Asus Transformer Book T100 review
- Good value
- Decent battery life
- Responsive touchscreen
- Poor quality touchpad
- Cramped keyboard
- Average display
Tablets are sometimes seen as gadgets for consumption more than creativity. So many games, movies and books to enjoy, why would you use it for writing a document, preparing a spreadsheet or creating a presentation when a proper computer does that so well?
Asus seeks to blur the lines between tablets and laptops by supplying a clip-on keyboard to make it the best of both worlds - that's the theory anyway. The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a 10.1-inch tablet with a keyboard that clips on - a physical connection means you don't have to depend on Bluetooth and the hinge means it folds flat as a proper laptop would.
Asus Transformer Book T100: Size and build
The 10.1-inch display means this is smaller than most laptops, even with the keyboard attached. Unclip it and the tablet with its widescreen display is satisfyingly self-contained. Separately or together, the T100 is manageably lightweight - 550g for the tablet alone, though around double that for the keyboard too.
That means the T100 in tablet format is noticeably lighter than the Apple iPad 2, though heavier than the iPad Air. The T100 measures 263 x 171 x 10.5mm, though it's around 2.5mm thicker with the keyboard attached.
The tablet is solid and well built, though the plastic casing inevitably draws unfavourable comparisons with premium-material machines like the iPad. The keyboard, with its soft-rubber back, feels good to the touch, though the keys themselves are less persuasive, feeling cramped and with a slightly clicky feel to them.
Worse, the trackpad feels decidedly low-rent and is the least successful part of the build. There's no backlight to the keys and no battery in the keyboard. This keeps the keyboard light, and means no recharging of the keyboard is necessary, but means battery life is limited to what's in the tablet.
In fact, the keyboard is a little too light: in laptop mode the T100 feels slightly top-heavy as though it could topple backwards.