ASUS has just refreshed their Transformer Book product series with the latest Intel Cherry Trail Atom processors. Cherry Trail, as opposed to previous generation Bay Trail platform, targets the graphics side of the house, providing an overall improved video experience.
The ASUS Transformer Book T100H unit that I have on hands is equipped with the Atom x5-Z8500 processor. Based on the 14nm lithography, it is said to have a very low power consumption to computing performance ratio as compared to previous generation chips. This also allows the system to run a lot cooler.
To put it to actual numbers, this platform is made to give users an extended usage of 14 hours per charge, allowing a full day on-the-go experience. Moreover, the processor’s 4 core which has a base clock of 1.44GHz can even be automatically increased to 2.24GHz in burst mode, effectively giving an instant boost to the performance of the machine when it needs it the most. With these interesting new features that the new architecture brings to the chip, the new Transformer Book T100H is said to have a lot of potential. We will find out more in the benchmark tests in the later parts of the review.
The main interface ports of the Transformer Book are found at the right side of the tablet device. It consists of a MicroSD card slot, a mini HDMI out port, a MicroUSB charging/OTG port and a 3.5mm audio out/microphone port. The keyboard attachment gives the ASUS Transformer book an addition 1 x USB 2.0.
Design and Specifications
There is no real difference and innovation in terms of the physical aesthetical design of the ASUS T100H Transformer Book device. Similar to its predecessors, the tablet is attached to the keyboard via a magnetic wedge.
Unlike the higher end Transformer Book Chi, the Transformer Book T100H connects to the keyboard via a proprietary connector rather than bluetooth. This has made the keyboard connection so much simpler, as no trouble is encountered to pair the keyboard to the tablet device. Users can simply plug and play and have a fully functioning keyboard to the tablet.
The T100H’s keyboard is designed to be nicely angled at a certain degree when opened up. This ergonomics gives the user a better typing experience and puts less strain on the wrists. However, we found that the keys on the keyboard were a bit too small for our liking, and there is a need to get used to the smaller keys. The trackpad on the other hand has considerably large in size, and controlling the device with the trackpad was much of a pleasurable account.
The same issue with ASUS Transformer Book persists through generations. The tablet device device has an outrageously wide bezel, which spoils the overall design of the device. It could be a real deal breaker, as users are looking more into sleeker systems out in the market, which competitors are already providing. The front webcam is also not placed directly in the middle of the tablet device, but it did not affect much in therms of its usability.
Moving on the the rear of the tablet device, we spot a smooth matte plastic finish that is topped up with a nice ASUS logo. This simple design concept should be acceptable to most end users. The ASUS Transformer Book should attract many youths as it is available in four pastel colours, namely Silk White, Tin Grey, Aqua Blue and Rouge Pink. It is odd to see the speakers placed at the back of the tablet rather than the fornt, as sounds will not be projected directly into the user’s ears, but instead away from the user. It would have made much more sense if the speakers were front facing instead.
Performance Analysis with Benchmarks
The ASUS Transformer Book T100H is available at major IT retailers in Singapore at $499.