We now have more details on the Bay Trail convertible Asus showed during today’s IDF keynote. The system employs the Atom Z3740, which is a quad-core chip with a maximum CPU clock of 1.8GHz. That frequency is 600MHz slower than the peak speed of the Z3770 Scott tested, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
The Transformer Book’s SoC has a dual-channel memory interface, to which Asus attaches 2GB of RAM. That memory footprint is well within the limitations of 32-bit operating systems, nicely sidestepping the fact that Bay Trail’s connected standby mode isn’t expected to work in 64-bit Windows until the first quarter of next year.
The tablet half of the Transformer is built around a 10.1″ screen driven by an IPS panel. Unfortunately, the display resolution is just 1366×768. That resolution doesn’t look horrible on a 10″ screen, but it’s a far cry from the crispness of high-PPI displays. Bummer.
The usual accoutrements line the edges of the tablet. There’s an analog audio jack, Micro USB and HDMI connectivity, and a Micro SD slot to augment the 32 of 64GB of internal storage.
The included keyboard dock features “precision-engineered keys” and a clicky touchpad with full Windows 8.1 gesture support. USB 3.0 connectivity can also be found in the dock, but it looks like a full-sized SD slot didn’t make the cut. As far as I can tell, neither did an auxiliary battery. The spec sheet doesn’t mention a secondary cell, but it says the T100’s 31Wh battery is good for 11 hours of run time.
With its keyboard attached, the Transformer Book T100 measures 10.4″ x 6.7″ x 0.93″ and weighs 2.4 lbs. Ditching the dock brings the tablet down 0.41″ thick and 1.2 lbs, which is pretty nice for an honest-to-goodness Windows device.
I have to admit that I let out a sigh when I saw the T100’s display resolution. But I also gasped when I saw the price tag. Asus intends to sell the 32GB version for only $349. The 64GB variant will be priced at $399, and both will come with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. If this is the new face of netbooks, the original Eee PC would be proud.