Asus Transformer Book T90 Chi and T100 Chi

Tablet Review

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Posted: February 22, 2015

As the originator of the convertible tablet, Asus has had plenty of experience in building affordable, versatile hybrid devices. Most Asus tablets in the Transformer line have been solid, if unspectacular, and ultimately more concerned with utility than aesthetics. That hasn't changed entirely, but the introduction of the new Transformer Book Chi line is a clear attempt to inject a bit of style to the Transformer's substance. With the Asus Transformer Book T90 Chi and T100 Chi, the Taiwanese manufacturer has largely succeeded in producing portable hybrid devices that look good and perform well for productivity-minded users.

Hands-On Impressions

The first thing that stands out about the compact 8.9-inch T90 Chi and mid-sized 10.1-inch T100 Chi is the slick styling. Both tablets feature a smooth aluminum unibody design which provides excellent build quality and feels great to hold compared to tablets constructed from two or more separate pieces. That comfort is aided by the fact that both tablets are surprisingly thin and light. The smaller T90 Chi measures just 9.53-by-5.39-by-0.30 inches and weighs 14.11 ounces, while the T100 Chi clocks in at 10.43-by-6.87-by-0.28 inches and 20.11 ounces. With the streamlined detachable keyboard included, Asus claims they're the thinnest hybrid devices on the market.

Tablet Tour

Comparing tablets, the Transformer Book T90 and T100 Chi have a similar layout. Holding either of the tablets in landscape mode, the left edge features a volume rocker and Windows button near the top, a stereo speaker grille at the center and a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and micro-USB socket below. The USB socket is also used for charging the device. Along the right edge there's a microSD card slot, a micro-USB 3.0 port and a micro-HDMI port, with the other speaker grille just below. The top edge is empty, while the bottom edge features the connection points for the detachable keyboard. A 5-megapixel camera is located near the top right corner of the back panel, while a 2-megapixel camera is placed on the front panel. When it comes to the detachable keyboard dock, the only major difference between the two tablets is the absence of a trackpad on the Transformer T90 Chi's keyboard.

Resolving the Details

One obvious difference in a head-to-head tablet comparison between the two Transformer Book tablets is the display. The Transformer T90 Chi employs a basic 1,280-by-800 pixel panel, while the T100 Chi features a high-definition 1,920-by-1,200 display. The differences aren't significant, but the T100 Chi does offer a slightly sharper picture thanks to an increased pixel density. Both are IPS panels, which means viewing angles are excellent. Color reproduction is generally accurate, and both panels produce excellent contrast and vivid image quality. One potential problem is glare, as using either display under direct sunlight or bright overhead lighting can render it difficult to see despite the screen's decent brightness.

Under the Hood

The Asus Transformer Book T90 Chi and T100 Chi are both powered by the same hardware, with a quad-core Intel Atom Z3775 processor clocking in at 1.46 gigahertz and two gigabytes of RAM. It isn't going to set the world on fire, and it pales in comparison to tablets built for high-performance applications, but the Atom Z3775 chip provides enough horsepower to handle most of the applications it's likely to encounter. The relative lack of power isn't likely to be a problem for the Transformer Book's productivity-minded consumer base, as the Windows 8.1-powered hybrid devices are clearly more oriented toward work than play. The battery life offered by the Transformer tablets doesn't quite measure up compared to tablets with class-leading longevity, but it's more than adequate at around ten hours.

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Side by side comparison

Transformer Book T90 Chi Transformer Book T100 Chi
   
asus transformer book t90 chi   asus transformer book t100 chi
   
 Tablet  Asus Transformer T90 Chi
 Price  $ 299.00
 Rating  Ratings
 OS  Win 8.1
 CPU  Intel Atom Z3775 - 1.46 GHz
 Storage  32,64 GB
 RAM  4 GB
 Display  IPS - 8.9 inch
 Resolution  1280 x 800 px - 170 ppi
 Camera  Front 2.0 / Back 5.0 MP
 Weight  0.40 kg / 0.88 lbs
 Battery life  9.0 hours
 Released  2015-02
 Tablet  Asus Transformer T100 Chi
 Price  $ 399.00
 Rating  Ratings
 OS  Win 8.1
 CPU  Intel Atom Z3775 - 1.46 GHz
 Storage  64,128 GB
 RAM  2 GB
 Display  IPS - 10.1 inch
 Resolution  1920 x 1200 px - 224 ppi
 Camera  Front 2.0 / Back 5.0 MP
 Weight  0.57 kg / 1.25 lbs
 Battery life  8.0 hours
 Released  2015-02

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Battery life comparison

Battery life of selected tablet

 Tablet   (h)   Battery life 
Asus Transformer T100 Chi8.0Asus Transformer T100 Chi tablet autonomy comparison
Asus Transformer T90 Chi9.0Asus Transformer T90 Chi tablet autonomy comparison

Compared to 5 tablets with largest battery life

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 1018.0Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 tablet autonomy comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.115.0Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 tablet autonomy comparison
Sony Xperia Z415.0Sony Xperia Z4 tablet autonomy comparison
Microsoft Surface 214.0Microsoft Surface 2 tablet autonomy comparison
Nokia Lumia 252013.5Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet autonomy comparison

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Weight comparison (without keyboard !)

Weight of selected tablet

 Tablet   kg   lbs   Weight 
Asus Transformer T100 Chi0.571.25Asus Transformer T100 Chi weight comparison
Asus Transformer T90 Chi0.400.88Asus Transformer T90 Chi weight comparison

Compared to 5 lightest tablets - 10 inch and more

Chuwi Hi120.310.68Chuwi Hi12 weight comparison
Sony Xperia Z40.390.86Sony Xperia Z4 weight comparison
Amazon Fire HD 100.430.95Amazon Fire HD 10 weight comparison
Sony Xperia Z20.440.96Sony Xperia Z2 weight comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.50.461.02Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 weight comparison

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi Unboxing

Nebraska Furniture Mart make pretty good videos, and this one is especially informative, even if it's about a different model (the 300 is older, has a bigger screen, is a tad slower, and has shorter battery life). Personally I really like unboxing videos. You do get an impression of what the product is like, how much thought and care goes into their packaging - and sometimes they are relaxing, too! If you live in Nebraska and want to buy a tablet PC to go with your furniture, you know where to shop! For the rest of us, there's Amazon's superb customer service and unbeatable prices. Check the price of the Transformer Book T300 Chi now.

 

 

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