In case you’re looking for an affordable secondary laptop, a 10-inch 2-in-1 will be a highly portable and reasonably priced option. At just $399, the all new Asus Transformer Mini T102HA serves as both a tablet and a miniature Windows 10 laptop with a removable keyboard. A viable alternative to Microsoft’s discontinued Surface 3; the Transformer Mini has a brilliant screen and all-day battery life. Though its Intel Atom Cherry Trail CPU isn’t great at all for multitasking, and its keyboard feels cramped. But for simple internet browsing and media viewing, this long-lasting device will suffice.
Asus Transformer Mini – Specifications
Processor 1.44-GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU
RAM 4 GB
Storage 128 GB Flash Storage
Display 10.1-inch 1280 x 800
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Dimensions 6.7 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches/ 1.2 pounds (1.7 with keyboard)
Asus Transformer Mini – Design
This pint-size 2-in-1 boasts a pretty simple design. The gray, magnesium back of the laptop features Asus’ logo and a pull-out, adjustable kickstand much like the one on the Microsoft Surface (although it’s nowhere close to as smooth to adjust). The display of the tablet consists of a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 screen surrounded by a thick, black bezel.
The most important difference between the Asus Transformer Mini T102 HA and its opponents is that Asus put a round fingerprint reader (which resembles Apple’s Touch ID that you see on the iPhone or iPad) on the back. It’s a good feature in an inconvenient location. I discovered myself feeling around the back of the tablet every time I tried to log in. The keyboard attaches to the bottom of the tablet with a magnetic mechanism.
The entire package is lightweight and portable, at simply 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.5 inches and weighing 1.76 pounds with the keyboard (1.2 pounds without the keyboard.) As compared, the Lenovo Ideapad Miix 310 is a comparable size, at 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.7 inches, but a lot heavier, at about 2.4 pounds. The Acer Aspire Switch 10 E is slightly bigger, at 10.3 x 7 x 0.4 inches, and weighs more at 2.8 pounds. The Transformer keeps in line with other 10.1-inch 2-in-1s by providing a limited choice of ports.
The Asus Transformer Mini keeps in line with other 10.1-inch 2-in-1s by offering a limited selection of ports. On its left facet, you will find a headphone jack, micro HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port, and a micro-USB port. On top, there is a slot for a micro-SD card. This is identical selection offered by the Switch 10 E. However the Miix provides two full-size USB 2.0 ports as an alternative to a single USB 3.0 port.
Asus Transformer Mini – Keyboard, Stylus, and TouchPad
The keyboard and touchpad on the Asus Transformer Mini feel so rattling awkward that I couldn’t imagine getting serious work completed on this 2-in-1 tablet. The island-style keyboard has tiny, cramped keys that made me trip over my fingers. The keys’ comfy 2 millimeters of key journey and 59 grams of required force didn’t compensate for the Caps’ tiny size. The touchpad isn’t a lot better. In my testing, the small 3.4 x 1.7-inch surface felt uncomfortable, and the cursor was intermittently jumpy.
Asus Transformer Mini includes its stylus, the Asus Pen within the package. The aluminum stylus is about the identical size as a regular pen, although a bit heavier. The Pen two buttons: one for an eraser, and one to serve as a right click, although I wish they had been customizable. Asus claims that the battery included in the stylus will provide as much as 10 months of battery life, after which you will need to replace it. The stylus provides 1,024 points of pressure sensitivity, and I was able to modify the thickness of lines in Sketchpad with Windows Ink.
Asus Transformer Mini – Display
For those who like your displays brilliant, the Asus Transformer Mini is for you. The 2-in-1 comes with a 10.1-inch, 1200 x 800 touch screen which is more luminous than its opponents’. I watched the trailer for Assassin’s Creed and could make out loads of detail in close-ups of actor Michael Fassbender’s face, although action scenes were slightly blurry. The Transformer measured 372 nits of brightness in our lab tests, outshining the category common of 305 nits, in addition to the Switch and the Miix, at 263 nits and 255 nits, respectively.
The screen covers 92.8 % of the sRGB color gamut, which is more vivid than the Miix (84 %) and the Switch (70 %) however still falls short of the ultraportable average (96 %). These colors aren’t that precise, although. The Transformer’s display has a poor Delta-E color accuracy rating of 4.2 (closer to 0 is best), that means it’s far less precise than the average (2.1), Miix (0.8) and Acer Switch 10 E (0.4).
Asus Transformer Mini – Graphics and Audio
In case you had any desires of gaming on the Asus Transformer Mini, put them to bed. It achieved a rating of 16,176 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited. The class common is a superior 51,975, and whereas the Lenovo Miix (17,451) was slightly better than the Transformer, the Acer Switch (8,557) fell flat.
Considering the Transformer’s small size, I was stunned at just how loud its audio system was. The vocals were loud and clear. However, the bass and percussion were a bit muted. I discovered that by switching to Movie mode using the ICEpower AudioWizard Software, I got a somewhat better mix of sound, with better percussion, and would recommend using it over the default Music mode. To get a trace of bass, I had to switch to Gaming mode.
Asus Transformer Mini – Hardware and Performance
Being powered by 1.44-GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8350 CPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB of flash storage, the Asus Transformer Mini is slow and clunky, making it best suited for unitaskers. When I browsed the net with Chrome, the laptop slowed with just three Chrome tabs open, one of which was streaming a Full-HD YouTube video.
The Asus Transformer Mini notched a rating of 2,411 on the Geekbench 3 performance test, falling way short of the ultraportable category average of 5,580. The Lenovo Miix (with the identical CPU as the Transformer) earned a slightly higher rating of 2,445, whereas the Acer Switch (Atom Z3735) reached just 2,123.
The Asus Transformer Mini took 3 minutes and 18 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed media files, thereby registering a transfer rate of 25.7 megabytes per second. The Lenovo Miix hit 36.7 MBps, and the Acer Switch reached 41.7 MBps. Also, on our OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro, the Transformer paired 20,000 names and numbers in 17 minutes and 32 seconds. The Miix (16:55) was faster, whereas the Switch (25:49) fell behind.
Asus Transformer Mini – Battery Life and Heat
Whether you are using it at your desk or on the go, the Asus Transformer Mini lasts long enough to go all day long without a charge. The 2-in-1 lasted 12 hours and 8 minutes on our Battery Test, which includes browsing the internet continuously over Wi-Fi. That easily surpassed the ultraportable average (8:10), and the Acer Switch (8:28) however fell just short of the Lenovo Miix (12:24).
Whether you are holding it in your palms or using it on your lap, you can trust that the Transformer Mini won’t get too hot. The tablet portion reached 88 degrees Fahrenheit, which is below our 95-degree consolation threshold.
The Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is a worthy alternative because of its long battery life and comparatively brilliant and colorful display, and we’re glad that Asus includes a pen. However, the keyboard is cramped and poorly laid out, and there’s just not enough performance here to make this someone’s primary PC. The Lenovo’s Ideapad Miix 310 costs you $100 less and you get the same processor, better performance and slightly longer battery life, although that keyboard stinks, too. (a common characteristic of detachables this size).
The Miix doesn’t include a stylus, though. So for those who think you will be using Windows Ink, the Asus Transformer Mini T102HA is the better option.
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