One of the more successful notebooks released by Asus early this year was the 10.1″ Transformer Book T100, a kind of reinvention of the netbook, but with the hardware, software and features we’re used to today. a modern Bay Trail soc, a detachable screen that can also be used separately as a tablet and Windows 8 as the operating system.The T100 was not popular because it was such a great laptop, but because it was extremely competitively priced at 349 euros and managed to offer a lot for that money.
Recently there have been rumors about a new variant, the T200, with a larger screen and some better hardware. Asus unveiled the T200 during the Computex. Although you can’t really call it a reveal, because it was not mentioned during the press conference and on the stand it kind of disappeared from all the other notebooks. That’s a shame, because the T200 has improved in a number of areas compared to its little brother.
The T200 is basically the same as the T100; it is again a convertible, a Windows 8 tablet that can be plugged into a keyboard dock. The tablet itself contains all hardware and the battery. The dock only serves as a holder for the tablet and of course makes it a lot easier to enter text. Because the T200 with its 11.6″ screen is a bit larger than the T100, Asus had more space this time to hide the keyboard and touchpad, and you notice that. The keys are slightly larger, but it is mainly the touchpad that has increased significantly in surface area and therefore works a lot better.
The build quality also seems to have improved. In our review of the T100 we noticed that the keyboard moves along with the tapping, this seems to be less the case with the T200, although we should use them side by side for a better judgement. The extra space in the dock means that there is now room for an Ethernet port on the left side. For the rest, the two USB ports of the T100 have been retained. In the tablet itself, a micro SD slot, micro HDMI output and micro USB port are again concealed.
The slightly larger screen is accompanied by a significant increase in weight. Where the 10.1″-T100 weighed only 1.07 kg in combination with the dock, that has increased to 1.5 kg with the T200. If you want to use the T200 as a tablet, you are dealing with a device of 750 grams, which is quite heavier than the 520g T100.
One of our biggest criticisms of the T100 was the lack of storage memory. With a 32GB drive on which Windows is also installed, there is little free space left for installing applications and storing files. The T200 can be supplied with 64GB, but we don’t know yet whether that will also be the case in the Netherlands. What we do know is that the T200’s dock offers space for a 2.5″ hard disk. Users can install their own hard disk or SSD via a cover at the bottom, which eliminates the T100’s biggest drawback. , although that of course drives up the total price.
Hardware and software
Asus has selected a recent Atom quadcore for the T200, the Z3775 at 1.46GHz. It’s marginally faster than the Z3740 in the T100, a difference so small you probably won’t notice much in practice. There is also 2GB of RAM built-in. That makes the T200 a convertible for light use, just like its predecessor.
Microsoft Office is a good example of software you would run on such a device and what we liked about the T100 was that Office 2013 came included for free. With the T200, Asus has unfortunately chosen not to do that anymore. The company does not give a reason for this, but it will have to do with money. That means users have to cut corners or switch to an alternative package, such as LibreOffice, and that’s a shame.
The quality of the 11.6″ screen has apparently remained the same compared to the T100. Thanks to the IPS technology used, the viewing angles are okay, but the resolution of 1366×768 pixels does not provide a very sharp image. Given the segment in which the T200 is located, however, we understand that Asus has not opted for a more expensive panel.
Our first experience with the T200 leads to a mixed feeling. On the one hand, the larger screen, the Ethernet port, the hard drive bay and the slightly faster processor are nice improvements. On the other hand, the T200 is significantly larger than the T100 and therefore works less well as a tablet. We also regret that Office is no longer included. Ultimately, as with the T100, price will determine the success of the T200. What that will be, Asus does not want to say yet, but hopefully we will hear more about that soon.