This is just an update on the machine that has replaced all my other machines except my phone.
Problems relating to me: My eyes aren’t what they used to be, and so I find the screen too small for comfortable productive work like extended bouts of writing or blogging. The easy way around this is to hook the little machine up to a big monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and run it as a desktop, which it does perfectly well. That’s the setup I’m using to write this post.
Sure, I can take it to the coffee shop and work there, but that is by no means as pleasant – for me – as working with the big screen – especially since Scrivener [Download], my go-to writing app, operates with three windows open in editing mode.
This is not to say that if you still have young eyes and 20/20 vision you won’t be fine working off that tablet screen. It may be everything you need.
Memory: It came with two gigabytes of ram, which is enough to have several apps open at once. You will see a performance hit if you’ve got a dozen browser tabs open, music playing, an editor, and maybe a solitair game and an email app all running at the same time.
By next year I expect to see very similar machines in terms of price, but running somewhat faster processors that use less energy and offer longer battery life, probably 64bit capable, and equipped with 4 GB of ram and 128 gb of storage standard. I’ll be buying one of those, too, especially if it comes with an 11″ screen.
The T100 has a power quirk: For some reason, if it’s connected to its keyboard dock, it uses a lot more power than as a standalone tablet. In fact, I can have it hooked up to the power supply and the power will still gradually drain it it is in its dock and I’m working on it. So I’ve learned to disconnect it from the dock when charging, and turn it off.
The exception to this is when I’ve got it hooked up to the big USB desktop dock. That turns off the tablet display and the tablet with charge just fine if plugged in. Another incentive to use the desktop form for extended working periods.
Beyond that, I have few complaints. The keyboard works fine for me, and I don’t find it too small. It’s light enough to make a good tablet, although I wouldn’t mind seeing it lose a few ounces there as well. It works fine as a notebook, and it gives me everything I need to do real work in the desktop setup.
Bottom line: this is the technological equivalent of the ten inch chef’s knife. If you can pick only one computer for all your needs at a quite reasonable price, this is the one I would go with. There is no better value out there that I’ve yet seen, and that includes all the latest stuff that appeared over the past week at CES.
I’d hit you with an Amazon link on these babies, but apparently Asus isn’t selling them directly there any more. Resellers are marking them up from $50-$80, depending on the size of the storage, 32 or 64 GB. You can still get them at MSRP at the Microsoft Store and Best Buy, though.