updated 09:10 pm EDT, Wed September 11, 2013
Budget Bay Trail convertible
Asus introduced several new devices last week at IFA, however the company saved one gem for Intel's Developer Forum: the Transformer Book T100. The convertible tablet is one of the first devices to be powered by Intel's quad-core Bay Trail chip, promising impressive battery life and a budget price tag. Electronista had a chance to try out the T100 today at its unveiling event in San Francisco.
Many of Asus' tablets are impressive from a design and quality standpoint, but the high-end feel and looks comes with a hefty price tag compared to competitors. The T100 attempts to move away from this strategy, bringing a full Windows 8.1 experience without breaking the bank.
The T100 housing is plastic, though it doesn't have the cheap feel that we've experienced with many Android tablets in the same price range. The glossy housing almost appears to be metal, with the concentric brush pattern of of Transformer Pad Infinity, but without the bit of extra grip that the brush pattern gives to aluminum.
For basic tasks such as web browsing, the Bay Trail platform provided us with an experience comparable to a typical budget notebook or more expensive Windows-based tablet. The keyboard is small, scaled down to match the 10.1-inch display size, making us feel like we were typing on a netbook.
The T100 certainly isn't the best convertible tablet on the market, but it serves as a solid Windows 8.1 device that finally competes at the price bracket dominated by Android tablets and the iPad. The 32GB variant fetches just $349, while a 64GB model will be available for $399.
Asus expects the device to ship on October 18.