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Asus announces the T100: Windows 8.1 device with 11 hours of battery life just for $349

Asus Transformer Book T100

In late 2007 Asus kicked off a new segment of personal computers called netbooks with their Eee PC line. The devices initially ran Linux, but later brought Windows into the mix. They were, for a time, wildly successful. They fit the computing needs of 90% of the population. You could easily browse the web, check email, compose Word documents, and more for a relatively inexpensive product with solid battery life. Other PC manufacturers jump into the craze, but that all about ended when the iPad and other tablets came into prominence. Now Asus is hoping to regain that netbook market with the T100, but don’t call this a netbook.

Earlier this evening at the 2013 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Asus took the wraps of their upcoming Transformer Book T100. The device runs Windows 8.1 and gives you 11 hours of battery life for just $349. No, that’s not a typo.

The specs might not blow you away, but for the price you should have a hard time complaining. Here’s what three-and-a-half Benjamins will get you.

  • 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 IPS display with touch
  • 31Wh battery with 11 hours of battery life
  • Quad-core Bay Trail T (Z3740) Atom CPU
  • Windows 8.1
  • 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
  • microSD card slot
  • 2GB of RAM
  • microUSB port
  • micro-HDMI port
  • 1 USB 3.0 port (on detachable dock)

The Transformer Book T100 transforms from tablet to ultrabook with the included dock. All of the above might not sound appealing to you, but it’s hard to ignore this device as an excellent option for the average PC user.

What do you guys think of the T100? Be sure to hit up the source for some hands on images.

Source: Engadget

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Reader comments

Asus announces the T100: Windows 8.1 device with 11 hours of battery life just for $349

160 Comments

might not*
stop typing with your Surfaces you bastards!!!
 
on a related note, how does this size up to the surface RT in terms of hardware?

Where is cellular connectivity? What the hell? This is the only thing stopping me from getting the Windows Tablet. On topic. This one is actually good. Better than Surface. IMHO.

Exactly. Where is LTE? Why would I need a tablet if I can only use it 5 metres from my wifi access point at home? Lack of mobile connection is a deal breaker.

Tether it to your phone. Why would you want to pay $30-$50/month for an LTE connection to your tablet when you have one to your phone already? Just tap internet sharing and away you go!

I put an NFC tag on the back corner of my tablet programmed to launch the internet sharing option screen, so I can just tap my phone to the tablet instead of going through Settings. Now we just need NFC fixed to be less annoying. I'm hoping GD3 fixes the stupid confirmation dialog for every single NFC interaction.

Agreed. Tablets with LTE connectivity are old hat. There is no reason to pay for an extra device on your monthly plan: just use your Windows Phone's Internet Sharing option. It's a piece of cake, very reliable, and free. You could've bought a Surface RT last year and been doing this ever since.

That's ludicrous. Switch carriers. Free on Verizon, and probably every other carrier. Don't tolerate double charging to use the same data you're already paying for.

Only free on Verizon if you have the Family Share plan. Unlimited data customers have to pay. $20/month for 2 GB or $30/mo for unlimited tethering. Still handy and easy to use, though.

It's still not free. You pay $10 a month for a 3G/LTE enabled tablet with family shared data plan on Verizon. Still, certainly a lot better than $30-$50.

Well, I'll be. I rescind my uninformed comments: Verizon apparently sucks too. That's bullshit. In this case, the OP's original lamentation that the tablet does not have LTE connectivity is justified. Either that or he should get a family.

I will probably just stick to using the Internet Sharing through my phone, that's free! If I used a tablet everyday away from WiFi, I think the $10/month is worth it then.

my Acer W3 seems to have a SIM slot on the top beside micro hdmi/usb ports, anybody know if that is what Andre Blonde wants?

Why do you thing goby in laptops failed? Ask, Panasonic, Verizon, and ATT. They've all been down the built in cellular connection path before, it didn't catch on, aircards and WiFi did

Eh... the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 (Which has been reviewed as a great tablet!) has been selling for 449$ on the mircrosoft store and has cellular connectivity so I don't know what you are talking about lol In case yes, I have that tablet and as the reviews say, yes it's great!

What does RT give you that this doesnt? Its got Office, long battery life, runs x86 software and costs only $349 WITH dock. RT gives you what over this?

Give me a break, this machine is way better than the Surface RT as that thing is a piece of crap. 

I'm sure you weren't scamed into buying a bad product by Microsoft, now stop annoying commenters, enjoy your Surface and SHUSH. :)

And RT has its own weaknesses. Outlook is not a good argument for RT at all considering it lacks most of the features you would actually want from Outlook.

Oh btw, RT that utilize the like of Snapdragon 800 can support LTE out of the box while BayTrail needs additional chipset for it. We all know that additional chipset always drain more power compared with ones that integrated into SoC. That if you need this cellular connectivity though. I know not everyone needs it. But has more choices always a good thing for customers, isn't it?

Interesting -- I use Outlook RT daily for work and hadn't noticed anything missing. Which features aren't there?

◦Online Archive or Personal Archive mailboxes
◦Applying Messaging Records Management (MRM) retention policies
◦Site Mailboxes
◦Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy tips

These are quite specialised features, compared to what most people use Outlook over other clients for: great composer, rules and filtering, the best email search, S/MIME encryption, send scheduling, Office integration, etc

Another thing. Many OEMs quit the RT, including ASUS. RT is just not good enough yet. I think the RT in marketing manner has to be advertised vs google chrome. But they do take it to add it versus iPad which basically makes it look pathetic. Mistake was to introduce RT initially. It brought confusion to the market. Owh microsoft. I do wait for you to make awesome decisions. And nice devices. Surface is just to heavy. And expensive for that sake.

It should be comparable to the Surface 2. People keep talking about being able to install all your apps on these Atom tablets. They top out at 2GB of RAM. That's the same as ARM based Surface. So how many desktop apps do they think they can install and run before you take a performance hit? This is why I think RT is still a good option on the right hardware, especially 8" tablets.

If they aren't running in the background you should be able to install everything +1 without a hit to performance.

But is my point, desktop apps do run in the background. You have to manage them. Rt, you don't have that problem.

Which is a non issue for anyone that has been using Windows XP. And I say XP because you'd sooner crash your PC if you tried opening the task manager on Windows 2000.

Nope, Bay Trail supports up to 4GB RAM, this is a budget device so 2GB is expected. And if you search on YouTube you can see videos of devices like the Acer W510 and Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 running desktop programs just fine with 2GB, and while you won't be running 50 programs at once Bay Trail adds a better CPU and GPU which means your programs will run faster. And lets not forget that even previous Atom chips on Clover Trail outpace any ARM device for CPU power so Bay Trail with its improvements is even better. Hands down, Bay Trail changes the game and the case for RT is weaker.

lol if you're reading a tech site, it's probably not the device for you. But for people who just need Facebook, email, etc...this device is great (on paper).

I spend all day on tech websites and I want this, or something pretty similar. I have my desktop at home, I want something ultra mobile for whatever, but also has a keyboard in case I want to bust out work.

I've never quite understood how thick bezel could be used as a complaint. The farther away from the edges of the device that the glass is from the edge the less chance of it shattering should it take a fall as there is more there to take the shock.

Wow, all the functionality and diversity of Windows 8 with a 10' tablet and keyboard included for $350?! This is the device I have really been waiting for! Bring it on. 

Hrm, just bought an Asus laptop and its great. Still I need a smaller form factor for super mobile stuff. This might work for me in lieue of a surface pro.

If you ask me, the Surface 2 now HAS to ship with Bay Trail. The value proposition of this T100 is absolutely unbeatable for the price. If Surface 2 ships with ARM, it's DOA, period. I've said it for the past year, it should be:

Surface Pro 2 - haswell
Surface 2 - baytrail
Surface mini - T4

Screw that, they're going in the right direction with one ARM and one Intel processor. They need to be on both so that Intel doesn't stagnate.

Let alone, this device might have horrible build quality.

What might have horrible build quality? Like all Asus bargain devices it will have horrible build quality. The VivoTab models also suffer from poor build quality (responsiveness issues with the Windows button, lousy micro USB ports), as do most of their bargain Android tablets. You get what you pay for and in ths case you will get bargan basement for bargain price....

Stephen_az, are you killing me ?? I always use Asus hardware and they are just amazing products for the price !!! The build quality and finition is just perfect (in comparison with Acer) !

I had an acer laptop one time with incredible specs but had a lack of speed that wasn't normal (a core i5 that needs nearly 10min. to be able to start to work...) and then, I return to Asus: Core i7 Transformer Book for 5 seconds on start up and 3 seconds to shut down...

Unless ARM makes some crazy improvements too. What if it could run for something crazy, like 20 hours of battery life?

Sound amazing, but need my laptop to run higher end software...mainly AutoCAD, and not the light version. I like where these manufactures are going though. Hope to see bigger laptops follow this trend...cheap and long lasting.

Sounds amazing, but I need my laptop to run higher end software...mainly AutoCAD, and not the light version. I like where these manufactures are going though. Hope to see bigger laptops follow this trend...cheap and long lasting.

....which is completely irrelevant since they also would have lost money on every device. If you want bargain basement garbage stick with Android and sell you identity in the process, or buy cheap junk like this....

So, they did not loose money when they wrote down $900m from poor sales? Is that what you are saying?

That $900 million was expected value of their assets. Not necessarily the same as the actual cost of those units. When they dropped the price, the expected value was less per unit, hence the write down. We don't know what it actual costs to make each unit. Even at the current price, they could still be making money on each one sold.

I don't understand the ASUS bashing. I have a Vivobook with a touch screen. That lead me to the Vivotab RT...which in my opinion is a decent tablet. I'm quite happy with both pieces of electronics. My next desktop will be ASUS as well. Never gave them much thought until I purchased my first one. Very happy I did.

I'm like you.
Since the first time I bought an Asus hardware, it's finish. I will take Asus for the rest of my life. Never had any problems with all my laptops and desktops... Even with the Transformer Book Core i7 version :D

Had these devices launched alongside Windows 8... last year... the PC market might've performed a bit better over the past year.  Better late than never though.

For what I use it for, I think I just found the replacement for my Asus VivoTab RT unless Nokia comes out with one at a similar price point.

WTF? Why no USB 3.0. on the touch screen it's self, only on the doc? No one wants to carry around an adapter just so they can use a jump drive all the time. That's what's kept me from buy the Icona W3 and that's what I use to hate about my old Android tablet.

This is good and when next generation processors are upgraded with all these cheap products they should be even cheaper very good for windows 8!

Yeah is perfect for me. I dnt need a lot of power because I'm a average PC user. 8.1, tablet and keyboard! Sign me up

I noticed they dropped the rear facing camera which is pretty good on Vivotab RT. Also no NFC (I'm guessing). Not a big breaker for me. They will sell A LOT of these at this price with the Office included. Anxious to see some proper reviews, especially CPU performance and screen quality. I really like the current Vivotab RT screen. I hope it's the same or better.

Asus press release mentions it. I read it on Engadget.
 
"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."

I know, I was a bit surprised too because I thought like just you. But this is a great strategy by Microsoft to ignite the whole Windows ecosystem including RT and WP.

This is more like it. With these new Intel chipsets, ARM and WinRT are obsolete and irrelevant. Anything running them is dead in the water.

yeah try runnig all legacy apps with this device with touch, and never run winrt apps... im sure you will love it /s
 
people like you are funny.

Yes, $350 for a low resolution screen, flimsy micro USB port, and undoubtedly poor build quality. You will probably get what you pay for in this case. I have never seen an Asus bargain worth the price. To each their own....

I'd take this thing over a Windows RT device any day. Have fun with your awesome apps in the Windows Marketplace.

Ok, have you used one already to confirm all these claims? I presume you're at IDF and have handled he device, as youre speaking with such authority, right?

I have an Asus tablet already. It was defective and it took 3 RMAs to get a proper repair. Their service center pretty much refuses to give you a new unit, even if they scratch yours up in the process of "repairing" it.

On top of that their customer support is impotent - they have no power to authorize a new unit be sent regardless of how many time the service center F's up the repair. I used to love Asus. I will never buy their brand again.

This is great deal for what it offers.
Hopefully, they will make another tablet with Full HD display, 4 GB RAM for $500.

That would hit the sweet spot. Full HD, 4GB for 5Bens. I'm gonna have some sweet dreams tonight... jejeje

Dang that's a great price. I'd still buy a Surface 2 if it's $349.99 just because of the FHD screen and form factor. I already have a desktop for my heavy lifting.

If I didn't already have a clover trail atom Samsung tablet I got for $400 about 6 months ago (a fantastic deal at the time). I would be all over this. This is a fantastic deal!

I'm not a fan of Asus. However, I see this being a great viable option for many!!! More like this from other OEMs, and we will see some great forward progress foe the platform. My company does not supply us with WP8 devices, but me and some of my coworkers are using our personal WP8 devices for work and presentations to our clients. We really need enterprise adoption!!!!

Well done Asus, now this is the competitive pricing needed by Windows 8! $350 for a Bay Trail tablet plus dock? Amazing.

Yeah, 2GB is the deal breaker here and I assume you can't expand on that.  Oh well, NEXT (with 8GB, or at least the option to upgrade it please, it's not THAT expensive)

Very tempting. The only real problem I'd have with it is the lack of a full USB port on the device itself… but, that's a relatively minor issue now with WiFi and such.  With the right cable my phone should still be able to sync to one of them without the dock, if I really needed to.
Great price, decent specs; this is closer to the price range I was hoping the Surface would be offered at initially (amazing hardware, but - particularly with the RT version - a hard sale initially vs. the more mature iPad and Android offerings).

Honestly, for me (just to jump into the Surface RT debate) I see alot of value with a Surface RT. Yes, one could argue that it doesn't run x86 apps and that these new computers offer the same battery life (if not longer), WITH the ability to run desktop apps, so it should suddenly be a no-brainer and immediately eliminate the need for RT. I don't see it that way. I have much more powerful machines at home that handle my music creation/production software, photos, videos, some games etc etc. Having the ability to run ANY program I have at home on the go, isn't anything I need. Number one they ask for much more power than anything a Bay Trail could muster. For me running desktop apps in a slightly limited (because of power) way, isn't an enjoyable experience, one that I would look for or help in my own personal work with those programs. Having something fast and efficient is all I want. There aren't any programs I need to run on a Windows based tablet. Everything that's included plus the store is all I need. So why would a full Windows OS serve me better? Having the ability to run a program, just in case? To me that's like buying a pickup truck instead of a car, "just in case" I might need to haul something from Home Depot or IKEA. Within my family/friends I have had plenty of people only need something like an RT. I'm not knocking these new devices running Bay Trail, their excellent. Especially if you do have a need to run a simple program like say, Quicken. Its an excellent choice. For me it'd have to be something like a Surface Pro and that's a strong maybe (my machines currently need i7 at the minimum to handle what I do). But, for those that don't I see RT as an excellent choice. When the store becomes more occupied with a great number of quality apps (i.e. Foursquare) then it'll have an even stronger leg to stand on. The addition of Outlook RT as well will be a very big addition. Given that these devices most likely will include Office H&S having to not buy Outlook as a separate app (if needed) does increase the value and the savings. I do like this new Asus model and the price point is VERY nice. I can see Microsoft getting into its stride with these devices/software. Even with the naysayers of RT, I personally see the benefits of RT, its efficiency, speed ( the upcoming snapdragon 800 should definitely help), use case and abilities. However, like the article said if you need x86 ability on the go, you can't be mad at this option.

Here I am at the exactly same position.
I have got my workstation at home, an older yet decent notebook installed in office, what I really lack now is simply a device that is always ready to go with me for any events, and despite the tons of critics on Surface RT I spent days researching its strength and weakness, what I found out was Surface 2 can be what I am looking for.
However, at the same time the Bay Trail is not too distant, this changes the game or I should say it flipped everything. I know more than clear that even with this Bay Trail Tablet I am not running many, or actually just 1 or 2 x86 apps on such tablet. But what if Bay Trail tablets are running Office faster and smoother? What if the overall performance is better, that is, based on what Surface 2 can achieve, all runs better on Bay Trail? That's what I am expecting, and which really is breaking the deal for Surface 2.
At the moment the only points Surface 2 is still catching my eyes are the great design, the touch cover 2(too expensive though) and the FullHD screen. In case there is a Bay Trail tablet works out the same, or better, then sorry that Surface 2 just can't compete.

What I hate is that they're quick to throw a price tag on the T100 when the original Transformer Book didn't get a price or release date for a long time, and I'm still waiting for them to announce pricing and availability for the new Transformer Book T300. 10.1 inches is nice, but I don't want anythng smaller than my current 13.3

Note it has 33Wh battery while the first generation Surface RT only has 24Wh. Assume Asus didn't capture an alien spacecraft or salvage a terminator from the future, T100 should also use earthling technology and is very likely heavier and thicker than Surface RT. I bet its weight and thickness would be between Surface RT and Surface Pro.
Anyway, this is really a good product brought by a company which dares to compete. Acer should learn the lesson from Asus and stop being a cry baby against Surface line.

First I need to make a correction: Surface RT sports 31.5Wh battery, not 24Wh.
However, according to the PR text, both tablet and keyboard dock weight 1.2 lbs, it seems both of them contribute to the 33Wh battery energy and 11 hours endurance (otherwise it is too heavy for a keyboard dock without embedded battery pack).
If that's the case, how long would the tablet last without keyboard dock?

$350 for this is a ridiculously awesome price. MS needs to get this in a Siri commercial immediately. Put the battery life, HDMI out, new processor & keyboard up against the iPad, then show that price for a home run.

Boom. That's the Microsoft strategy starting to deliver. I expect this thing will get mainstream press, but its just the start.
Why would anyone buy an iPad ever again. And think about the number of Office365 subscriptions these devices will drive. Amazing.

Why do they only stick 2gb ram in these thing it is one of the reasons i wont buy one. Its borderline stupidity.

What's worth the money? Buy the W700 now or wait this thing available in my country (maybe 2014)? For battery live and performance?

This looks nice, but I think I'm the only one in the world who PREFER Windows RT in some usage cases.
x86 may give you the option to run whatever, but it also brings toolbars, java installs, adobe reader updates etc etc...
I don't want my mom to call me saying that her Windows tablet crawls and her friend's iPad runs great - just because Chrome or Java forced installed themself again with another software, or that her IE is filled with plug-ins and toolbars.
As a companion device RT is much better IMHO, and as more and more "Modern" apps get released it'll get even better.
I want my tablet to be a tablet, a coffee table product.

Sounds like something my wife would love. She doesn't need much in the way of horse power, however she does warrant quit a bit of storage.

Unless Acer ups their game with an improved w3, this could be the winner in the 8" windows tablet category. And because its less than 10", i hope MS keeps their promise about free Office...

Looks good. Don't quite understand why its getting knocked. Not every computer needs to be able to edit large HD video files while streaming music. Some of us just need a word processor with internet. So we can write, research, and then watch Hulu plus. We could use our phones, but that gets your thumbs tired.

I've owned 2 ASUS Transformer products the TF101B, and the TF700. ASUS moves from hardware to hardware so fast they stop supporting both products within the first year they were released. No more hardware udpates and good luck after a year and a half  trying to find a replacement for sale. 

Anyone got any graphics benchmarks for this, I'm interested in a cheap windows tablet that can play a few of my steam games, just the older ones really not too bothered about playing bf4 at max settings or anything like that.

Awesome features actually! As for LTE? Mobile share. Sure, the price plan is a little more, but free mobile hotspot and unlimited calling/text for EVERY line makes it worth it. And it works with BOTH AT&T and Verizon. Unlimited data isn't worth it anymore on these carriers because they throttle you anyway once you hit a certain point. Do yourself a favor and change the price plan after doing some research on your average data usage per month; its probably less than you expect.

How is this not an awesome deal? Microsoft sells the Surface RT for $349 and here you're getting the full version of Windows and a detachable keyboard for the same price.
 
With devices running actual Windows 8 becoming so cheap now does that mean devices running Windows RT will become Android priced?

Why in the world will anyone buy a RT when this is available at this price
 
The only way Surface RT will succeed is by pricing it way way lower than what it is now.

Thinking about getting the 64GB model + 64GB MicroSD for $450 total to replace my really heavy laptop. Thing is, I don't think this'll handle photoshop and illustrator too well. It'd probably be fine with InDesign and Dreamweaver until I start a project on a large book or something though. I haven't been keeping up with processor performances since I bought my Ivy Bridge over a year ago, so I don't know.

Does anyone know what the price would be in the UK? I'm looking at tablets, and I am fed up of seeing the prices so inflated over here. :|