I’m sure many of you have come across Windows 8 and the armada of different form factors it allows for. While it was quite recently released, we already have tons of Windows 8 machines to choose from today and I’ll be sharing what, I believe, is the best Windows 8 tablet available on the market today, the Asus Transformer Book T100.
The first question to ask, however, is: why buy a Windows tablet, and not an iPad or Android tablet? The answer is quite simple: Windows combines the best of both – in fact, make that the three – worlds (yes, it’s their quite cheeky and cliche slogan but it is quite accurate). You get your touch-first applications that you’d normally use on iOS or Android with all the security and confidence you are accustomed to when using the Apple App Store with the extreme configuration abilities and side-loading capabilities that so many of you love about Android. Add to that, the third world: the legacy, Win32, XP-era applications that you can just as easily use on a Windows 8 tablet as you can the Modern, touch-centric apps. Then, there is the amalgamation of the tablet world with that of the laptop through the keyboard dock, something Asus has been doing for years with Android and its Transformer series, even before the release of Windows 8.
Coming to which tablet I prefer most, generally speaking, among the many available, well, it’s Asus’ Transformer Book T100, of course! For only $400 – that’s a whole $100 less than the cheapest iPad and a comparable Galaxy tablet from Samsung – you get a 10.1 inch HD IPS display (most high-end laptops, unfortunately, don’t have an IPS screen, even today), with a real x86 processor Intel Atom processor and 64 GB of storage (approximately 32 GB after taking Windows into account), it beats every other tablet out of the water! What’s more, while other tablet need you to pay anywhere from an extra $50 to $100 for a keyboard, Asus bundles it for free with the T100, which allows you to dock the tablet in and essentially turn it into a laptop, with a touchpad and all! That’s 16GB of usable storage more than the cheapest iPad, with an extra keyboard, and the ability to run legacy desktop apps, and an already wide and ever-increasing store of touch-centric apps, all for $100 less! Oh, wait, did I forget the free Microsoft Office Home and Student (Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote) that’s also free?
Yes, there are less apps in the Windows store than either of its two competitors but, really, it’s not so bad. Almost all the major apps are there and, with the recent announcement by Microsoft that it’s allowing a shared app store between Windows and Windows Phone and Universal Windows apps, whereby you can create one app for Windows Phone and easily port it over to Windows with only UI modifications, along with the fact that Modern apps can now run on the desktop, which opens millions and millions of potential users for developers, you can be sure that momentum for the Windows Store is only going to increase in pace – and the current pace is not so bad either. And, what’s often neglected is the gargantuan number of apps that already exist for Win32, all of which you can easily install on the T100, more than making up for the absence of a few key apps.
Battery life between the iPad and the T100 is comparable (with advertised battery lives of 10 and 11 hours, respectively). The only place the iPad really trumps the T100 is the screen. The iPad screen is far, far more dense and crispy but, really, for all that you get, it’s an acceptable sacrifice, given that most of you are probably used to 1366×786 on your laptops anyway and the pixel density just gets better because the same resolution is crammed into a smaller screen in the T100.
As for how it stacks up against other Windows tablets, since they all share the same platform, most of their features are similar and the only point of differentiation is the price point and the T100 is much more cheaper than any comparable 10.1″ Windows tablet, especially if you take into account the bundled keyboard dock.
In conclusion, the T100 offers the best value for money among all the tablets available today, regardless of the platform and unless you have really specific needs (using a stylus, which it does not support, or an extreme love for higher density screens), it will cater to almost all your needs and cost far less than what other alternatives will.