I’ve always been tied to my computer in some way. Whether it be for balancing my checkbook, creating scientific databases, adventuring the day away playing role playing games or now, making a living, my computer has been an integral part of my daily life for as long as I can remember. It started out, of course, with huge desktop kits and custom making the perfect tower while drooling over powerhouse brands I’d never be able to afford. As I entered the business world and was given a laptop for use while traveling, I eventually ended up ditching my desktop altogether, but only with the requisite that I *needed* a biggest, baddest, most powerful laptop available.
While this may still be the case at home, now that I’m traveling more and more, I’m wishing I wasn’t lugging a 5-7 lb, 15″ behemoth in my backpack – especially when I’m also lugging around a Canon 7D DSLR, full size flash and at least 2 lenses. Thing is, your standard tablet just doesn’t cut it for me. I need power. I need speed. (and Tim Allen grunts in the recesses of my mind as I type this). I need a keyboard. I need a fully functional OS, not a mobile platform. What I need is…
The Best of Both Worlds
According to a Bloomberg report in 2012, the average US household had 5 tech devices. (They obviously didn’t survey my house as we probably have at least that many in each room!) I’m sure that number will only increase, that is, unless they start making smarter, multifunctional devices. And this is where the ASUS T100TA-H2 does just that. As a fully functioning Windows 8.1 machine, able to run all Windows programs, it provides the productivity of a laptop with the portability of a tablet.
With everything else I’ve got going on in my backpack carry-on, I’m really appreciating that I can leave my main computer at home while still bringing a reliable workhorse with me. It’s fairly light at 2.4 lbs – one of the lightest notebooks on the market today. However, once detached from the keyboard dock, the 10.1in tablet sheds half it’s weight and is a svelte 1.2 lbs. Considering I’m ditching both a 15″ laptop AND a tablet in place of this, it’s a huge win for me and my back.
Display and Sound
The 10.1 inch display is larger than the tablet I’m usually carrying around and unlike other tablet + keyboard combinations I have tried, this one feels very secure. Released with the press of a button, reconnection gives you a confident “snap” back into place. Boasting 178-degree viewing angles, I found the 1,366 x 768 screen resolution to be bright and easy to read in most situations. While the high gloss screen is gorgeous, it does create a bit of trouble with glare … but that can easily be resolved with a screen protector.
As for sound, I’m genuinely impressed by the speaker performance. Usually forced to use a headset and prop up the tablet on a pillow, the T100TA-H2 fixes both issues and provides a comfortable movie experience without any extra props or accessories. It’s loud and does a decent job delivering full sound that doesn’t cut out the bass.
Speed and Performance
Powered by the new Intel Atom Bay Trail-T Z3740 quad-core processor, the ASUS T100TA-H2 Transformer is more than meets the eye (see what I did there? eh?). Faster than ever, it comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. Yes, the full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote are included, saving your pocketbook (what is a pocketbook anyway?) $139. While I probably won’t be using it for heavy Photoshop projects, it’s perfect for getting all my day to day blogging chores done as well as editing photographs on the go.
Battery Life and Safety Backup
With 11 hours of battery power while in use and 14 days of standby time, I don’t have to turn sour when my airline seat’s outlet doesn’t work (which inevitably is when I need it most!). Additionally, the ASUS T100TA-H2 automatically backs up all content when the battery level falls below 5% – which is great for people like me who like to use up every. last. second. of battery time.
The ASUS T100TA-H2 isn’t just a tablet with a keyboard dock – it’s a fully functioning laptop complete with 64GB SSD storage on tablet and an extra 500 GB of Hard Drive space in the dock and that folks, is more than my “full size” laptop! The tablet has a microSD Card slot allowing you to expand the 64GB further (need more movies to watch?) and the USB 3.0 (which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0) located on the dock allows me to connect just about any device I need (Fitbit and SD/Flash Card reader for my photos!). Now I can store my music, high-res photos, HD movies and more all in one, easily-accessible place. With the tablet’s micro-HDMI port, you can hold up in your hotel room with some wine and popcorn and connect to a full HD TV for big-screen entertainment.
Bonus: You receive free unlimited ASUS WebStorage for one year so you never lost data again. Store your data – personal files, music, photos, movies – in the cloud and access it anytime you want. With the MyBitCast app, your content will be auto-updated and synced so you can share with friends via a smartphone, tablet or computer. All you need is an internet connection.
And if that isn’t enough, you also get one year of free ASUS ADP. “While most manufacturer’s offer a standard one year warranty that covers parts and labor for defective hardware, ASUS is the only PC brand in North America that offers one year Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) at no additional cost.” Seeing as I fried my last $2500 laptop because airplane turbulence spilled my Coke all over it, I’m jumping for joy at this!!
All of this for just $499? It’s a solid deal in my book and definitely something I’ll be recommending to fellow travel bloggers!
and …The Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive the ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-H2 Hybrid Tablet/Laptop! (MSRP $499)
How to Enter to Win
Step#1: Please answer in the blog comments section below: Based on what I’ve said above, what is your favorite feature of the ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-H2 Hybrid Tablet/Laptop?
Step #2: Use this easy giveaway form below to record your entries – good luck!! The comment entry is the only mandatory one you must complete to enter. All others are purely optional for those that really want to win!
I am a Windows Champion and was provided the ASUS T100TA-H2 for purposes of this review, but all opinions remain my own.