Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ASUS Transformer T100 - The best bang for your buck money can buy, today.

So here is my first entry for a "technology" review, starting with the latest gadget I bought. This device is called an Asus Transformer T100, a 2 in 1 device, a tablet and a laptop in one with a price tag that can outmatch any smart device out there in terms of entertainment and productivity.

I've been reviewing devices before but never to this extent and detail, I bought this a week ago for 1699 AED or around $ 450, the unit I bought comes with a free Lumia 520 which I'll review after this one. I had the chance to push this to it's limit after a week of use and I got to say, this is the best gadget I've bought so far. I would also like to say this is a complete common USER review and not like those paid/sponsored review sites so you'll get an unbiased opinion. Let's begin after the break.

In the box you will find other than the unit is your standard micro USB cable and the charger, warranty card as well as a hard copy of the manual which is a rarity now a days since most companies would expect you to find the soft copy yourselves.

Here we have the specification of the T100 captured from ASUS' product page, the process is Intel's new Bay Trail Quad Core Processor which has (more or less) the same performance of last generation's Intel i3 processor, to put it into perspective. This runs on Windows newest operating system which is Windows 8.1 that is pre-installed and aside from getting a licensed operating system for free, you also get Microsoft's Office Home & Student 2013 which costs $109.99 bundled for free as well. It has 2GB of RAM which is enough for day to day task and has either a 32GB or a 64GB eMMC internal storage and can be expanded with another 64GB micro SD. Now I could stop right here and this would be more than reason enough to buy this but I'm going to continue just to fun.

On the right side of the tablet you will see the micro SD slot, the ports on the tablet itself are a micro USB port, a mini HDMI and a 3.5 mm jack while the detachable keyboard has a single USB 3.0 port. The buttons you can press are the volume rocker on left hand side of the tablet, below that is the Windows button and above those two is the power button, while on the keyboard dock is the detachment button to release the screen if you want it on tablet mode. At the back is your obligatory ASUS logo and a very loud and clear speakers.

There's also a built-in front facing camera and microphone for your video chat needs, don't look for a camera at the back since there is none, because there are things that "doesn't mean you can, that you should" and then there is the factor they need to keep the price down.

"Work it"

The graphics is powered by an Intel HD Graphics card which is not too fancy so don't expect AutoCAD or the latest AAA games to run but look forward into playing games here you most likely to play with the specs given.

Your tablet can run mobile office, I guess that's fine. Your iPad has third party office apps as well, that's okay I guess. You then decided to do your home work or let's say publish a blog, you tried typing in the virtual keypad and your getting nowhere, you added your Bluetooth keyboard but the screen is lying flat, you look for something for the tablet to lean on. While you are typing you bumped the table and the tablet fell or the battery on your keyboard ran out. These are just some of things that hinders a tablet to be as productive as functioning keyboard which luckily ASUS T100 has. The keyboard and an official Office suite is bundled and the result is the best piece of work on the road hardware you can lug.

Microsoft Office and Excel running side by side, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom works as well.

Here comes the good part, since I'm a gamer I really planned for this device to be able to play games that I find overkill to play on my gaming laptop and ASUS T100 didn't disappoint. Just attach it to the keyboard and connect a mouse and you'll be able to run your MOBA games with ease.

As you can see here League of Legends, the most played gamed in recent history is running smoothly on low settings.

While Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne or DotA is working perfectly on a native 1366x768 resolution with high settings.

Removing the tablet from the dock, you'll be able to play recent games like The Banner Saga without a hitch just using touch to control the game.

And if you like to really get into the gaming mood, all you need is an OTG cable, a gamepad and Motionjoy and you are good to go. I have tried it on Tell Tale's The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, Bastion, Don't Starve and several emulators also aRPGs like Torchlight and Path of Exile works great. This is truly a portable gaming device.

Aside from playing games and being productive with the keyboard, this device is perfect for reading comics, ebook or PDFs as well. It has ASUS' reading mode software which is really light on the eyes but others might not find the yellow/orange tint that pleasing.

My favorite comic reader, Cover, it can read .cbr or cbz and fits the comics perfectly even if the screen is 16:9 orientation.

"Hulk Smash!"

Browsing and playing movies is no issue here, Google Chrome works great as well as other browsers, watching movies or series of any file format can be played using the built-in video player app or the player of players, VLC.

Simply attach an OTG cable to your USB 3.0 external drive and without any external power, the tablet can power the hard drive itself and you'll be able to access all your files. The OTG cable works with just about any USB device you could think of and you won't even need it if you have your keyboard with you which has a full USB 3.0 port.

 "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013 in 1080p"

Name any android or any version of iPad that can run Facebook games in it's own system. 

As a bonus, if you haven't heard of Bluestacks or Windroy it basically is a software you can run on a Windows machine to emulate android. The problem is it won't run as fast a true android device due to hardware limitation but just the fact that it can do it is good enough reason to use it.

"Plants Vs. Zombies 2 Baby!"

But what is an electronic device if it would run out of juice before the end of your day. Good thing you won't have to worry about that with this device. I have used and abused it with the brightness lowered to half ,WiFi on, played games, read comics and magazines, surf the net and created this whole blog from scratch and I still have 40% of my battery. That's how large the battery and good the power management is.


With all the things you can do with this machine and the very competitive price tag, no doubt this device is worth every money you earned. This is for people who wants a portable laptop but want a tablet as well for their work, for students who wish to bring a small and light laptop to school, gamers on the go who want to play x86 games or just about anyone who wants a tablet that can do more than they could ever think off. The ASUS T100 is the only device that comes to mind.

This post might be a little longer than the ones you are used to but hopefully I have covered everything you want to know with the ASUS T100, If you have any questions, comments or suggestion sound of below and I'll respond as fast as I can.

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