Asus’ Transformer Book Chi family goes up to 12.5” and 2560×1440

Asus introduced a new family of Windows 8.1 convertible tablets at its CES press conference this morning. The Transformer Book Chi family spans three models between 8.9″ and 12.5″. Each one has a fanless aluminum chassis, an IPS display, USB 3.0 connectivity, and a keyboard dock that attaches via neodymium magnets. All three will be available in February.

Source: Asus

The biggest of the bunch is the T300, whose 12.5″ display is available in two configurations. The 1080p version starts at $699, while a 2560×1440 unit costs $100 more.

Users can also choose between Core M 5Y10 and 5Y71 processors. Both are dual-core chips with quad threads; the 5Y10 has 800MHz base and 2GHz Turbo frequencies, while the 5Y71 is clocked at 1.2/2.9GHz. Interestingly, Asus claims the T300’s performance is better than that of Lenovo’s Core M-based Yoga Pro 3. Perhaps the Chi has a more effective cooling solution, allowing the CPU to maintain higher Turbo frequencies under load.

The T300 comes with either 4GB or 8GB of memory. All versions have 128GB of “iSSD” storage, which is apparently a reference to SanDisk’s single-chip SSD. That drive just so happens to be available in capacities up to 128GB.

At 0.65″ with its keyboard dock attached, the T300 is slightly thinner than Apple’s MacBook Air. It’s also a little heavier, at 3.1 lbs, but the tablet is only 1.6 lbs and 0.3″ on its own.

One step down the line is the new T100, which has a 10.1″ screen with a 1920×1200 resolution. This model is powered by an Atom Z3775 processor with quad Bay Trail cores clocked at 1.46GHz base and 2.39GHz burst. The starting price is $399, which presumably refers to a configuration with 32GB of eMMC storage. A variant will also be available with 64GB of internal flash, but it looks like the memory is capped at 2GB.

According to Asus, the T100 offers 10 hours of battery life. I didn’t see any other run-time specs during the live stream of Asus’ press conference.

As one might expect, the T100 is thinner and lighter than its 12.5″ sibling. The tablet is 0.28″ thick and 1.2 lbs, while the complete clamshell is 0.52″ thick and 2.3 lbs.

If you want something even smaller, the T90 serves up the same Atom hardware in an 8.9″ package that weighs 0.88 lbs for the tablet and 1.6 lbs with the dock attached. This version is a little thicker, at 0.65″ with the dock and 0.3″ without. It also has a relatively pedestrian 1280×800 display resolution.

The T90 has the same storage options as its Atom-based brother. However, the bundled keyboard lacks a touchpad, probably because including one would have compromised the size of the keys. Starting price: $299.

To complement its new Transformers, Asus has an optional active stylus with a “pencil-like feel” and palm-rejection mojo. There are a couple of case options, too. One is a conventional tri-fold design for the tablet, while the other encases the tablet and keyboard “while maintaining the detachable function.”

Comments closed
    • Ninjitsu
    • 5 years ago

    FINALLY. The T300 Chi was announced back at Computex. Wonder why it took them so long. An $700 starting price seems good for the amount of flexibility this thing provides.

    • James296
    • 5 years ago

    question: why is it that we can get tablets with 1440p, or greater, screens at smaller then 15″ and yet the smallest (atleast what I’ve found) desktop 1440p, or greater, screen is 27″ ?

      • Namarrgon
      • 5 years ago

      Dell makes [url=,4723~0~18098224&~ck=anav&navla=4723~0~18098224<]a couple[/url<].

    • Pancake
    • 5 years ago

    The T90 sounds about right for my needs – miniature Eclipse IDE programming workstation. What would make it perfect is a little Thinkpad-style mouse pointer.

    Hopefully it will be less crashy and buggy than my T100 which I smashed out of frustration. Asus – go employ some software engineers that aren’t complete rubbish.

      • Hattig
      • 5 years ago

      Eclipse on a 1280×800 screen? The horror!

      It’s probably running the same crashy and buggy software as the T100 too.

    • willmore
    • 5 years ago

    Someone broke their netbook in two and now they charge twice as much for it?

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    And just like that, the Surface Pro 3 became irrelevant.

    This makes so much more sense to me. A real hinge so you can use the system without propping it somewhere (kickstand != feature). Decent prices for systems with good resolutions, reasonable storage/RAM in comparison…Man, that T300 is tempting.

    EDIT: I’m assuming that the T300 comes with the keyboard/dock assembly. If everything’s an add-on, it will start getting closer to the SP3 pricewise.

      • Tumbleweed
      • 5 years ago

      > And just like that, the Surface Pro 3 became irrelevant.

      Not with the processors in this Asus, it didn’t. Unless they come out with Broadwell-U variants, then the low-end SF3 is in trouble.

      • Zizy
      • 5 years ago

      => Hinge is much better in one scenario – laptop on your knees. Put it on any solid surface and both perform about the same. Kickstand is better when you would like to use the device as a touchscreen display. No need to have keyboard attached + likely more stable (dock is 1.5 lbs and tablet 1.6, whatever these numbers are in normal units).
      => Price is better yeah, assuming keyboard is included. About the same if it isn’t.
      => LTE option is also a plus.
      => no full sized USB (only micro) and no SD slot.
      => slower CPU and storage, less storage (depends on configuration)

      No idea how pen compares.
      AR is different. I believe 3:2 is going to be better for drawing and similar, 16:9 for movies and stuff.

      I prefer SP3, mostly because of USB and SD.
      Also, SP4 is expected to be announced soon-ish and released in about 3 months, judging by previous releases.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    Those model numbers are looking a little weird.

    [quote<] Core M 5Y10 and 5Y71 processors[/quote<] But I guess they're right. I thought the Y was first.

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      When it comes to Intel, the likelihood of the model number being correct increases exponentially the weirder & more confusing it looks.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Even more interestly: The Zenfone 2 from Asus is sporting an Intel Z3580 SoC!

    [url<][/url<] I had predicted that Intel will still fail to get any traction in smartphones this year, but I can be proven wrong.

      • windwalker
      • 5 years ago

      Don’t be so hard on yourself.
      Asus was already on board with Intel for smartphones and tablets and, just like Intel, they are not at all strong in smartphones.

        • NeelyCam
        • 5 years ago

        [quote<]just like Intel, they are not at all strong in smartphones.[/quote<] Yet. Apple used to be a nobody in phones a while back.

          • chuckula
          • 5 years ago

          I’d also note that Asus used to be a complete nobody in anything other than motherboards too. Now they are all over the place with laptops, displays, tablets, etc…

            • ozzuneoj
            • 5 years ago

            Yeah, I remember when they were basically just a motherboard manufacturer with a decent track record. Now I own an Asus laptop (Q500A), an Asus sound card (Xonar DX) and an Asus monitor (VW266H). All of them are excellent products and what I’ve seen of their tablets and convertibles has looked promising as well. In particular I’m impressed with the build quality and intelligent (read: easy to work on and efficient) layout of my laptop’s internals, compared to ones I’ve seen from much more well known brand names (HP and Sony in particular do some really awful over-engineering at times).

            I’d own an Asus phone any day.

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