on December 5, 2013
This is a great product but you need to be careful in setup in order to avoid crashing and blackouts.
Recommend following steps to enjoy this wonderful device:
1. Read as much of favorable and unfavorable reviews on Amazon before powering up.
2. Fully charge before powering up.
3. Do not do any windows update until you do #4
4. Go to "pc settings" and change windows update setting from auto install to "download updates but let me choose whether to install them". So much of crashing has been due to auto update installation coming off sleep mode or during booting(especially the large update right off the bat). Windows will let you know that there are updates to be installed. Now you are able to review and choose ones you want to install. More importantly, you are installing updates while the device is up and running (thereby reducing the risk of being locked out). I've had two instances of "failed to install" on updates during this manual installation but no crashing. When I retried to install on the next day, installation was successful in both cases. By the way, I have installed all updates so far.
5. Asus has new BIOS update on their website - strongly recommend updating to BIOS 220
6. Turn off three finger and edge gesture on touchpad.
7. I use my Samsung galaxy note 2 charger with no problem. I think any Samsung or LG smartphone chargers would work. Its not any faster but has longer cord.
8. Call Asus customer service with any issues. Generally they are helpful. If Asus recommend sending in for repair, try returning it to the retailer for exchange or refund first.
9. Buy illumishield screen protector - your screen is no longer a fingerprint magnet.
10. Get 64GB as 32GB is not enough.
Hope above helps. This is a fantastic device, doubly so at this price.
I've had this device for nearly three weeks with no problem whatsoever. In fact, with Windows and BIOS updates, its performance has improved. For example, the touchpad works better and battery consumption during sleep mode has gone down from 5% per hour to 1%.
I have kept my windows update setting to manual installation and do not intend to allow auto installation until crashing issues are completely resolved. There is nothing to lose by taking this precaution and judging by many Windows update related crashes still being reported, this is a prudent action.
Its been nearly month and half and this devise has mostly replaced my desktop. I bought 22 inch Samsung HDTV to replace 17 inch monitor. Micro HDMI to HDMI cable connection allows me to watch Netflix while doing email, web surf, or word doc on TV screen. Simply amazing.
For the past week, I have changed windows update setting to auto installation with no issues - got tired of almost daily windows defender update.
I still recommend new users to maintain manual windows update installation for the first three weeks. My daughter recently purchased Dell Venue 11 Pro (for bigger screen and slightly better spec) and got locked out after allowing automatic windows update installation. As is the case with T100, there is a large initial windows update on Dell Venue. The thing would not turn on no matter what we tried. She received a new one few days ago and needless to say, MANUAL INSTALLATION only.
on November 9, 2013
This has got to be one of the best tech values besides the Nexus 5 and Nokia 520. Fro $350-400, you get a FULL FEATURED 10 inch Windows 8 tablet that comes with a keyboard dock! Tablet one second, netbook the other! Its a fantastic device that gets 5 stars for its superb value alone!
+ Great screen! People online may gripe on the 720p display, but you'll never notice using it
+ Battery life: Took it off the charger 7am this morning, and been using it straight since browsing the internet, viewing several Youtube videos both on Flash and Metrotube app, reading PDFs with Bluetooth and Webcam on. Now at 4pm, and still have 40% on the tank! Definetly liberating from netbooks where under clocking underpowered devices was a necessity to get that battery life. About as good as my iPad.
+The Speakers! As an iPad owner, I'm impressed. Very clear and very loud. definitely betrays their size. I've never had reason to crank it up past 50% so far.
+ FULL WINDOWS 8.1! This can't be said enough. I think almost everyone who has bought a Netbook did so to get a full Windows experience in a relatively portable format, where I do not feel afraid to use the device on a subway, and doesn't require me to bring a charger.
+ This things a BEAST for its size. Wana watch a flash Youtube video while browsing the net on the same screen? No problem! Wana do some photo editing while watching said video? No sweat! Everything is buttery smooth on Bay Trail. Hell, it seems faster than my Core2Duo 2009 White Macbook that I've been using as my primary computer (very happily especially with Mavericks) for 4 years now.
+ FREE DOCK!!!!
+ MicroSD card slot: Format it so NTFS, and you have an additional 32-64GB Hard Drive, so space no longer becomes a big issue.
- The Dock: I REALLY want to like this thing. Truly. But its pretty terrible. The keyboard has the same configuration and size as my 1000HE, which I've been using regularly until recently (broken fan). But its for some reason a pain in the ___ to type on. I think its because the keys are recessed in to the case too far, and the boarders around the keyboard are too high. Makes it very awkward to type on. Keys are also a bit stiff, but I personally don't mind that too much. Also, like others are reporting, there's still Q/A issues with these: Bought it from BestBuy yesterday (32GB) so its a brand new batch. The space bar is already squeaking after just a days use. Now very difficult to type on. Gonna send it in for return.
The Touchpad is also pretty bad. However, there's a way to make it pretty decent:
1- realize that Asus put some stupid power saving feature to turn off the touchpad after 10 seconds or so. When you wana use it, just tap on it and use it. Small 6/10 second thing, but it makes it much more bearable.
2- On the Desktop, double click "Asus Smart Gesture" on the bottom right where the Dock is (where you see your Battery indicator). Go to "Edge Gesture" and TURN THAT SHAITE OFF!!! Whoever thought that was a good idea in the first place should be fired! This thing already has the ability to do gestures with the touch screen. What's the point in adding all these unusable gestures to such a small touchpad? Leave it alone! The only gesture it needs is 2 finger scrolling. The rest is pointless.
3- After that, go to Mouse Settings on the Control Panel and crank up both touch sensitivity and scrolling speed.
So in conclusion, if you want a FULL 10 inch Windows Tablet that has a dock to use as a stand, case, and occasional keyboard, then get the Asus T100 without hesitation. Its perfect.
If, like me, you are looking to get one as a netbook replacement, then wait a bit longer. Either until Asus fixes their Q/A issues, for competitor models that WILL be coming, or ditch the Tablet part and wait for the eventual touch screen Bay Trail netbooks.
In my 1 day use, the tablet part adds to the Netbook experience. Complementing it with the fast processing and amazing battery life, this machine should be the Ultimate Computational Device.
However, it isn't right now. My thumb is tired from hitting this squeaky space bar, so signing off!
Edit: Just got back from Bestbuy to exchange the keyboard, and the overall response is much better. Think the keyboard was defective all around. If it holds up after the next few weeks, I'll bump it up to 4 stars. Still, be wary of the quality control issues on this product, and make sure you buy it from somewhere that has a very flexible return policy.
Edit 2: Well, it's been a month and so far, so good! The new dock has shown no wear and is now holding up well. after about a month, it's staring to replace my iPad as a tablet. Not entirely, but it's getting there. 4:3 aspect ratio is still ideal for tablet browsing, and Windows store is sorely lacking apps...but considering that I never intended this little thing to replace my MacBook OR iPad, I gotta say Tablet internet Explorer has grown on me! And I haven't really touched my MacBook since getting this, as I am able to do all my editing fine with the T100.
Another thing to be wary of: The plastics in the tablet are cheap. No joke. I put it in my book bag with the dock snug in a relatively safe compartment. Never banged it, or dropped it, etc. took it out, and found a very small crack on the side of the tablet. It's very small and everything works perfect, but considering the amount of drops and damage I've done with my old Asus Netbook, it's a bit disappointing it's that brittle. When in use, get a case for the whole thing. AmazonBasics has a cheap $9 case for 10 inch tablets that fits well and gives good enough protection.
on October 23, 2013
I've been using this unique machine for about five hours now (update below). Before I review it, I want to give some context: I regularly use the Nexus 10 for mobile computing with a keyboard - arguably the best screen you can buy on a tablet. I also have the first Nexus 7. I have tried to present on my Nexus 10 and it crashed the projector. So I have been using my Asus 1201n running Win8.1 to handle all MS programs.
Enter the Asus T100. I didn't buy it for the tablet option, though that is useful. I bought it for a few reasons - 10 hrs of Microsoft usage without plugging in. Good touchscreen. Light - very important - it must fit in my small shoulder bag with my Nexus 10 and a book without strain. Fast processor - at least four times faster than the Atom dual core in my Asus 1201n, which really was cutting edge in Sept. 2010 (still pretty solid).
My initial verdict.
Screen - you won't be upset. Any rendering problems are Microsoft's and not due to the pixel count. If the pixel count was higher on this size screen MS rendering would make everything really small (Android is much better with this 10" form). Asus's reading mode turns the screen a yellow hue, but may help the eyes. Touch functionality is exceptional - though reviewers say it only has 5 pt touch, not 10 (which used to be standard - not sure why this has been reduced - though I never use 10 fingers on the screen at once). Track pad is also quite good, though I'm not a clicker - I like to double tap - which this does well.
Charging - slow
Keyboard - cramped compared to my 12 inch netbook. Cramped compared to my Bluetooth Motorola android keyboard (which is superb). But in five hours I feel like I'm already about 50% adapted to the key layout. Way better than typing on the screen. Definitely takes some getting used to.
Processor and performance - Snappy. This is not an i5 chip, for sure. But you won't wait for anything to load when launching apps. This is my fastest machine - it feels like a work horse to me, but I don't do video editing and I don't play pc games. I do regularly use ppt, vlc, youtube ripper, lots of chrome. Let's say I'm an aggressive word processor, browser, ppt user. This is ideal for me, though I could enjoy a 12 inch screen. The biggest issue that makes the screen feel cramped is simply the small Win8 text rendering - which can be adjusted.
My advice - I'd buy this over a Chromebook . I'd buy this over the high priced but attractive looking Yoga and any other Win8 running Mac Book Air competitor (definitely buy it over a surface - you'd have to be crazy to pull the trigger on a surface pro over this baby). The 2gb of ram is much speedier on this machine than the 4gb ram in my Asus 1201n (that I upgraded). I haven't had a ram issue yet and I'm running lots of programs and apps simultaneously.
For what it is worth, I agree with most everything said in this review: [...]
Update after a few days of use:
The battery is exceptional. On a typical day I use the computer about 7 hours and I regularly have 30% left by the time I close the lid (brightness is set to auto adjust). It also accepts a charge from my external battery pushing my mobile work time up to double the reported 10 hrs.
I'm adjusting to the keyboard, but like many reviewers have noted, the right shift key is small and I often miss it. Please note: the two feet of the hinge, which touch the table when the screen is up, can scratch a wood finish very easily. I produced three scratches at home before I figured out what the sound was. Like one reviewer as well, my keyboard had a slight warp that made it wobble. I've bent it back into shape. Some parts of the construction seem needlessly cheap, like the warped keyboard and the glossy and sometimes flimsy back of the tablet. Less like the Nexus 10 back and more like the lid to my old Asus 1201n. You don't notice the flex until you pick up the screen in tablet mode.
Overall, I continue to be impressed with the performance and functionality of the T100. Win 8.1 is great on this machine. It is everything I wanted in Android that Google or MS won't allow - split screen, great multitasking, great MS Office experience. It has an awesome Baytrail chip with an exceptional balance between power and battery life. Rumor is, too, that once the first Android Baytrails are launched the T100 will be able to dual boot Android and Win 8.1.
Update after one month of use:
My concerns about the keyboard are gone. I'm fully adjusted to the size and placement of keys and I can type as comfortably on this machine as I can on a full sized keyboard. I did notice the reduction in size for about two weeks, then it faded from consciousness and my typing seemed normal.
This is my daily driver - I have no need of any other computer or tablet with this machine. I did load up a few indie games - particularly FEZ. The tablet keyboard combo seems to be ideal for this type of game. You have about 10hrs of battery, so the only problem you will have playing relatively simple games on here is that they'll be difficult to put down. My initial concerns about build quality diminish the more I use the device. In my opinion this is the top of the pack for tablet and "air laptop" usage.
on October 30, 2013
I was very excited to get this device, so when I opened it and wasn't able to turn on it on, I wasn't too thrilled to see that the manual told me to charge it for 8 hours initially. I can't blame the tablet for that. Going against my better judgment, the little kid in me didn't want to wait for that, so I turned it on after only about a half-hour of charge. I will say that during initial Windows setup, it shut off due to a lack of charge.... My fault. The reason I'm including that is because it is a possible cause of how the device behaved initially.
The device while plugged in, seemed to not be charging or doing so at a very poor pace, as others have mentioned. It was sluggish, webpages were loading very slowly in desktop mode and in the Modern IE app. The WiFi randomly cut out, and most of the modern apps (The Metro UI) would open for a second and then force close with no error message. I was aggravated and very close to returning it. However I had read many reviews that lead me to believe that this was not the case for some people.
I work in IT, and I'm not a person who can just give up on a device like this without troubleshooting first, regardless of how strong the urge may be. The first thing I tried was a very simple factory restore, not thinking it would do much but it was worth a shot as a starting point. To my surprise, it worked. The device was suddenly much more responsive, the apps were opening quickly and not force closing, the WiFi was working fine, and the battery was definitely charging whether the screen was on or off. Also to address another review, the charging LED by the power button DOES go from orange to white when it is fully charged. While it may not be the fastest charging device, it charged a lot faster than my 3rd Gen iPad.
Now to actually discuss a few things about the physical device. The Screen is nice, not as bright or pixel dense as my iPad was but the extra functionality I receive with Windows 8 is well worth the trade-off. Besides, I didn't really notice a huge difference when watching Netflix or Hulu. The difference was only noticeable with text, but either way it is still a nice and perfectly adequate screen with nice viewing angles and pretty decent color.
As for build quality, I don't know what people are complaining about. I was expecting to pick this up and have it feel really cheap and light, and not a good kind of lightweight. This thing isn't too heavy but has a nice solid weight to it as well as the keyboard dock. I'm not saying it felt as "premium" as the iPad did, but it is perfectly fine to me and not just because of the price. The touchpad on the dock is a little erratic at times and doesn't feel great, but it works fine for me. The keyboard is a little small as well, but I'd still prefer it over always using the on-screen keyboard. I applaud Asus for including the dock at this price because to be honest using Desktop mode in Windows 8 sometimes requires a mouse or trackpad to avoid a lot of frustration from mis-taps.
Overall, I'm glad I purchased this device. Anything intensive I can do on my desktop, though this little guy seems to be pretty capable. Obviously this won't replace your main computer unless you really only use it for web browsing, watching videos, and creating/editing documents (Comes with Office Home and Student for free..or at least bundled into the great price.) But it is great for what I do with a tablet and a little more. So if you order this and have issues with it, give it a chance and at least attempt a factory restore, which is very simple to do.
on December 7, 2013
I originally wrote a much more generous review for this product. In concept it was exactly what I was looking for and seemed to be the exact device for some specialized needs.
That all changed however ... shortly after opening the box. BOTH times.
Long story short it doesn't connect to the internet. Read the other reviews around here. It's obviously a MAJOR issue yet the company holds their hands over their ears while loudly projecting "LA LA LA LA". At first I spent 45 minutes in a chat, deleting a driver, doing a factory reset, and downloading a new networking driver from the site.
Day 2, we came to the conclusion that immediately after rebooting, it was back to the beginning with the device not connecting to the internet all over again. Time for an RMA.
I waited a WEEK for the RMA label I was told would be coming by U.S. Mail. I finally called and had to pester the rep on the phone until he would e-mail the label so I could print it off. That e-mail also NEVER arrived. I ended up going to the FedEx store and spending nearly 45 minutes getting the defective unit shipped off using the FedEx store's rep to find this return authorization and printing off the label.
10 days later I have the unit back and now it not only doesn't get online for the apps through the Start screen (just like before) but now not even IE on the desktop will browse! NO internet connectivity AT ALL.
Bear in mind this is a house where at one time or another 4 different laptops, a destop computer, a wireless printer, three smart phones, and two e-readers have all connected to the router and surfed online flawlessly ... but NOT THIS ASUS!
And just to be sure it wasn't only the network here, I took it to two airports and a local bread restaurant ... this device would not connect and browse on any of these WiFi connections.
On the last hour-plus phone call, the rep was actually taking me through the EXACT SAME ROUTINE as the very first chat. This time I'm sure it was going to go better because ... ummm I don't know WHY. It was absolutely brain-dead process rather than actual trouble shooting. The rep didn't even know that Win 8 had a startup wizard which retrieved settings! Not exactly helpful or knowledgeable assistance. He refused to escalate the call, hung up after I held for his supervisor over 15 minutes.
All totaled, 3 chat sessions, 4 phone calls later and a trip to the FedEx store in a blizzard, (easily better than 4 hours of my time) wasted. This unit is in a box and headed back to Amazon.
Save yourself the frustration, pay more, get something that works. Your time is too valuable to burn on this good idea which went horribly wrong somewhere in the implementation.
This experience with ASUS is not at all a motivator to make me consider another of their products. I have NEVER had so much trouble right out of the box with any piece of hardware ... nor have I ever encountered a less competent staff "supporting" a product.
on November 14, 2013
I don’t understand the negative reviews on this fully loaded tablet. Yes, fully loaded! I love the fact it has Windows 8.1, and a full version of Microsoft Office 2013. Yes, Microsoft Office is included. I love the fact that it comes with a click-type keyboard, which also serves as a cover. There is nothing cheap about this tablet. The look and feel of this tablet is expensive. It may not have full HD resolution, but I guarantee you won’t notice the difference. The display is super vivid and sharp. The keyboard is a little smaller, but that is to be expected with a tablet. I think the other reviewers are comparing this to a full size laptop. This is not a laptop … but has all the features of a laptop in a very compact, portable size. It weighs about 2 pounds with the keyboard/cover. I especially enjoy the large 10.1” display, and ease of use. I use a stylus pen that I purchased for $10 to swipe and tap. It keeps the screen free of finger prints. I never got used to using a touch pad, not even with a laptop, so I connected a mouse using Bluetooth. Now I have all the functionality of a desktop in a tablet. My primary reason for purchasing this tablet is to take my work with me. I am now able to access all my Excel files through SkyDrive, so a large hard drive is no longer an issue. The 32 GB hard drive on this tablet is more than sufficient. Now let’s talk price. With all its features, I only paid $340. Dell’s Venue comparable tablet with a keyboard is over $700. Microsoft Surface 2 Pro is over $1000 with a keyboard. The Microsoft Surface 2 RT is not a full functional Windows product, so there’s no comparison. The Surface 2 has many limitations, including Office. You cannot run macros with Windows RT. The Asus Transformer Book has the full version of Windows 8.1, so you can run applications like Java. It is the perfect tablet for access to the Internet, Netflix, email, music and games. You get full functionality of Office, and you can even set this device up with Google Chromecast. Just install the Chrome browser. Buy the TV adapter for $35 and you can wirelessly connect this tablet to your HDTV. I know I must sound like a salesperson for Asus or Google, but I can assure you I am not. I am just so impressed with this product, that I cannot say enough about it. The bottom line: The features are right. The feel of this product is right. And most importantly, the price is right.
on November 29, 2013
Rather than regurgitate other glowing reviews, I'll simply say that for the money, the 64GB version is the best Tablet/Netbook hybrid on the market with full Windows and MS Office installed. The keyboard attachment is rock solid and stays put, allowing it to be used, bounced...and possibly abused on your lap (others use some flimsy keyboard / kickstand combo..Surface..cough...ahem). Honestly, it's just silly how much you get for this price.
Install "StartIsBack" for a few bucks and it even feels like a Windows 7 device (come on Microsoft, did you REALLY think your world domination scheme code named Tiles would work??). Oh, and yeah, it's not all rainbows and unicorns, the mouse trackpad left/right button clicks are terrible feeling and loud enough to wake zombies. Right shift addicts will feel gimped by the tiny shift key. But hey, real people use real mouses (mice?) and left shift anyhow =P.
The maddeningly frustrating thing since getting this is it only charges fast with the included charger. For those who lose the charger or think they can just use any uber aftermarket charger, most will trickle charge (and I mean TRICKLE) the device. The included charger spits out 5V 2.1A, thus, logically, any similar 2.1A charger should work. Right...
To understand why this is NOT the case, one apparently needs a PHD in Dumb (charger only) vs Data (sync and charger) Micro B USB 2.0 cables. USB 2.0 standards include 4 pins, 2 for power and 2 for data transfer. If the data pins are "shorted", your device knows it's connected to a charger only and will pull the max power it can. If the data pins are not shorted in the charger and/or cable, how much power your device draws will depend on how "smart" it is. If it's a bit challenged in the IQ department, your device will probably thinks it's always connected to a usb port for data transfer/sync and self limit it's power draw to 500mA (0.5A). The T100TA apparently is in this "dumber" category and 500mAh will be like trying to charge a Nissan Leaf with a regular wall charger and patiently waiting like 6 months or something.
My guess is the included T100TA wall charger is shorting the data pins, whereas many aftermarket chargers and MOST cables keep all 4 pins open. I thus provide THREE solutions for your charging woes:
1) Get a 5V 2.1A wall charger that shorts the 2 data pins (I can't find) or is "smart":
Innergie mMini AC15 Power Adapter
2) Get a USB adapter that shorts the 2 data pins to make any charger and cable (car, wall, etc) "dumb".
PortaPow Fast Charge Blackberry Charging
3) Get a cable that shorts the 2 data pins to make any charger (car, wall, etc) "dumb".:
PortaPow Specialised Cord
on October 30, 2013
* Battery life seems to be as long as advertised.
* More responsive than I expected. Scrolling and dragging things around is smooth, making the touchscreen a pleasure to use.
* Screen resolution is a good match for the size, so you don't have to apply any scaling to make things usable.
* Light weight
* Better than average speakers
* Included keyboard dock fits well
* I have verified that micro USB OTG adapters work, allowing you to use a USB device without attaching the keyboard dock. No drivers required. It just worked instantly.
* I can output 1080p to my projector using a micro HDMI to HDMI adapter.
* I have experienced no hardware or software glitches in the 5 days I've had it.
* MicroSD card reader is slow. Benchmarks maxed out at about 23 MB/s read and write on a SanDisk Extreme 32GB card that tests much higher (80 MB/s) in other devices. See the customer images I submitted for full benchmark results.
* MicroSD card sticks out a bit, making it less than ideal for a permanent storage upgrade.
* Battery drains at about 0.5% to 1% per hour while sleeping. For comparison, my 3rd generation iPad loses no more than 4% sleeping for 24 hours.
* Nearly half the storage is unavailable. About 35 GB free space when new.
* Shipped with dead battery and took 4 to 5 hours to charge to 100%.
* Included charge cord is short.
* The touchpad on the keyboard dock is pretty bad. Clicks are loud and responsiveness is poor.
It is a great little piece of hardware at a fair price ($400). There are some shortcomings, but nothing critical. I would definitely recommend this tablet to others. The bottom tier Surface Pro with a keyboard cover is over $1000 and there isn't much it would do for me that the Asus T100 can't do just as well.
on November 24, 2013
I have used this for two days now and have to say upfront that I am very pleased with my purchase. Having spent quite a lot of time researching possibilities I settled on this one. The main reason was the incredible value, $379 for a tablet/laptop with full windows 8.1 AND full office and the new Bay processor chip.
Read the reviews before you purchase, like I did. I agree with all the pros and cons that others have written but decided the cons did not outweigh the pros.
I needed a small portable device that I could use for office productivity, that needed a long battery life, had a fast enough processor to handle several apps at once and was affordable - I found it!
It has full flash capability so I can play Facebook games such as texas hold em and Mafia Wars and an assortment of slots. I can get my schoolwork done, I use google chrome and gmail - no problem there.
The movie quality is very good, I don't aim to use it for taking pics (I have a very decent phone that can do that and take excellent video)
I did take the advice of others and charge for 8 hours first, disable the trackpad gestures, will get a longer charger cable and a bluetooth mouse.
I will start the updates today and will follow advice of others about not downloading them all but being picky, I will try and post more as I come across issues etc
4DAYS AFTER THE ABOVE REVIEW>
I was very picky with my updates and did not do too many but maybe one got through that messed it up because....
I left the original review in so you can see how pleased I was initially and how happy with it when it worked. Just 4 days afterwards, I went to turn it on and it was stuck in a "trying to load" pattern. After Asus advice and other tips gleaned from other reviewers who had similar issues. I tried holding down the power button and f9 simultaneously in order to get to the screen to do a factory re-set. I made the screen several times but whatever sub menu I followed, it failed to bring me back to a working computer. It showed me it was erasing my files and was doing it but I have never been able to get back to the windows start up screen again. SUCH a shame because I really liked this computer, but I thought I could be one of the lucky ones and get one that works! I'm sending it back via Amazon today. So I would have to say - purchase at your own risk. This is not a one off item and seems to be a problem with the device. I'm waiting for my Dell Venue Pro 8 to arrive and see if I fare better with that.
on November 5, 2013
I’ve had this computer for a week, and I’ve been using it every day during that time as my desktop. I didn’t buy it as a desktop replacement, but rather as a portable desktop substitute for when I spend weeks or even months at another residence across the country. However, using it as a full-time desktop during the past week has given me ample opportunity to enjoy its many attributes and get it setup for my next cross-country trek.
I have had none of the problems reported by a few others. From the moment I booted up the computer after its initial charge, it has worked perfectly. Software updates and activations went smoothly. I’ve not had issues with screen flashes, reboots, or blue screens of death. The wireless adapter works great, allowing me to communicate smoothly with other computers and peripherals on my home network. I have no complaints about the build quality or the QA process involved in making this computer. I do, however, have a few design complaints, though none of them would keep me from buying this device again.
I knew the small keyboard would involve some compromises and a learning curve, and that has certainly proved correct. The keyboard is a bit smaller than a fully size model—which I knew before buying it, thanks to the reviews of others--and it takes some getting used to. I was willing to make that compromise in order to get a 10”, highly portable Windows desktop, and after using it for a while, I’m satisfied with that choice. The more I use the keyboard, the easier it gets, so I think this issue will eventually work itself out. I’d take a small keyboard over no keyboard any day.
The short power cord is absurd. It is so short that I can’t even plug in the computer from a floor outlet while the computer is sitting on a table—not unless I set the computer on the very edge of the table, making it unusable while charging. Even then, the cord barely reaches the plug. What was Asus thinking? I solved the problem by buying a 6’ charge cable to replace the one that came with the plug, and that works fine. (If you go that route, be sure to buy a charge cable, not a data cable.) The computer is extremely slow to charge, if you use it while charging. Better to charge over night while you sleep.
I also wish ASUS had included one more full size USB port on the keyboard. For those of us who use a wireless mouse instead of the track pad, the only existing USB port is taken up by the mouse transmitter, leaving no open ports for something like a flash drive, which I use to carry around all my files from my desktop. The micro USB port on the tablet can be used with an adapter (purchased separately), but that port is not available if you are charging while working. So, the next solution is to buy a small USB hub, which I did. Carrying around a hub would probably not be necessary if ASUS had simply included just one more full USB port on the other side of the keyboard dock.
Now, on to the things I like a lot and why I chose this computer. . . .
I have owned a number of Android and Apple devices, and while I enjoy them, I find them to be limited to entertainment and leisure activities. When I travel for long periods of time I also need the ability to be productive. For me, that means a portable Windows environment--something that I sorely lacked and which this little gem thankfully now provides.
I have been able to set up this computer just like my desktop, with all the Windows-based programs that I routinely use, so that when I travel it’s just like having my desktop with me. That means I run Word, Excel, Visio Pro, and Adobe Reader with regularity for personal productivity. I also maintain my own website and use light photo editing and watermarking software. I have not experienced any speed or performance problems while using those programs, and I often have several programs running at the same time. I’m not a resource-demanding gamer, and I don’t use the computer for activities related to outside employment. If I did either of those, I likely would have opted for a more robust machine—possibly the upcoming Dell Venue 11 Pro, which will cost significantly more for the same basic configuration, but will probably be faster and have options for a larger hard drive and more memory. For my purposes, this computer will only see daily use when I travel, and that’s usually only a few times a year.
I’m finding Windows 8.1 easier to use than the various Apple and Android devices I have, and I’ve enjoyed customizing the Start menu to include all the programs I use for productivity, as well as some for travel and entertainment. The Start screen allows me to organize my programs in a way that makes them easy to find, and I like the instant start menu notifications included with many of the apps.
In terms of apps, there appears to be nothing of significance that I can do on my Apple or Android devices that I can’t do on this computer, but, then, I’m not a big apps person either. I spent quite a bit of time in the Windows store, looking for apps, and I found everything I needed that didn’t already come loaded by Asus. I have read that others find the app selection for Windows devices poor, but I found it more than sufficient for my varied travel, entertainment, and personal productivity needs.
Besides wanting a full Windows desktop replacement, I chose this particular machine for four reasons: 1) its light weight and small size make it highly portable, even with a keyboard attached; 2) it has better battery life than most other options, making it more convenient for travel; 3) the detachable tablet provides the option of ditching the keyboard for even more portability; and 4) all other contenders—both available now and soon to be released—do, or will, cost significantly more for the same capabilities. For my purposes, the significant extra cost just didn’t make sense. This computer does what I need, so why pay more?
When I was looking at this computer, I was a little worried about the small hard drive, but that issue was easily resolved by the purchase of a 128GB flash drive and a 64GB micro SD card. I have seen comments that the micro SD card “sticks out” when inserted, but mine is flush with the outside edge of the tablet, making it no problem to leave in all the time. I also purchased a small, lightweight USB hub and a micro-to-full-USB converter to allow me maximum versatility in communicating with other devices. I created a car charger from a flexible, coiled micro-to-full USB charge cable and a dual car charger that meets the electrical specs for this computer (allowing me to charge this computer and my phone at the same time). Add to that a really cute case, screen protector, mesh-tipped stylus, ultra-portable wireless mouse and pad, and a flexible USB data cable, and I’m ready to hit the road and stay gone as long as I want without getting behind on anything.