a 2-in-1 solution like this ASUS is justified. It won’t run latest games or heavy programs, but manages everyday computing very well.


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