The ASUS Transformer Book T200TA, an 11.6 inch Windows 8 tablet convertible, just popped up on BestBuy.com and is expected to start shipping soon in the US. The Asus T200 is the latest addition to the Windows-based Asus Transformer Book family, which includes the very popular ASUS Transformer Book T100TA. I expect the Asus T200 will be as popular as the T100, as it improves upon an already successful device.
One notable change the Asus T200 offers over its predecessor is the bigger, 11.6 inch screen. The T100 featured only a 10.1 inch screen. This increased screen size provides a large view of the on-screen content. The keyboard is also larger, and thus, it’s closer in size to keyboards of conventional laptops. One of my biggest gripes with the Asus T100 was that the keyboard was a bit cramped. I expect the Asus T200’s larger keyboard to provide a better typing experience.
Another pet peeve I had about the T100 is the small right shift key. The T200 has a full-size right shift key which I believe will also enhance the typing experience.
Other changes include an improved dock hinge, improved overall build quality, the addition of a rear-facing camera, an actual Ethernet port, and optional 4G connectivity. Additional specs and my initial impressions can be found below.
ASUS Transformer Book T200TA Specs
Below are some of the important tech specs for the Asus T200.
- Name: ASUS Transformer Book T200TA
- OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro
- Processor: Intel Atom Z3740 quad core, 1.4 GHz processor
- Screen: 11.6 inch IPS display, 1366 x 768 resolution
- Memory and Storage: 2GB, 32GB-64GB SSD, Optional 500GB HDD
See full ASUS Transformer Book T200TA specs.
ASUS Transformer Book T200TA Price and Release Date
The ASUS Transformer Book T200TA price is expected to start at $399 here in the US. BestBuy.com currently lists the 64GB version for $449.99. The Asus T200 is not yet available for ordering from Best Buy, however. Of note, the Best Buy listing doesn’t appear to include the extra hard drive.
If the $400-$500 prices are true, Asus Transformer Book family will continue to offer great value from a price and functionality perspective. For the price of an iPad or top Android tablet, the Asus T200 offers Windows 8.1 compatibility, a detachable keyboard, and a free copy of Microsoft Office.
The ASUS Transformer Book T200TA release date in the US is expected to be in August 2014. I’ll update this section as soon as an actual release date is known.
ASUS Transformer Book T200TA Initial Impressions
At first glance, the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA looks like just a bigger version of its predecessor, the original Asus T100. There are, however, a few improvements that I feel are big difference makers. For one, its increased size should provide an enhanced typing experience and increase overall productivity. I find it hard to use a 10 inch tablet to do work for long periods of time due to the accompanying cramped keyboard. The size increase of the Asus T200 should alleviate that issue. The Asus T200 keyboard dock contains nicely spaced keys with good travel, plus a nicely sized touch pad, according to initial reports. A good quality keyboard definitely gives the Asus T200 an advantage over the competition.
The build quality has been improved according to a couple of hands-on reviews. The Asus T200’s hinge is reportedly more solid. Both the tablet and keyboard dock offers little to no flex, unlike the T100.
The addition of optional 4G connectivity is definitely welcomed. If you are so inclined, you could swap out your existing sim card from another device and use the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA on the go.
I really like the fact that the keyboard dock comes with an open hard drive bay. I have extra hard drives laying around so I can immediately increase the Asus T200’s storage for “free“. If Asus really wanted to be clever, they could have also allowed an extra battery to be inserted into this bay instead of a hard drive. If Asus or another OEM reads this, I hope they give me credit for this idea if they implement it.
The thing I like most about the Asus T200 is it provides a great amount of value. For about $400, you get a tablet, a good quality keyboard dock, full windows 8 compatibility, and a free copy of Microsoft Office. If I didn’t own the other devices already, it would be pretty hard for me to overlook the Asus T200 in favor of an iPad Air or Android tablet. While in tablet mode, the T200 doesn’t compete in terms of tablet ecosystems. However, in laptop mode, the T200’s capabilities far exceed that of any device running a tablet-only OS.
Things I don’t like about the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA include the low resolution screen. At 1366 x 768, the T200 doesn’t display a lot of content on the screen with its default scaling. My phone actually displays many more pixels on-screen than the T200. I’m sure the low end display was included to keep prices down and might be a worthwhile compromise. Perhaps Asus could release a slightly more expensive version of the T200 with an HD display. Tha way consumers can choose the options they want and the amount of money they are willing to spend to get those options.
The Asus T200 is also a relatively heavy and thick tablet. This heft will definitely be noticeable when using the device in tablet mode, as the unit weighs 1.7lbs without the keyboard. For me, the weight of the keyboard dock is less concerning. Its heft is probably required so that the tablet portion doesn’t cause the entire unit to easily tipping over.
These few negatives aside, [highlight]I believe the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA will be an awesome device[/highlight]. It makes some notable improvements over the T100 and costs only slightly more. Its price allows it to compete not only with the best Windows 8 Tablets in this range. The Asus T200 should also compete with the likes of the iPad Air and best Android tablets. The Asus T200 provides a great amount of value and should be on everyone’s tablet shopping list. I plan to buy the ASUS Transformer Book T200TA as soon as it’s available for ordering. I will post a full review shortly after.
ASUS Transformer Book T200TA Review
I will post a ASUS Transformer Book T200TA review as soon as I spend some time with this Windows tablet. I will post an unboxing video and full video review. If you would like to see my Asus T200 review as soon as it’s available, be sure to follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my YouTube Channel, join the Windows Tablet community on Google Plus, or all of the above.
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Source: Best Buy, Asus