More than meets the eye!

ASUS is releasing an update to their hybrid tablet PC.  I had the previous version of this for a couple of months.  I liked the idea of a windows tablet with a dedicated keyboard.  In practice it didn’t work all that great.  

Windows works fine on the tablet 10 inch form factor, but the ASUS was not a good tablet, to heavy, and not a real good laptop, it tips over.  Since the computing power, battery, everything is housed in the tablet, screen part, it would tip over backwards all the time.  Since there was nothing of substance in the keyboard to balance it out on your lap.  This also made the tablet heavy to use in that form.

ASUS also didn’t make it to where the tablet knew it had been disconnected from the keyboard.  So you had to select the automatic on screen keyboard in the options.  Which gets to be cumbersome, since Windows would not automatically start tablet mode when disconnected either.  

When using it as a tablet the hardware was a little to slow to do anything really useful.  Since it was a full installation of Windows there also what not much room left in the on board 32GB eMMC storage.  The 1 GB of RAM also wasn’t enough to do much more than surf the web.

So what did they change

ASUS T102 Screen Profile
Looking at the new Transformer on it appears that alot of the concerns and problems I had with the first model have been address.  There is now a “kickstand” on the back of the tablet piece to either support it while in laptop mode, or when sitting it on a table for tablet style viewing.  There is now 4GB of RAM which should make it snappier and more responsive with everyday tasks such as web browsing and email.  You could also use the native Windows Apps for Hulu and Netflix.  The 10 inch screen probably wont win any awards but it is at least an HD (720p) panel.

The tablet/laptop also comes with a new 128GB Solid State Drive.  That will give you more than enough space to do whatever work you need to do.  You can put a ton of photos or videos on here and have something that is easy to carry around.  It only weighs in at 1.7 lbs.  That is super portable.  The bonus of having the folding keyboard is it is built in screen protection when the “lid” is closed.  I did find on my older on that the keyboard did leave small imprints on the screen.

asus-t102-with-penThis is aiming to be a budget Microsoft Surface tablet.  By budget I mean this comes in at $399.  In incorporates a lot of the design cues from the Surface but is no where near the build quality and raw power that is packed in to the Surface.  It does come with a pen and recognizes handwriting so it is more than just an expensive stylus.  You can actually interact with Windows with this pen much like the Surface or a Wacom tablet might.  There is even a built in storage loop to hold the pen when not in use.  Much like you would find on the side of a paper notebook.

ASUS is really going for someone who wants the form factor of a tablet but needs the versatility of a laptop.  I didn’t find that mine worked well as a laptop and was a marginal tablet.  10 inches is just too big in my opinion to be held comfortably.  The addition of the kickstand on this device could make that a little better.

Bottom Line

I would like to try one of these out to see how much, if it is, better than the original they have managed to make this.  I think if done right, it could work for a lot of people.  People who need something smaller than a normal laptop and is a little more flexible.  If you commute by plane a lot I think this might be right in the perfect size for those small tray tables.  Is it worth $400, I am not sure.  Not with great convertibles in ChromeOS and some Windows.  I would defenitly try this out at a local store first and see how you like the keyboard and the touch interface of this as compared to say, the Acer R11.

So what do you think of this?  Is it something you would try or carry around as a secondary device?  Let me know in the comments.


Technical Details


Screen Size 10.1 inches
Max Screen Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
Processor 1.44 GHz None
Card Description Integrated
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Brand Name Asus
Series Transformer Book
Item model number T102HA-D4-GR
Operating System Windows 10
Item Weight 1.7 pounds
Product Dimensions 6.7 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 6.7 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 4
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)