We didn't have to wait long for the first major OEM to announce a new Bay Trail tablet following Intel's formal introduction of the platform this morning. At Intel Developer Forum, ASUS Exec Jerry Shen took the stage to show off the company's new $329 Transformer Book T100, a Windows 8.1 hybrid with a detachable keyboard.
According to Shen, the T100 will sport a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 IPS display and Intel's new quad-core Atom Bay Trail-T Z3740 processor. Additional specs include 2GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB or onboard storage. The tablet portion of the T100 offers multiple I/O ports including a microUSB port, micro HDMI slot, microSD card reader and headphone jack. The keyboard dock features a full-size USB 3.0 slot. Battery life for the Transformer Book T100 is estimated at 11 hours.
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In tablet mode, ASUS says the T100 will measure 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.41 inches and weigh just 1.2 pounds. Attach the keyboard and that grows to 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.93 inches and 2.4 pounds, making the T100 one of the lightest ultraportable notebooks around.
We recently spent several hours benchmarking the new Bay Trail chip at Intel's headquarters. In our initial results, Web pages loaded faster on the Bay Trail system. When we ran the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, which matches 20,000 names with their addresses using a VLOOKUP operation, a Windows 8.1 Bay Trail tablet completed the task in 15 minutes and 52 second. That’s roughly twice as fast as the Clover Trail-powered Acer Iconia W3, which took a glacial 30 minutes and 15 seconds to finish the test when we reviewed it in June.
The ASUS Transformer Pad T100 will start at $329 for 32GB models, while the 64GB model will run you $399. ASUS has yet to announce availability for the hybrid, but we’ll be sure to update you when we learn more.