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Pros: - The screen is extremely good looking and plenty bright… using it comfortably around 50% brightness.
- The keyboard is small… but not SO small that my hands got cramped while typing… very usable.
- Using Windows 10 on a tablet in tablet mode is just downright fun. All the fun of a tablet and the total usability of the Windows 10 operating system.
- It’s not a desktop replacement, but it could be a laptop replacement if one didn’t want to lug around an actual full-size laptop (for daily use / travel).
- I am pleasantly surprised that the T102HA did not come with ANY bloatware!
-It's a tablet when you want a tablet... it's a mini-laptop when you want a laptop... can't beat it for the price!
- IT’S MINI-WINDOWS 10!!! : - )
Cons: - The pen seems to be the odd man out… just a fabric loop to keep it around with the tablet.
- The kickstand needs to be extended from the tablet by pulling from both sides... or else it gets a bit squirrely.
Overall Review: Packaging and Un-boxing:
Nice packaging… not necessarily Apple-style packaging, but pleasing.
USB Micro cable
USB AC adapter
- Pretty standard startup for the first time… if you’ve installed Windows 10 somewhere else… it’s the exact same thing.
- Other folks have pointed out that the screen resolution is a bit “ho-hum” for them… but honestly… you’re not going to be able to tell the difference. Remember… THIS ONE IS AFFORDABLE!
- It’s a great entry-level Windows tablet that can serve as a laptop too AND it’s SUPER affordable!!!
Pros: - 10+ hour battery life
- Pretty lightweight, considering its specs
- Decent storage, double most other 2-in-1's at this price
- An actually USEFUL keyboard, it's pretty comfortable to type on
- Capable CPU, runs everything you can throw it without breaking too much of a sweat
- NO BLOATWARE! Thank you, ASUS. About time.
- Includes an active stylus, nice to not have to buy that separately
- Built-in Intel AC Wifi (nice to see that at this price point)
- Micro SD card slot
- EXTREMELY solid build quality, lots of metal and glass, very little plastic
Cons: - Low resolution screen, 1280x800 just doesn't cut it anymore
- No place to put the stylus, other than a little loop on the keyboard/cover
- Cover doesn't really fold flat when in tablet mode, might as well just un-dock it each time
- Initial setup and configuration of Windows took a while, longer than would have been expected
- Pretty slow primary storage, feels like about the speed of a 5400 RPM platter HDD
- Kickstand can be a little finicky from time to time, make sure you open it from both sides
Overall Review: I'm really, really torn on this 2-in-1. If this device had a 1080p or higher resolution screen this would be an automatic 5-egg review, and I'd be praising it as easily one of the best devices in it's category... however, it doesn't have that, so here we are.
I used this as a primary mobile PC for a number of weeks, and never found it really break a sweat. Microsoft Office installed with no problems, even threw the new version of Photoshop CC on there and it was pretty competent working through some basic image manipulation and some drawing with the style (which is really nice, by the way). I just kept saying to myself "I really wish there was more screen real estate," and ultimately that's where Asus really let this thing down. Opting to go with an 800p screen clearly allowed Asus to save money to put more storage, better wifi, a faster CPU, etc. in this device, but I would have rather cut down on one of those to get a higher resolution screen.
When it comes down to it, this is a great device. If you already have a laptop and a desktop but need something portable you can carry with yourself and use to still get work done, you should seriously consider this Transformer Mini. Having a full-fledged Windows PC fully connected to One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. is a HUGE advantage over trying to work on iOS or Android when you're mobile. The ability to use the stylus to quickly annotate projects is huge for any mobile professional, and I found this was really, really good at that.
All that said, I think this is an extremely solid 2-in-1, especially in the sub-$500 market. If Asus upgrades this next year with a 1080p (or even higher, please) screen this is easily the best 2-in-1 on the market...
As it is, I'm giving this Transformer Mini 4 out of 5 eggs... the 1280x800 screen really detracts from what otherwise is a phenomenal device.
Pros: + Excellent performance.
+ Great battery life.
+ Responsive pen. (And free!)
+ Touchpad smart gestures.
+ Tactile feel keyboard.
+ Sturdy construction.
I think the Intel Atom processor works well in this tablet. I am able to use Word, Excel, browsing, basic games, and all of preinstalled apps that are worth using. It also played Hearthstone perfectly.
I watched an 6.7GB HD movie file (1080p, h.264, AC3 5.1, mkv). It was smooth, great looking and great sound.
Personally, I wouldn't write code, modify photos, edit home movies on a tablet, so after trying the Atom I can't see wanting an i5 or i7 if the Atom works this well while saving so much power.
Although 95% of the time the performance is excellent, I do occasionally experience a performance issue which I provide more detail in the cons section.
The battery life really does last a long time. Naturally it will vary depending on what you're doing, brightness, duration, etc., but it is very impressive.
One of my favorite features has to be the (free) pen. It is remarkably responsive. I really can sketch or doodle when using the right app. I am not an artist, so I really cannot rate how well it would do with serious work. You can use it for navigation instead of touching the screen too.
The touchpad works well. I love the gestures and I am glad that they are similar to Mac gestures. Scrolling, back browsing, zooming, etc. Fantastic! By default, pressing the bottom right of the touchpad acts as a right-click. Since the touchpad has a two finger gesture to emulate a right-click already, I turned off the bottom right feature in settings > devices > mouse & touchpad. Other configuration options are found there too like disabling (light) taps as a click.
The keyboard has a very nice feel. The keys are slightly textured. I'm not sure how significant that is to functionality, but I can easily tell that I am touching a key. More importantly, I know when I have pressed a key opposed to some other membrane keyboards of this size. I was able to type this review on the keyboard easy enough. I felt the key spacing was perfect for a keyboard this size.
The magnet connecting the keyboard to the tablet is very strong and I have yet to fumble connecting the two.
I had to feel the tablet to see if it was really metal or not since it's so light. There is a little flexibility on the center of the back, but it still feels sturdy.
Cons: - Occasional performance stutter.
- Kickstand can be a little awkward.
I mentioned in the pros section that the tablet had excellent performance. That is true except for an occasional blip in which something binds it up for a few seconds. It doesn't happen often, but when it does the delay is noticeable. Mostly when I am typing. The letters do not appear for a few seconds and then the letters zip across on the page. Not a big deal really. The Intel Atom is clearly a strong enough processor to handle Windows, Office, and probably most productivity apps; however, you do have to make some concessions to get such great battery life.
I am not going to crack an egg for the stutter for two reasons: 1) the delay is noticeable, but it does not happen often and it has not been a hinderance. 2) It may end up being a Windows 10 issue that is corrected or the root is an unused service that I can disable. I am going to continue to research it.
Opening the kickstand was a little awkward at first until I realized that I should leave it closed with the keyboard down and then open the kickstand. It's still a little difficult to adjust when completely closed, especially with the pen still attached to the keyboard loop.
All other issues that I have experienced have been Windows 10 issues and not with the hardware. See other thoughts.
Overall Review: I am glad I had an opportunity to review the Transformer otherwise I would have snubbed my nose at the Atom processor thinking I needed an i3 or better processor to be effective. I think the Atom is perfect for a 2-in-1 for what I would use it for. The T102 is really worth the price. My original plan was to give this as a gift. I'm second guessing that plan.
* Win 10 Issue: I would lose the wifi connection after waking from a sleep when running on the battery. The wifi appeared to be on, but there were no available WiFi connections listed. I had to run right-click and select "Troubleshoot problems". This does not occur when the tablet is woken from sleep running plugged in . After some research, other people on other devices reported the same problem after the Window 10 Anniversary upgrade. I installed the latest Chipset and Wifi drivers from the Asus support site and it fixed the problem.
* Win 10 Issue: Windows 10 did not hibernate to prevent complete battery drain while it was set to Performance plan even though the profile was configured to hibernate at critical battery life. I set it to the Balanced plan to fix the problem. However, the Performance plan disappeared as an option. Uh, wot? I'm not losing sleep over it. I would rather the Transformer be on balanced instead of rage against the battery.
Funny story. Be careful when getting close to metal objects. The magnet on the keyboard could give the tablet a tug. I was a knucklehead when I first got the T102 and set it down next to my NAS (metal frame). Ting! The tablet was stuck to the case. Of all the things to attach a magnet to. *facepalm* For the record, the magnet was not strong enough to cause any damage to my drives.
* This has an all metal brushed aluminium body.
* The magnetic keyboard snaps into place, FIRMLY, and can easily be removed.
* Micro USB Charging - what? No brick? This is fantastic.
* It comes with a nice stylist.
* Screen is bright and very sharp. IPS panel, wow.
* The Viewing angle is top notch.
* USB port (Hey sometimes you need)
* Keyboard is properly mounted and magnets are strong and non-wobblie.
* SSD. This makes it silent, thinner and so much faster.
* Finger print scanner makes it a lot easier to login to.
* Fully functioning Windows 10
* MicroSD card slot which is handy for adding some cheap storage.
* Micro HDMI means I can throw movies on a TV with this easily @ 1080P
* 802.11ac wifi
This is a lot different than other All-in-one tablets, that are big and clunky, this one can easily be passed off as a real thin powerful tablet. Forget the keyboard or use it, either way it’s fine. It’s got some nifty features that you will actually use, on screen gesture swipe you can set it up to do useful things like sleep, shutdown, or shortcut to an app. This actually adds a lot of speed to a tablet, that you don’t have the mouse and keyboard handy to launch shortcuts. I never would have thought of that.
Cons: Yeah it’s not the fastest thing in the world when doing even windows updates, but for movie watching and internetting around, it’s wonderful.
Overall Review: If you need a WINDOWS 10 tablet instead of android or iOS, this is a great way to go. I don’t know if I would call this an ultrabook as the speed would indicate it’s just a fast tablet, but it’s nowhere near laptop speeds, even with an SSD. Zero qualms recommending this sessy tablet. Price is right too.
Pros: + Excellent portability! The Transformer Mini is very light and compact, yet built very nice. The tablet itself feels very sturdy and is primarily aluminum, other than the plastic on the screen.
+ With magnets in all the right places, the keyboard snaps into place with a satisfying 'clunk' sound and holds itself against the screen to protect it while being transported around. The touchpad does a good job, though since the whole surface of the touchpad *is a touchpad* and clicking requires pushing down the bottom left and right corners. I found myself trying to left click and right click and the cursor would move slightly off whatever I was trying to click (since the area where you have to push down to click is also for mouse movement), which became annoying. It's easier to just use the touchscreen for what it's made for, instead of the touchpad.
+ The keys of the keyboard are good, with a lone exception of the bottom right area, where the right shift is smaller to accomodate fitment of the Up Arrow and fn keys. I'm used to using both shifts on standard size keyboards, so with the Transformer Mini, I've had to re-train myself to mainly use the left shift only which has taken some getting used to. Otherwise though, the keys are very good. They're not mushy, they're not too small, and they have a nice spring/actuation point to them.
+ The included pen is quite nice, especially since Microsoft is putting more and more pen-based tools in Windows 10 with Windows Ink. Over the years I've grown quite fond of the S-Pen with the 2 Samsung Note smartphones that I've owned, and having that type of functionality on a portable computing device will definitely come in handy.
+ Battery life is phenomenal. Based off my initial work with the tablet, I've gotten an average (with average computing usage) of roughly 12-13 hours between charges, from a full charge in the morning, to bringing the device home at night and having it switch over to Eco mode after a few hours of light use around the house, on the couch.
+ Actual tablet performance is exceptional for web/email and Office, with some Hulu/Netflix streaming as well. Despite being an Atom processor, don't let the name fool you - Intel has done wonders with the Atom line since the days of underpowered and underwhelming netbooks. The Transformer Mini has a quad-core Atom processor, and with 4GB of RAM, Windows 10 runs fairly zippy on the device. There's 128GB of usable storage flash memory on board, with 93.2 GB left over after all Windows updates have been applied as of today (with no other apps installed).
+ The screen works pretty well and is bright. Text is fairly clear and readable. Contrast (blacks and whites) show up pretty good on the screen. It is an IPS screen, so viewing angles are very good.
+ Wireless performance connecting to a Linksys WRT-3200ACM router was excellent, both WAN (internet) and LAN-based.
+ It's Windows 10 Home Edition, so if you need to join a domain, you'll have to pay $99 to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional. It does not really have any bloat, which is nice...you won't have to uninstall a bunch of garbage on here to have a working PC (other than maybe all the junk that Microsoft sticks under the Start menu in Windows 10, like Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans).
Cons: - Screen is only a maximum of 1280 x 800 pixels, which is a little underwhelming. It works, and maybe that's one of the contentions at this price point that has to be given, but it'd be nice to see a higher resolution display (like 1920 x 1080).
- The pen has no real good place to put it; it does not magnetically attach to the screen like the Surface's does, and the fabric 'loop' on the keyboard doesn't really hold it securely. You can push the pen's clip through it, but then it just dangles and hangs there and is really just "a place to put it".
- I don't know if it's poor USB performance, or poor eMMC storage performance, but it took over 5 hours to make a Windows 10 USB recovery drive using a USB 3.0 Corsair 256GB Voyager Slider X1. At first I tried a different USB thumb drive, but when that one was taking longer, I decided to try again with the Voyager Slider (which I know has good performance). It still took over 5 hours; basically, I started the process, left the tablet charging, and came back in the morning and it was done. Again, I'm not sure if it's poor USB performance, or the eMMC storage that is slow.
Overall Review: * This is definitely an alternative at a cheaper price to a Microsoft Surface. You'll have to concede some things, but at several hundred dollars off the price of a Surface 3, most people will find that it's worth it. If you're looking for something small and light, suitable for web/email and Office, then the Transformer Mini is definitely a solid buy. It won't replace a powerful laptop or desktop, but if it fits your needs, you'll definitely be happy with it.
Pros: Battery life... well over 11 hours, seriously. Just WOW...
Screen is very good. People complaining about it only being 1280x800 must have never used 1080p on a 10" screen before?
Build materials are VERY NICE!
True 64bit hardware/BIOS. May be able to dual boot Linux?
Full I/O (USB 3.0, Micro SD, HDMI, 3.5mm audio)
Keyboard has better feel than 90% of laptops Ive used.
Included Pen is great.
4GB of RAM with 120GB Storage.
Kickstand is awesome.
3 hour charge time.
Can play TF2 at 30+ FPS.
Speakers are way better than I expected.
Magnets are strong, be careful.
Cons: Unit has SCRATCHES on the screen! (-1 Egg)
Choice of Z8350 vs something like Z8550 literally a $6 difference In price.
No where to put the Pen safely.
You don't own this PC, Microsoft does and it will update when it wants to.
Windows 10.... did I stutter?
Random lag, however this was fixed after fresh install.
Micro USB port feels loose, not as solid as I'm used to.
No included recovery media. (-0.5 Egg)
Asus Support site lacks complete set of drivers for download. (-0.5 Egg)
3' charging cable? Really, Asus? I guess the insane battery life makes up for this?
Overall Review: This lil guy is an amazing piece of tech. Most of the Windows 2in1s Ive dealt with in the past few years are rendered almost useless by slow 16-32GB of slow eMMC, 1 or 2GB of RAM and the lack of real I/O is always the final straw. That ends here, This is a real PC! The eMMC not only spacious (116.5 GB), but has read/write speeds of what you find on 5400rpm 1TB spindle drive in $300-$500 desktops these days. I got 137MB/s read & 70MB/s write using Crystalmark. The USB 3.0 port is fast too. I was able to see the max speed of my fastest USB flash drive top out at 129MB/s and the micro SD card slot had no problem handling my 200GB Sandisk card, also getting 70MB/s.
FUN FACT: you can use the micro USB port for more things than just charging. I hooked up a OTG adapter to it and made off with some nice USB 2.0 transfer speeds of 37MB/s! Mostly I just use it for my wireless mouse receiver so I can keep the USB 3.0 port open for real things. One con I might add is the port does feel a tad loose, so be careful when plugging stuff into it.
The battery life is something else that is just simply amazing. The 1st week I had this thing I only charged it twice and both times it still had about 30% left. The "11hour battery life" claim is a VERY conservative if you ask me. One day I got to work at about 8am and 30min later Windows went rogue again and decided to do a major update. The processes took about 3hours and the whole time the screen was at full brightness. (nothing I could do about it!) The lil guy rebooted and still had about 65% left. It then continued to do something in the background for about 2 more hours at about 40% CPU usage. When I got home at 7pm, I still had over 50% battery left, and that was my highest use day. Typically I go home with over 65% left... on top of that it only takes about 3 hours to fully charge, simply amazing.
I was also supersized at the keyboards usability and feel. I took one look at it and thought it was going to be very flimsy and a pain to use. I was wrong! It is very rigid and the keys have more travel than most laptop keyboards I use these days. I will say that the spacing is fine from left to right but the spacing of the keys from top to bottom might take a bit to get used to. Also the magnet that attaches the keyboard to the tablet is crazy strong. it has no issues staying attached.
Now for the CONS
Right out of the box this thing had scratches on it. So many scratches I thought to myself "this has to be some kind of factory protection film? " Nope.... So when I peeled off the "Asus" stickers from the screen I seen there were even more scratches underneath the stickers, and I don't mean little tiny surface scratches. I mean scratches so deep you can catch your fingernail (or the tip of the Pen) in them. That was pretty disappointing to say the least. For what it is worth the box has an Asus factory seal on the box and it was intact. So you cant really blame Newegg or the Shipping Currier for this. (-1 Egg)
Moving on, I Powered on the device. Connected it to my WiFi so it would active windows and unlock the settings I like to change. Before I knew it Microsoft was downloading some Update... The system basically slowed down to a crawl, to the point it was frustrating to use. So i let it update for the next 2 hours. Yes the update took 2 hours. It finally finished and wanted to reboot so I let it. Then it sat at "applying updates" screen for at least 45min, after which it rebooted and then said "something went wrong" rebooted, then it said "we couldn't complete the updates, Undoing changes. Don't turn off your PC". The PC never rebooted into Windows after this. The recovery partition must have been wiped by the update because I could not use the option when trying to use Windows recovery tools. Awesome! So I went to Asus support site, downloaded all the drivers and then Microsoft site to create Windows instillation media. I reinstalled windows with out much trouble. Then I went to install the Asus drivers and only 20% of them worked. Most of the extracted driver packages did not have any "setup.exe" files in them. just RAW driver files and some "setup.bat" files. there was a file in each folder called "PnPutil.exe". at a loss i tried running them but they just appeared to run some CMD prompt and exit before I could even see what they said or did. I even used Asus driver update utility software, no updates were found. Same with Intel's update software... Neither of them came up with any results... I struggled with this for over a day till I decided to try to use the device managers driver update utility. Amazingly THIS WORKED! I updated each "unknown device" (about 25) and then restarted to a fully functional PC!
I blame Microsoft form this problem, but Asus did not have an easy way to recover from it. let alone even get back to me after I emailed them. I mean come on, a USB drive with the default install would probably cost them less than $4 to include. (-1 Egg)
Pros: -Quad Core Processor
-4GB RAM & Full 64 bit OS
-Battery life (9.5 hr on 720P full brightness of movie watching)
-Easy charges with a Power Bank on the Go
-IPS Panel is bright, graphics are great and easy to read documents
-1 full size USB & 1 Micro-USB 2.0
-Wireless AC (up to 466 on my Linksys RT router)
-Excellent viewing angles with the integrated kick stand
-Pen included, very accurate
-Aluminum body (careful when laying down, avoid dings)
Cons: There are no cons. Features vs price, you're getting a an excellent piece of hardware for the value of your hard earn money.
Overall Review: Machine works fantastic with all the basic tasks that a regular full size laptop would do.
So easy to carry around and while the pen holder maybe a bit inadequate to carry around, pen can easily be stored in your pocket and use it when needed.
Micro-USB storage, worked just fine. I used a 64GB memory Micro card and was able to move files back and forth, as well as a USB flash drives and various sizes and brands (Corsair, Sandisk, PNY, Kingston, Silicon, generic)
Mild gaming (card games).
Screen resolution would not be that much of an issue as most laptop users probably use a 1366x768 most likely and the Transformer T102 is perfect for up to 720p. Screen resolution is unnoticeable between those two common res.
The aluminum body feel is great, can be used as a tablet but could easily be dented if dropped, so being careful will avoid any dings.
If battery is running out of power and you're on the go w/o an outlet around, a power bank can provide power to the machine very easy.
Backing up the system for a recovery USB flash drive is recommended but I decided to clone the drive on a SSD. All unnecessary software/programs were removed prior to the cloning (using a Micro to USB cable).
This is the best choice/option and for the price point, definitely leaves so many other tables behind and compared to MS's Surface? Well, I don't see the point to spend an extra $4-500 for one. Yes, the Surface has a better screen res in some cases but I just don't see the point of spending more to go from 720p to 1080p or even higher. This is the perfect choice in this price range and what is given as Tablet as well.
It is so lightweight, carrying around is easy.
Connectivity around town is fast and reliable, I took it to 5 different coffee shops all over the city and in all cases it performed well, no connectivity issues.
Also, couple of hardware stores (orange and blue stores), 2 local malls and in all cases connectivity was flawless.
The Transformer T102H is in a class of its own, so versatile and anyone can benefit from having something this small and perform just as a regular full size laptop nowadays, plus it's an Asus, a brand synonymous to high-quality and reliability. Most definitely, a solid 5 star product as always coming from Asus.
Pros: - Small and light
- Comes with the keyboard and stylus
- Decent battery life
Cons: Windows 10 on a tablet.
- Slow. Compared to a comparable Android tablet things just take longer to open and work.
- Fussy touch interface. Sometimes Windows knows what you are doing, sometimes it has no idea.
- Fingerprint scanner. I could not get this to work. I have one on my phone that works easily. This one? Not so much.
Overall Review: Honestly, if this was running Android it would probably be a much better product. My Samsung S7 and my Samsung Pro tablet work much, much faster. Windows will occasionally open things like Facebook, Netflix, and Minecraft fairly quickly. Mostly, however, it takes quite a while for apps to open. A lot of the time I am waiting for MS Word to catch up to my typing. If I want to look something up quickly it takes forever for the log in screen to pop up once Windows has gone to sleep. Phone and tablet is press the button and open the browser in less than 5 seconds. Usually once you get things going they work fairly well, but I don't feel like it's worth it to buy an under-powered Windows tablet and wait for things. Spend the extra money to get a Surface or get a good Android tablet. I've spent a month with the Asus and it honestly just feels like a toy to me. I can't justify the price for performance. You can spend less and get an Android or spend a bit more and get a Windows 10 tablet that works faster.
For the screen size, the resolution is fine. Watching Netflix you can't tell it's not 1080p on a screen this size.