ASUS Transformer Book T100 (T100-TA-C1-GR) Tablet Review – Hardware & Gaming
Take a look at this little guy here. What’S nice about these Windows tablets is that the processors are getting better and better, and these things are running real Windows. It’S, not running. You know this, the RT version or some scaled down tablet thing. It is running actual Windows. If you have Windows software that will run on a desktop or a larger notebook PC, it will also run on here, maybe not as well, but for a lot of applications. You may not need more than that, so this is it. It looks like a laptop when you first take a look at it, but it’s got this little latch here and you can slow somehow coax it out of there’s a little hard to get out. So you want to probably grab it with two hands and not do a demo when you do it, but this is the tablet component. This is where most of the the hardware is located, and then this is a keyboard. Dock and we’ll cover this hardware. In a little bit, let’s take a look, though, on the front here: it’s got a beautiful screen. I mean it really impressed with the the color quality and just the overall resolution of the screen. It is not a Retina screen like you’d have on the iPad or one of those really high resolution screens we’re, seeing on some other tablets, but it is really nice and I’ve been very happy with how it looks this.
Is it running the desktop right now on Windows? 8.1 on the side here, you’ve got the home button. So when you push that button, you get brought back to the Start menu, which is a point of consternation for some but that’s how you get to it. On a lot of other Windows tablets, the button is here in the center. However, when you’re in the dock it’s hard to get at that, so I think they put it on the side here, it’s a little hard to see just because of the contrast, but there’s also a volume rocker up and down here. The sleep button is on the top, so you push that when you want to put the tablet to sleep there’s a little microphone over here on this side, you’ve got a card slot, so you can use those little micro, SD cards. You can pop one of those in there to expand your storage. This particular model has 64 gigabytes of storage and 2 gigabytes of memory, so it’s about on par with what I’ve seen for other windows, 8.1 tablets out there down here. You’Ve got 2 3 ports HDMI right here, so you can plug that into your television and it can pump out 1080. I was able to do that earlier and it works really. Well. You have a USB port here for charging and a headphone jack, and I should say that when you charge it, it does take a while there’s a pretty big battery.
In here I found the battery life to be really good. I haven’t charged it at all today. It’S we’re, probably looking at about 930 p.m. now I’m, using it off and on all day lightly, not really all that heavily, but I still have about five sixty five percent or so left in the tank and actually seventy three percent and I’ve been playing with it. Actually plugging it into my TV and whatnot it’s, pretty impressive, that it’s been able to stay alive as long as it has so so that’s the hardware it’s got a camera on board here as well. So if you want to do a web, you know web call with somebody Skype call or whatever you can do, that the camera is right there. The only thing I noticed is that the little light that lights up when you’re on a call isn’t that bright, so you know I know there’s – been some issues with people concerned that you know they’d, be somebody broke into their computer and started activating the webcam. You really got to look to see if that light is on. So it was. You know it would be nice if it was a little bit brighter, but that’s a minor, a minor gripe um. So this is the the dock section, and this is the keyboard thing and you get a couple: more ports are actually one more port on here you get a USB 3.0 port, so you have a high speed USB on there and you can plug in a hub And get a little bit more connectivity out of that which is nice but that’s it for ports.
So most of the ports are on here, but you do get that full blown USB port. When the tablets connected it makes a nice sound to when it connects. You can hear it clicks right in there. It stays some in there really well. So it really feels it feels nice. I mean doesn’t feel as good as perhaps a laptop that is built to have this hinge on it, but it’s really close. It hinges it latches. On really securely on the you know, because most of the hardware guts are in the screen, it is a little back heavy. You know normally on a notebook computer. Your hardware is in here and the screen is just the screen. This is the opposite, so it’s a little back heavy but it’s, not bad. It stays pretty firm on the desk. I actually like the way it feels on the desk better when it’s locked down, because the all four feet grab when the thing is open. The hinge here kind of props up the keyboard a little bit, which does make it a little bit more comfortable to type on, but it does slide around a little bit more than it would otherwise I’m, not crazy about the keyboard. The keyboard is that has the chiclet style keys that we saw on netbooks back in the day, so a little disappointed with that. It would have liked to have seen larger keys. Maybe move the keyboard up a little bit or something so that we could get a normal sized keyboard, so that’s some that’s a disappointments a little hard to type.
I always get angry and aggravated when there’s a small shift on this side it’s, because I’m typically hitting the shift key with my with my right hand and a lot of times. I hit the arrow here because I’m used to having larger shift keys so I’m a little a little bit upset about that. The trackpad is decent, it’s, not perfect, but it works. Well. I disabled a lot of the gestures that it has on it on by default. You know like the: if you just tap it without pushing it down, it would actually do a mouse click, so I disabled that and got going there so I’m. Pretty good, though I mean I’ve found, it’s it’s, passable, it’s usable but I’m, not very comfortably typing on it. So I was not too happy about the keyboard and that’s one of the problems with this. Is they really don’t have a choice? You could, of course, get a Bluetooth keyboard, but it would be nice to have maybe a couple different keyboard layouts to choose from but I’m getting picky here, so so that is that part now what I’ve really been impressed with is the performance on this thing now This is not running, you know an i7 processor or something higher end, but you can run portal on it, um, which is a great game from valve. I did try to run some other games on it as well. We for this thing to load up real quick.
I ran a Kerbal space program and a couple other things and and Kerbal actually ran. Kerbal is a great great space game and I’ve really been enjoying playing it’s, pretty Hardware intensive it’s, a lot of physics, and a lot of you know really large scale, graphics that it has to contend with, and I turned down a lot of the settings and it Actually ran yeah not well, it ran at a pretty crappy framerate, but it did run. So I think we can say that you can do a little bit of gaming on this thing and we can just start a new game, real quick here and we’ll just pop into this chamber here, and you can just see what the gaming performance is. This is an older game, so it’s, you know maybe not indicative of newer stuff that might be out there, but you can get a sense, though it’s the frame rates pretty decent. I mean it’s been getting a little bit of clipping here so yeah. I could probably squeak the settings a little bit more, but you know I’m really actually impressed that you can. You know game with a real PC game on this thing, it’s really pretty slick, so not bad for that. So that’s, a pretty neat little feature there’s. Also, the Windows 8 games available for it too. So if we pop back into our menu here and we go down, you know I’m not going to talk a lot about Windows 8, either like it or you don’t like it.
I am kind of in the middle, but it’s it’s frustrating, so I can never find what I’m looking for and it’s such a pain to get stuff into the top menu, and we could do a whole show on that. But I did download somewhere one of the tablet games for this thing. Let me see if I can find it real, quick here. I’M. Sorry, ok, I don’t hunt around for this game, but I found it so let’s take a look at it real quick here. It is asphalt 8. This is a tablet game, so you know me not oh it’s loud. We turn down the volume here, real quick, but you can see it runs pretty good. I mean it’s, not it’s, not bad at all, and I granted this is written for tablets. So let’s you can get into a game here. I did the demo of it so just to see how it works here. So we’ll just do a quick race, real, quick and see how the graphics look on it. So we’ll do a career here and we’ll. Do this one and we’ll go to next and start the race, so you know it works quite well in granted. This is running an Intel Atom processor. So it’s, not you know, it’s a little bit more powerful than you’d have on some other things. This is also a quad core processor, so it has a little bit more horsepower than you might see in some other things too.
So you know we’re going to do real, quick I’m going to plug this in to let me play it here. First, you can see how it runs so I’m using the keyboard now, so it works with this game. Particular works with keyboard controls, but runs pretty smoothly. I’M, you know it’s impressive, you know again, it’s not surprising it. This is a game that’s running on tablets, usually with much slower processors, so it’s able to do that but I’m going to try real quick. This is going to be a real experiment here: I’m, going to plot plug this into my HDMI and run it through our video switcher here and see how it how it works when we’re going out to 1080. So here we are I’m going to try to drive it here and you see the framerate now I just crashed my car so but the frame rates pretty good, and this is pumping out at 1080 1080i in this case, but you know I would imagine, would probably Work, ok in 1080p as well. Now the one thing to keep in mind with this and many other windows tablets of this class is that they have these 16 by 9 displays which are very wide displays. So it looks nice when you’re in the landscape mode, but one of the things that I found is that when you do pop it out and go into the portrait mode is that it gets a little bit hard to look at it.
Because you know it becomes very, very long and you don’t have a lot of width here and you know they try to compensate for it. You know it’ll shrink the page down, so you have to kind of scroll around a little bit, but I’ve often found it. Just feels just feels a little odd to me just to have this much height, but not that much width and you have to do a lot more of this kind of scrolling around on the iPad and other screens with four by three displays. You are useful in almost both orientations that you can. You know, kind of rotate it this way and have a useful screen and also look at it and put in portrait mode pretty usefully also. So you know as a matter of taste, I suppose I mean I’ve. Just often found it hard to use this these tablets in this orientation and I’m finding I get less less text on the screen when I’m in the landscape orientation, so that’s one thing to keep in mind, so you might be wondering you know. Is this a good replacement for a computer or even a tablet, and I get a lot of calls from people who are thinking about dumping, their computer completely and going to an iPad with a keyboard and for some people that might work just fine. However, I found that keyboards on iPads just don’t go that well together. You know they didn’t design the iPad to work with a keyboard or Mouse.
So things like productivity applications, word, processing and, and the like, you know, really do better on a computer. You know whether it’s a Chromebook or a netbook, or a small Ultrabook, or something or one of these you know this thing was designed to be a Windows computer with a mouse and a keyboard that is somewhat integrated with the operating system and what’s. Nice is that when you want a tablet, you can just pop it off and get to tablet functionality. Doesn’T have all the apps that the iPad has. I think the iPad does tablet better than Windows does tablet, but this thing does computer better than Windows and for a kid in school. I think this is a great option. I mean if you were looking at this and a an iPad and a Chromebook. This might be the best option because it can be used offline without a lot of complications has a decent keyboard. It comes with the Asus version of this is one we’re. Reviewing today comes with Microsoft Office. It comes with the home and student edition, so you get Word Excel and PowerPoint and OneNote so really for under 400 you get a really complete full blown PC that doubles as a tablet and it’s really inexpensive and powerful and good battery life, and all that. So I think this is a great tablet, I think it’s a great value, and I think if your needs match up what you saw here, then this is a good choice.
It might be a really good thing to especially to get for a child in school. So I recommend it if it meets your criteria. I’M still, you know really have a preference for the iPad on the tablet side, but as a computer, this is a really nice, inexpensive and very functional computer.