ASUS reveals Transformer Book T100 with Windows 8.1 for $349, we go hands-on

ASUS already added new members to its Transformer family back at Computex, and now at IDF 2013, the company's added yet another, called the Transformer Book T100. It's got a 10.1 inch 1366 x 768 IPS display, 31Wh battery, quad-core Bay Trail-T Atom CPU and runs Windows 8.1. There are 32 ($349) and 64GB ($399) storage options augmented by one free year of ASUS's WebStorage service and a micro-SD reader, plus 2GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly. Connectivity includes micro-USB, micro-HDMI, and a single USB 3.0 port in the detachable dock. The T100 arrives in stores on October 18.

Company CEO Johnny Shih, calls the T100 a transformation of the ASUS's venerable EeePC line. You see, with the EeePC, compromises were made to hit its $399 price point. Naturally, the T100 makes no such compromises, according to Shih, and in fact, he calls it a "game changer for mobile devices designed to achieve ultimate mobility." Do we agree with his glowing assessment? Read on for our hands-on impressions.

For the price, the T100 has some very solid hardware. While the whole chassis is constructed of plastic, the tablet portion has a glossy, metallic paint finish with vaguely visible concentric circles emanating from the centrally-located chrome ASUS logo that hearkens the firms Zenbook lid designs. Meanwhile, the dock is finished in a soft touch paint, textured to feel like finished metal. Both halves of the T100 are solidly built, with zero flex in the keyboard deck or the tablet itself. We rather liked the soft finish of the dock, but the tablet portion, as you might expect gathered fingerprints as easily as did the glossy screen.

During our brief time with the device, we found that the T100's key buttons have a surprising amount of travel, and we imagine they'll work well for plowing through emails. Given the lackluster performance of many Windows machine trackpads, we were also surprised to find that the T100's pad was glitch free -- two finger scrolling and regular mouse navigation went off without a hitch. Audio output from the stereo speakers was predictably tinny, but could be cranked up to a fairly high volume. Overall, we were impressed by this newest Transformer, as it delivers some solid hardware at a very reasonable price.

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ASUS Transforms Expectations for Mobile Computing with New Transformer Books at IDF 2013
Transformer Book T100 and Transformer Book Trio combine the productivity features of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet

San Francisco, US (September 11, 2013) - ASUS today showcased two new Transformer Book ultraportables at an ASUS product launch event during Intel® Developer Forum (IDF) 2013. The event was hosted by ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih and featured special guest Tom Kilroy, Intel Vice President. Transformer Book T100, and Transformer Book Trio are the latest models in a wide range of mobile and desktop computers from ASUS that will transform your expectations about technology.

"The ASUS Transformer Book T100 is the perfect transformation of the Eee PC with full compatibility, detachable touch screen, immersive entertainment and enough battery for all-day computing," said ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih. "It is truly a game-changer for our mobile lifestyle."

The ASUS Transformer Book T100 and Transformer Book Trio both feature a two-part dockable design that combines the productivity features of a laptop with the portability of a tablet and the flexibility to switch between the two in an instant. Transformer Book Trio goes further still, with a keyboard dock that packs its own processor, so it can be used as a self-contained desktop PC when its display is detached for use as a tablet.

Transformer Book T100- high-mobility notebook and tablet combined
ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a 10.1-inch ultraportable with an Intel® Atom™ 'Bay Trail' quad-core processor and detachable HD display that can be used as a standalone Windows 8.1 tablet. Featuring a sleek design and durable finish, Transformer Book T100 is not only one of the lightest ultraportables currently available at just 2.4lbs, but also one of the lightest 10-inch tablets around, at 1.2lbs.

Transformer Book T100 features the new Intel AtomTM Bay Trail-T Z3740 quad-core processor for smooth multi-tasking performance and incredible energy efficiency that can last up to 11 hours1 on battery power. The lightweight keyboard dock features precision-engineered keys designed for comfortable extended use, a multi-touch touchpad with full Windows 8.1 gesture support and USB 3.0. Transformer Book T100 features a brilliant HD 10.1-inch tablet IPS multi-touch display with wide 178-degree viewing angles for razor-sharp images. Transformer Book T100 features Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 with full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, the perfect productivity solution for both school and work.
The new ASUS Transformer Book T300 is a larger version of the T100, with a detachable 13.3-inch Full HD IPS multi-touch display that acts as a standalone Windows 8 tablet. Powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor for seamless multi-tasking performance, Transformer Book T300 has up to eight hours battery life and features a sleek metallic design with a durable soft-touch finish.

Transformer Book Trio - laptop, tablet and desktop PC in one sleek design
ASUS Transformer Book Trio features a sleek and durable metallic design powered by a 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor for seamless multi-tasking performance and outstanding energy efficiency in Windows 8 laptop mode. When it's time for entertainment to take over from productivity, the 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display detaches from the 'PC Station' keyboard dock for use as a multi-touch Android tablet with its own Intel Atom™ dual-core processor.
With the display docked, Transformer Book Trio can switch instantly between Windows 8 and Android 4.2 by pressing the dedicated 'Trio' key on the keyboard, with data shared between the two operating systems via the tablet's storage. Unlike other dockable ultraportables, Transformer Book Trio's PC Station is not dead weight when the tablet display is detached. With an external display connected via Mini DisplayPort or Micro-HDMI, the PC Station can be used as a self-contained desktop PC featuring Windows 8, which means two people, in two different places, can use the Transformer Book Trio at the same time.

US Pricing for Transformer Book T100: MSRP $349 (32GB) / MSRP $399 (64GB)
For other markets, please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.
1 Specifications and product availability are all subject to change without notice and may differ from country to country. Actual performance may vary depending on applications, usage, environment and other factors.