2 Stars By Mike B. on 2016-11-23
Incredible Surface clone but the keyboard holds it back
**New update 12/5/16 - See below**
**update 11/26/16 - Check below for updates**
Having owned a Surface Pro and a Surface Pro 3, I've become quite addicted to using a pen for writing notes on the screen. When I saw this little notebook announced, I figured I'd keep an eye on it and watch what Asus brought to the table. I've purchased several Asus computers before and I have never been disappointed. Now on to talking about this computer...
+ No Bloatware
First of all, the computer is a nice little computer with very little bloatware. I was up and running in a few minutes and my account synced up as I knew it would thanks to Windows.
One of the main concerns I had with the computer was whether or not it would show much slowdown, but so far this little guy is running strong and I've had several tabs open in both Chrome and Edge.
+Includes Office (Mobile)
The computer does include the mobile version of office (computers in the 10" range get it for free) so this really helps with the value of the PC in my opinion. You get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. If you've ever used the OneNote app , the mobile program will be very familiar since it uses the same exact interface.
One of the things that many users may want to know about is the accuracy of the pen, and I can happily say that the pen performs very well, even in the corners and edges. Many tablets have issues with the digitizers in the corners and the pen will behave erratic. This is NOT an issue here, and I must admit it is very refreshing. The pen does use N-trig technology, so if you happen to have a Surface Pro 3-4, then you have a pen readily available. Anyone with a Surface Pro 4 can tell you what a difference the pen tip from them makes. Here, the pen tip is just like on the Surface Pro 3, which isn't bad, but it does glide faster than a normal pen on the screen. With a little getting used to, you'll be perfectly ok.
I find myself never going over 40% brightness.
+Very low weight
Great for portability and nowhere near as heavy as any of my other computers.
+Solid build quality
No creaks or bends when using the tablet. This tablet feels solid! This computer feels like it is far more expensive than what I paid.
0- Screen Resolution
Screen resolution is not as high as it could be, but honestly with a screen this size, you probably don't want a much higher resolution. As it is, the font size can be a bit small (and I don't need glasses)...so the resolution should not be an issue at all for most users.
0- The hinge design
Okay so maybe the Surface computers have spoiled me, but the hinge here is not as smooth nor does it feel as solid as the Microsoft one. It is nice that there is a hinge, but I'm going to be careful when opening and closing it.
- The keyboard
This is basically the reason I removed a star. Though solid and doesn't flex when using it, the keys are just too cramped. I find myself straining after a while and you just won't be using this type out very long papers. I actually find the touchscreen keyboard more usable than the physical keyboard. I typed this review while using the keyboard and I also found myself going to just two fingers because I'd often stumble if I tried typing like normal. I've actually never had this happen, so it is actually something worth noting because some users may get very frustrated with this.
The other issue with the keyboard is the pen loop. So they provide a pen loop but it is more like a flap where you can use the pen to clip onto by using the metal clasp. I was very confused at first since I am used to sliding the pen into the loop (again, thanks to the Surface) but this requires a different approach. If you aren't using the keyboard, the pen holds very firmly on the bottom where the keyboard attaches and I find that more comfortable if I'm using the tablet as a...well...tablet.
Overall I recommend the tablet for anyone looking for a low cost tablet that has pen input. This is better suited for students that need something to take to school that wont break the bank if it falls and breaks. This is also a great secondary computer, or starting tablet, but I hesitate in recommending this as a primary computer.
I've been having BSOD (Blues screen of Death) issues with this computer now. I've noticed if I shut down the computer and start it up, I will almost always get a BSOD due to a driver issue. I did update all the drivers from the ASUS website and I'm still having the crashes. What a shame this is happening now. Hopefully there will be a fix for this since BSOD issues are not a funny matter.
Also, I've noticed the screen just isn't as precise as my other devices. I compared the accuracy to two of my other stylus enabled devices and this one falls very far behind the other two. If I was solely comparing this to a surface pro Id understand why this would lose, but I also compared this to a lower end 8" tablet also built by Asus and it wasn't even close.
So I've done two full wipes on the pc in the search for a solution to my BSOD issues and general lag. There is definitely an issue with an Intel audio driver but I can't seem to get it fixed. I did however fix the general lag it had. Turns out the system is using some older drivers for the integrated graphics. Of course if you go to the ASUS website they do not offer the new drivers to download so you have to get the files directly from Intel and install them yourself (from the INF file). Overall this is just a bad experience for me. I tried to like this computer and you can see the generally positive impressions I had initially. As time goes on I can't justify this tablet in the state that it is in. I think you are better off with a Surface 3 for the price. Yes, you'll need to buy a keyboard but those are going for around $50 on ebay and you'll just have a much better experience than dealing with this tablet. It is really sad. I tried to like you ASUS but as a company, this product feels rushed and not ready. I'm contemplating returning the tablet due to the issues Ive been having.
4 Stars By Matt Dotseth on 2017-06-21
Great machine - Do all updates, firmware, and drivers before use.
I'm a 17 year computer professional and had just had a major failure of my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 128GB, and the Microsoft store wanted to charge me $800 to replace the failed SSD. I had only got about 72 hours of actual runtime out of the thing, since I prefer to do most of my work on my desktop. The ASUS Transformer Mini is an AWESOME deal for the price and performance. That being said, here is what you will NEED to do once you unbox it and boot it up:
The Windows Update process takes a few hours. You must let it complete this. It is worth the wait.
Second, once the updates are done and you've signed in, don't immediately enroll your fingerprints. Your profile will be erased once you update the drivers.
Updating the drivers should be done as follows:
Open Device manager, and immediately check for driver updates to firmware. It's important that you do this FIRST. The driver will automatically download and ask you to reboot.
Then let it get back into Windows, and update the following drivers: Display driver, Audio, fingerprint sensor.
If you do not do what I said the system is a bit laggy. But after all of these updates are done, this is a really great machine with very nice features for the price. Easily comparable to an MS Surface. The audio quality is quite nice, the screen is responsive and bright, and the keyboard (which would run you an EXTRA $100 if you went with a MS Surface) is included. The pen takes an AAAA battery, which may be hard to find.
Other than that, I highly recommend this product.
5 Stars By TEXAS95 on 2016-12-05
Best of both worlds
Let me start off by saying that I do not play video games on my computer. For this I usually use my phone or the old dusty PS3. If you are looking for a portable gaming device, this isn't it. Go look at the nvidia line. Otherwise, this tablet computer is the best of both worlds.
Size: Many of the other 2 in 1 devices I have tried are just too big and heavy to hold. You need a desk or a table to set them on. Surface Pro 3 & 4, Lenovo MIIX 700, ASUS Transfromer 3 Pro, I'm looking at you! This 10.1 device is very easy to hold and is light weight for it's size. It feels similar in size to the original iPad. Not the iPad mini or that other 12" monstrosity but the original size.
Keyboard: This is a source of contention for many of the people that have reviewed this unit. What they all seem to neglect is the fact that if you are on the go and using the device, the keyboard works fine. If you are going to do any sort of "real work" then just use a nice full size bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Otherwise there is a FULL size USB 3.0 port. Plug in your fancy mechanical keyboard and go to town.
Battery: I am getting near the advertised rates. I think they market 11 hours and I could see myself hitting that but realistically I am probably getting closer to 8 or 9 hours. Standby time on a windows tablet is typically not that great and while this tablet is better it's not like an iPad. You shouldn't expect to charge the device on Monday. Leave it turned on then not use it again until Friday and expect the battery to still be full. To avoid standby drain just do a shutdown. It boots back up very quickly so this isn't a huge deal.
Speakers: In addition to this tablet I also have a 13.3 inch ASUS UX305FA. This computer cost a lot more and the speakers are about half as good. Not a huge deal since I use the UX305FA for work and do not need the speakers. The ASUS T102HA however is used for entertainment and media consumption. The speakers are perfect for this.
Display: I was originally turned off by the low resolution. I didn't want a 4K display or anything but was looking for something that was at least 1080p. The display though is perfect for the size. I was surprised by how clear the picture was when I got it. Reading text is easy and requires no magnification. Video is crystal clear. I'm no expert but the color accuracy looks fine and I can't see any pixels.
Storage: 128 GB is okay for me. Most of what I do is in the cloud. I'm not watching pirated video downloaded from the shady corners of the internet so a huge hard drive isn't necessary, thank you fan-key instant video and Netflix. If you do need extra space just get a really fast micro SD card. The prices have come WAY down lately and you should be able to get a decent 128 GB card for around $50. Pop it in and forget about it.
Pen: I have to admit that I do not find the pen all that useful. Yes you can write on the screen but my hand writing is good enough to up against any doctor. I type way faster than I could ever write and I am no artist. The pen seems to only be good for clicking, drawing or writing. There is not rubber end that allows you to scroll down a page as you would if you had touched the screen with your finger. I have packed the pen away for now. If anyone has any useful applications or tips for the pen, I am all ears!
All in all, I think this is a great device and would recommend it.
5 Stars By jim on 2017-05-22
Excellent small computer
Excellent computer. Very light weight and easy to carry around. Battery life is unbelievable, eight, ten and eleven hours so far. Not super fast but I knew that up front, slows down a lot when I have more than five tabs open, but I don't normally open that many at once. My usage is email, internet surfing, game playing and reading the news. Very very happy with this purchase and the provider.
4 Stars By Jesse Dyer on 2018-01-06
GREAT platform, freezing issues.
I had a Surface Pro 2. I _loved_ the form factor; the small size, long battery, detachable keyboard, pen interface, and Windows 10 is the greatest tablet OS I could ask for. However, the Bluetooth and Wifi was a constant failure, as was the power supply; I went through three of them before the device finally failed, and I'm not hard on equipment.
The Transformer Mini fills the loves, only better. The kick stand is genius, the little loop to hold the pen (which the Surface had no equivalent for; yes, I know it's magnetic, and it still kept getting lost), the Windows Hello / Thumbprint reader, all fantastic.
BUT, come into this knowing that if you (like me) use the hardware interfaces ( I have a large monitor, and a USB hub) for docking, then this device is GOING to freeze on you. Regularly. As in, gee, I just disconnected everything, and now I have to hold the power button in to shut it down hard (not kind to Windows) and then fiddle with it to get it to boot rather than show me the battery indicator.
It's a pain, and it does worry me that I'm going to corrupt the OS (so I back up religiously), but it doesn't detract me from the pros, bad as it sounds.
5 Stars By Keith Deters on 2017-02-25
Fantastic little laptop 💻
Fantastic little laptop 💻, great features, powerful enough for on the go travel, perfect for those extra small tables on an airplane.
4 Stars By John N Street on 2018-01-17
Fantastic more affordable alternative to the MS Surface
Fantastic more affordable alternative to the MS Surface. Having a mini display, audio out and USB port allows for desktop 'docking'. Keyboard is a bit clunky and not quite as satisfying as the Surface 'chic-let' add on, but does the job and includes often omitted keys, such as del. Fingerprint ID is a great plus as well. Sleek design, fast and reliable (so far)! I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good medium priced alternative to the Surface.
5 Stars By InkBlots on 2017-05-22
Does everything expected from it. Excellent memory capability. Great on extended geo-caching trips... used in the field, and logging and loading later.
5 Stars By David on 2017-04-20
Everything and more than I expected. It handles work and most media requirements that I have in my businesses.
5 Stars By Clara M Fleites on 2016-12-01
It is a really good product. Thanks.