Just to set the background, I have been using the Retina Macbook Pro 2015 variant as my go-to computer and an iPhone 6 Plus as my primary smartphone all through this year. I have pretty much always loaded my backpack with an iPad, since the very first one came out, right from the days of iPad 1 to the iPad Air 2. However, with a Kindle thrown in there, I started to realise that my usage of the iPad was reduced to just watching the odd movie on flights.
For everyday browsing tasks like running through Twitter or checking Facebook, I would inevitably just fire on my iPhone while all the office-related heavy tasks were restricted to a laptop. Recently, I picked up an Asus Transformer Book T100H for review and post that made an informed decision to dump my iPad. Here are the reasons why.
1. It's a full-fledged computer
The Transformer Book T100H comes with a 10.1-inch display with 1280x800 resolution and runs full-fledged Windows 10 out of the box. There is a full-size QWERTY keyboard dock to go alongside. End of the day the 2-in-1 is like a full sized computer, capable of doing everything my Macbook can in a much more comfortable form factor.
End of the day the 2-in-1 is like a full sized computer, capable of doing everything my Macbook can in a much more comfortable form factor.
At home, I can simply undock the machine and use it as a tablet, while I am just a hinge fixing away from using the full-fledged laptop. While both, an iPad Pro and Surface come with a decent set of keyboards, they are either too expensive or just not rigid enough for me to go to them all the time if I have a longish e-mail to type out or to run through a full browser set of web apps.
2. A good alternative to Apple's apps
As I mentioned earlier, the Transformer Book comes with Windows 10 out of the box. For someone deep into the Apple ecosystem, this is a fresh change. As someone who loves to try out new gadgets, the relatively affordable price of the Transformer Book means, I can just use it as a backup laptop, or just a shiny new toy to try out the latest dishes from Redmond, served cold. The machine is able to run all the desktop environment apps and therefore, you would have no problem finding software or apps here. Oh, and Windows 10 is pretty damn interesting anyway, and while it will never take over my work environment, I do enjoy clicking on those Start icons from time to time.
3. Relatively inexpensive for a decent experience
If you find the price of the Transformer Book, about ₹22,000 a tad high, there are a couple of very interesting laptabs available in the much lower price range. You have offerings from Micromax, Acer and the likes in the sub ₹20,000 category that pretty much gets the job done. By no means will the screen here beat the Retina Display of your iPad nor is the 2-in-1 a speed demon, but it is not sluggish either. In fact, using it as a standalone tablet, the performances are fairly comparable to the first iPad Air and that is not all that bad.
Using it as a standalone tablet, the performances are fairly comparable to the first iPad Air...
The only letdown is games, so if you play a lot on your iPad, then you will be a little disappointed. However, being a Console Warrior, I was more than good with the performance of the Transformer Book T100H.
4. A USB port and expandable storage
The importance of a USB port is understated. Just the other day, I was returning from a rare late night, when my iPhone 6 Plus died on me; yes, even rarer event than my late night plans. Thankfully, with the Transformer Book in the bag, I could charge the phone enough to order for a cab and reach home safely. With an iPad, I would always search for a power socket and while the battery on it is great, there is no way for me to use that battery in an emergency if I wanted to transfer some juice away. The Asus product also has an expandable storage, so I can simply choose to insert a Micro SD card and increment the 32 GB internal storage that comes out of the box. Nope, the iPad Air did not do that sadly.
5. Dedicated mousepad
When you want to use any portable device with a keyboard, you want a touchpad, at least, I did. This is why, despite having a Bluetooth keyboard on my iPad, it felt a little unnatural. The trackpad on the Transformer Book is flimsy and a little cheap, but it gets the job done. It is by no means the best thing out there, but something is better than nothing. With a touch-enabled screen, I pretty much enjoyed using it as a full computer.
Everything is not rosy though - the display is not the highest resolution, the sound is very average, scrolling through Chrome with maybe a music player app in the background is not the smoothest and the machine does tend to get a little hot.
Yet, if you are looking for just a standby machine to go to bed with you every day without emptying your pockets, I think the Transformer Book T100H makes a ton of sense. It did to me - much more than owning an iPad that I was anyway not using.
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