Featuring a solid-feeling dockable keyboard, a robust and slim metal design and the productivity perks of Windows 8.1, the Asus Transformer Book Chi T100 is a great mobile productivity aid. However, the awkward Bluetooth 4.0-powered docking process and lack of a full-sized USB port hamper its ability to function as a full-on laptop replacement.
Decent design, solid keyboard, moderate price tag, solid performance
Docking process is a pain, no full-sized USB port
Processor: Quad-core Intel Atom
Display:10.1in, Full HD 1920x1200, 224ppi, TruVivid display
Storage: 32GB or 64GB, microSD
Operating system: Windows 8.1 (32-bit)
Battery: 30Whrs non-removable
Asus has been releasing a steady stream of convertible Windows and Android devices since its Transformer Pads began to arrive in the UK all the way back in 2012.
The hybrids are designed to offer businesses users a mobile productivity aid that can fulfil the duties of a tablet and a netbook.
The £400 Asus Transformer Book Chi T100 is the latest to follow this strategy, and is designed to provide business buyers and on-the-go professionals with a satchel-friendly machine.
Design and build
Asus made a big deal about the Transformer Book Chi T100's design, claiming that the tablet and keyboard sections have "premium, precision-crafted" single piece aluminium frames that will survive more than the average wear and tear.
We were impressed with the device's build quality. It has a noticeably screw- and fan-free design, and the metal frame gives it a sturdy premium feel.
The tablet section looks fairly nondescript compared with some dedicated tablets such as the iPad Air 2, and features a noticeably large screen bezel, but it's a design marvel by Windows standards.
The streamlined metal chassis and compact 265x175x7.2mm dimensions make the Chi's tablet section a welcome break from the sea of boxy, polycarbonate Windows 8.1 tablets we've seen in the past.
We were particularly impressed with the dockable keyboard section when it came to build quality. It's smaller than an average laptop at 265x175x14.8mm, but the bundled keyboard dock has reactive keys and a reasonably responsive trackpad, which is an area that lets down many competing convertibles.
The full metal design also made using the Chi as a laptop more comfortable than many rival products, such as Microsoft Surface devices, which feature ultra thin and fairly flimsy-feeling keyboard covers.
This was aided by the dock being a similar weight to the 0.57kg tablet section, which means that, unlike some convertibles, the Chi isn't top heavy and doesn't naturally fall backwards when rested on the lap.
However, we did have a few qualms with the Chi's design. Unlike many other convertibles, the keyboard section of the Chi uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology rather than a physical docking mechanism to connect to the tablet.
This means that simply plugging the Chi's tablet into the dock won't make the keyboard work. Instead you have to toggle the on switch and wait for the two parts to connect.
This sounds like a small detail, but having to do this every time you power up the Chi means that connecting the keyboard to the tablet soon begins to feel like an unnecessarily complicated process.
Next: Display and operating system