Let’s get this out of the way first: The Asus T100 was clearly nicknamed “The Transformer” by someone who has never see Terminator 2, and thus should be pitied, for they have never experienced joy.
I recently experienced a technological meltdown where I lost my laptop (it was a work computer and I left that job). My desktop USB ports became possessed and stopped reading input from any keyboard or mouse (which has since fixed itself, oddly enough–I literally did nothing but try it again one day and now it works fine). A wonderful friend of mine loaned me her old notebook, but notebooks tend to age like child stars.
Since it’s difficult to research and write material when even your word processor runs slower than 90s dial-up, I was forced to purchase a new computer. Since I left my previous job to pursue a lucrative career in writing, I was more broke than your mom when she had to spend a month in that pelvic cast. Also, I don’t really use my computer for anything other than reading, writing, and research (aka watching sweet fight scenes).
So I went out and bought the least expensive computer that didn’t look like it would dissolve the minute my dog breathed on it, which happened to be the Asus T100 (I’m still so pissed at you, Asus, for not just adding one more 0). I bought it at my local Best Buy for a little under $300 after tax and, man, what a great investment.
One concern I had was that the keyboard would be a mushy afterthought of a mess, but it’s actually very much like any other notebook keyboard and works pretty well. Honestly, if one didn’t know any better, I think one would have no idea this wasn’t a regular notebook with the keyboard attached.
The tablet functions wonderfully and remains interactive even when plugged in to the keyboard (which makes scrolling a dream since the trackpad lacks the scrolling function that most laptops have now). The transition between notebook and tablet is so easy it’s almost non-existent. You push the release button and boom, you’re good to go. No load time. The portrait/landscape transition is a little slow, but not so bad as to be distracting. Also, so far the battery life has been the as-advertised 8 hours of actual usage. The recharge is a pretty slow, but personally I’ll take a slow recharge over a quick drain any day. Just plug it in at night and you’re pretty much good for the whole next day.
It came installed with Microsoft 365 (an alternate, cloud-based but otherwise identical version of Microsoft Office) and Windows 8. Windows 8 gets a lot of shit–and rightfully so for desktops–but it works very well with a touchscreen interface. There’s also a desktop option that’s virtually identical aesthetically to previous versions of Windows, less a couple minor features that aren’t any more difficult to adjust to than switching between any other operating systems (I have an iPhone and my desktop runs Windows 7, so this was my first experience with 8).
My only real complaint with this machine is the same complaint people have had with Microsoft for years: Too much crap software. I’m pretty sure it came with three different anti-malware programs (which you have to pay a subscription to actually use and not just have them uselessly nag you). I’m still finding new and annoying popups to uninstall. Also, there’s a portrait of some smug asshole in a headset at the corner of all my windows and I cannot figure out how to get rid of him. I don’t need some dude staring at me from the corner of my internet browser when I’m… shopping for Mother’s Day gifts. (Hi, mom).
All in all, this is a pretty solid machine. It’s got a good feel and it works great. It doesn’t have a ton of horsepower, but if you’re buying a 10″ notebook hoping for a gaming machine, you’re probably the kind of joyless monster who sees a computer called “T100” and names it fucking “Transformer.”
Here’s a great and detailed rundown of the T100’s specs, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Billy is a freelance writer living in Indianapolis with his dog, BoJack. He enjoys TED talks, video games, sunny days, football, and the salty tears of his enemies.