TAIPEI - How can Asus improve on its Transformer Book hybrid? The Taiwanese company has stuffed its popular two-in-one device with the newest technology, including a USB Type C port, Intel's latest Cherry Trail Atom processor and Windows 10 pre-installed. There's no information yet on when the new Transformer Book T100HA will come to the United States and how much it will cost, but a rep told us that it will be cheaper than its $350 predecessor.
I had a chance to briefly play with the T100HA and was impressed by its small size and light weight. Available in four eye-catching colors -- Rouge Pink, Aqua Blue, Silk White and Tin Gray -- the hybrid's 0.33-inch profile and 1.27-pound construction make it wonderfully easy to carry around.
On the tablet's left edge is its USB 3.1 Type C port, which is reversible, so you can plug in your cables any way up. Of course, not many USB C cables are available right now, but many adapters and accessories are already on the market. USB 3.1 also promises double the transfer speed of USB 3.0, said Asus chairman Jonney Shih during the company's announcement event.
Unlike the new MacBook, which infamously only sports a single USB C port, the Transformer Book T100HA offers microUSB and microSD card card slots on the slate as additional connectivity and expansion options.
The T100HA also comes with Intel's latest quad-core Atom Cherry Trail X5 series processors, which are supposed to deliver faster performance and better graphics, and 4GB of RAM. Running Windows 10, the new hybrid will offer plenty of cool new Microsoft features, such as Continuum for easy switching between tablet and desktop mode, and the Cortana voice assistant.
Asus also promises a 14-hour runtime with the T100HA's battery. The 10.1-inch tablet's display is relatively underwhelming, however, at just 1280 x 800.
I'm keen to see how the T100HA does in our full review, but in a sea of two-in-one hybrids, the T100HA has to deliver solid performance and plenty of endurance at a compelling price, or it risks being just a piece of eye candy.