Well, Asus wants to drop your jaw. The new Transformer Book T100T is $ 399 including the keyboard. Including a 10.1-inch touch screen, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of SSD storage. Including Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, though not Outlook). And including a new quad-core Intel Atom (codenamed “Bay Trail”) processor that gives it roughly twice the performance of previous-generation Atom tablets like the abovementioned.

What’s the catch? Our test unit had only about 33GB of free storage out of its 64GB (the reason we’re ignoring the T100T model with just 32GB of storage, priced at $ 349). Like other hybrids with only 2GB of memory, it’s fine for productivity apps but unsuited for demanding multimedia creation (it was able to start Adobe Photoshop CS6 but unable to apply all the filters and effects in our benchmark test, for example). The keyboard, as you’d expect on a 10-inch-screened system, is cramped and takes some getting used to. Most annoyingly, our test unit’s touch pad was prone to skip and sleep instead of glide and tap.

But overall, the Transformer Book T100T is nothing less than what Asus chairman Jonney Shih called it at the product’s introduction—the modern-day reincarnation of the company’s pioneering Eee PC netbook, and a hybrid that’s going to be a smash hit and force aggressive pricing from other vendors. It’s also the death knell for Windows RT, but that’s another story.



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