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Asus Transformer Book T200TA review

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Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA
  • Asus Transformer Book T200TA

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Pros

  • Light, strong exterior
  • Solid screen-detach mechanism
  • Small diagonal size
  • Decent screen quality

Cons

  • Still heavier than tablets
  • Low screen resolution
  • Mediocre keyboard

Key Features

  • 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 touchscreen
  • Intel Atom Z3775 processor
  • Intel HD Graphic
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC drive
  • 500GB hard disk
  • Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Review Price: £350.00

What is the Asus Transformer Book T200TA?

The latest tablet-laptop hybrid from Asus is also one of the cheapest examples we’ve seen from this growing corner of the laptop market – and that £350 price is key to the T200TA’s appeal.

It’s the sort of low price that undercuts the cash you’d have to spend to get a proper tablet and a decent laptop, and that makes the T200TA a tempting option – as long as it can avoid common hybrid issues.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Tablets Round-up

Asus T200TA 2

Asus Transformer Book T200TA – Design and Build Quality

Asus has been making hybrid machines for longer than almost anyone, and it shows. The T200TA doesn’t look or feel like a £350 device: the tablet portion is coated with smart plastic that’s got a subtle ringed pattern, and the keyboard half is topped with a metallic material that tapers to a narrow edge. That keyboard section has great strength, and the tablet half isn’t much weaker – we’d have no qualms about slinging this machine in a bag without any protection.

The T200TA looks smart and feels strong, but its dimensions are a mixed bag – there clearly hasn’t been much room left in the budget for slimming down.

Each half of the T200TA weighs just over 750g, with a combined weight of 1.54kg. Those figures trade blows with the competition: more than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11 and the HP Pavilion x360, but lighter than the 2.1kg bulk of the detachable Toshiba Satellite Click 2 L30W. It’s also heavier than its predecessor – the Transformer Book T100 weighed just 1.2kg.

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Asus T200TA 5

The T200TA isn’t as slim as it looks. The tapered metallic material on the base sits on top of a thicker, darker section, and it’s not the first time we’ve spotted Asus using this trick to make its laptops look slimmer.

The tablet section is 12mm thick, and the dock is 21mm thick so, combined, the T200TA is 33mm at its chunkiest point. That doesn’t compare well to its rivals, as every other machine we’ve mentioned is less than 25mm thick.

The Asus’ detachable 11.6-inch screen means the T200TA is easier to use as a tablet than most of its rivals – the HP and Lenovo machines don’t detach, and the Toshiba’s tablet half is thick and heavy. That helps this machine prove pretty manageable, but it’s still not a clean bill of health for this hybrid: when its two sections are combined it’s no thinner or lighter than dedicated laptops, and the tablet portion is still larger and heavier than the latest iPad.

The base unit serves up a USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 and a Gigabit Ethernet socket. The tablet offers better connectivity: a Micro HDMI connector, an SD card slot, a Micro USB socket and a headphone jack.

The buttons are all on the back of the tablet, with the Windows key, power button and volume rocker clustered into the top-left corner. Asus has ditched the Windows logo on the front of the tablet section – it was there on the previous generation of Transformer, but it wasn’t an actual Windows button and simply proved confusing.

On the inside there’s Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11n wireless, but no sign of 802.11ac.

SEE ALSO: Best Laptops, Ultrabooks and Hybrids

Asus T200TA 10

Asus Transformer Book T200TA – Screen and Sound Quality

The Transformer has a 1366 x 768 touchscreen, which is what we expect on budget machines – but it’s too low for Full HD movies or proper multitasking.

The Asus got off to a good start with a measured brightness of 307 nits. That’s more than enough for indoor viewing, and it’s good enough for outside use, too. It’s brighter than the HP, but Lenovo’s IdeaPad 2 11 was brighter still.

The Lenovo may be brighter, but the Asus machine fought back with better contrast and black levels of 1059:1 and 0.29 respectively. That means colours will appear richer and darker tones will be deeper. It’s aided by good viewing angles, too – barely any brightness is lost when the screen is titled away.

The Asus’s screen is bright and with good contrast, but its colour accuracy isn’t great. The measured temperature of 7015K is cool, the Delta E of 5.36 is around one point behind the Lenovo, and the 62.4% sRGB gamut coverage level falls short.

Those latter figures fall behind the Lenovo, but they’re not as important – this isn’t a machine for serious work, where good accuracy and sRGB figures matter. The Transformer’s superior contrast is the key result here, and it means that the Asus’s screen will feel punchier and richer when browsing the web, watching videos and playing low-end games.

Asus T200TA 3

Asus has fitted surprisingly good speakers to the T200TA. The mid-range is meaty, and the high-end is snappy and well balanced – it’s not tinny, and it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the audio. Bass drums aren’t too deep and basslines are largely lost, and there’s only enough volume to fill a small room – but the audio kit here is good enough considering this machine’s design and price.

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Prem Desai

December 29, 2014, 12:11 pm

Looks good and the price appears low at first glance.

However, the low price has meant a huge sacrifice to the innards. The spec is woeful for everyday use - even casual.

Running Windows on an atom processor is a complete no-no.

I reckon they should have fitted it with at least an i3 processor and 4gb of ram. Yes, the price would go up by a few pounds, but it would be a useable device.

In this spec, one would do well to stay clear.

flubalubaful

January 17, 2015, 6:50 pm

Really i wonder if the reviwer actually used this keyboard himself. I have written 7 short novellas on mine and find the keyboard to be very consistant and very easy to use, in fact it is one of the best i have used in a long time. Well maybe it is somethignt o do with personal taste but i doubt it, the travel on the keys are excellent, not too much but enough to know when you are touch typing that you have hit the key correctly. Also the keys have never let me down and are the same size as others i have used, Although the keys areflat and dont have a curve to them after a few days of getting used to them they feel more secure when typing than the normal keys on a full keyboard.

Also the touchpad is big, bigger than any other touchpad i have ever used. From the outset gestures work really well two fingers to scroll down or up being the one i use the most, pinch to zoom, brilliant.

The only downfall for mine is that the whole dock is slightly high and could have been a lot thinner i believe. Hopefully in the future there will be replaceable keyboards that are much thinner and pack a battery in them too. I like the hdd access but if they had been clever again they could have created a tray to slide a new hdd into the side of the dock , it is thick enough to do that. In fact the keyboard is as thick if not thicker in places than my old laptop was.so they could probably provide an updated keyboard with the guts of say an android system or a system that has better graphics for games.
Ahhhh so many possibilities they missed out on here, but i am sure they will read my comment and correct these small issues next time around.

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