The Asus Transformer Mini is a 10.1 inch Windows 10 tablet that features a dockable keyboard and a stylus. This is the most affordable option in the 2016 product line that includes the Transformer Pro and Transformer 3.
The Transformer Mini features a 10.1 inch screen with a resolution of 1280 X 800 with 149 PPI. The screen is lush and vibrant, but you will not get the super high resolution as you would find on other premium devices, such as the Microsoft Surface 4 which has 2736 X 1824 at 267 PPI or the iPad 12.9 PRO which has a resolution of 2048 X 2732 pixels and 264 PPI.
Underneath the hood is a Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Cherry Trail processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 of internal memory. If this is not enough you can expand it up to 128GB of storage via the SD card.
There are a few ports you should be aware of, such as the USB 3, Micro HDMI and Micro USB. You can use Skype and other video conferencing software via the front facing 2 Mega Pixel web camera, but there is no rear camera due to the kickstand and dockable keyboard.
The audio on this tablet includes two separate speakers firing through the grills on each lateral side. They’re moderately loud (around 86 dB in our tests at max volume) and they don’t sound very bad with the Music profile selected in the included AudioWizard application. However, the speaker grills are quite easy to cover and muffle with your hands while using the tablet in Landscape mode.
The T102HA is a tablet with a fully adjustable kickstand on the back, much like the Microsoft Surface. That means it can rest on a desk or even on your lap by its own, and you can adjust its inclination to fit your needs at any given time. The kickstand can also act as a handle to grab the device from when using it in tablet mode.
The keyboard folio hooks up magnetically on the bottom edge and gives a very satisfying click when it locks into place. The keys are raised and are spaced out evenly, it certainly does not feel so claustrophobic when you are writing an email or a blog post.
You will be able to get around 6-10 hours of use on a single charge and weighs 1.17 lbs on its own or 1.746 lbs with the keyboard attached. I recommend to purchase this device if you are looking for an affordable two-in-one. It is retailing for $399 on Amazon and is eligible for Prime Shipping, so you can get it delivered very quickly.
You are getting the full Windows 10 experience on the Transformer Mini and you will able to install all of your favorite apps. Since it ships with the Asus Pen, you will be able to easily take notes via Microsoft Onenote or install Adobe Photoshop. I think this is a really affordable professional device that will resonate with people in the game development community, webcomic creators and artists.
This tablet has access to everything that your desktop has, including the Windows Store, Steam and a host of other companies that you can download and buy software from. It also uses Cortana as a virtual assistant, but I found it slow and sluggish on this device. There is also full support for Microsoft Continuum, which allows you to hook the tablet how to the computer and use the software on that is installed on the tablet on your monitor.
I found that the Asus Transformer Mini did a very solid job when it came to reading comics, e-books, manga, newspapers. Most of this content is not produced in super high resolution, so you will get a solid experience with the 1280 X 800 screen. If you look at our hands on review video, you can get a sense on how this content performs.
The Asus Transformer Mini is great for the price. You are basically spending $399 for a tablet, keyboard and pen. This is way more affordable than the iPad 9.7 or the iPad 12.9 Pro or the Microsoft Surface.
I found that it is built really well and has a really solid design. You’re not going to do any serious gaming or video encoding on it, but for every other task it performs as well as any laptop with a SSD.
256 GB SD Card support
4GB of Ram is impressive
palm rejection when using the stylus
fingerprint sensor in an awkward position
no rear facing camera
it should have a USB-C port instead of micro USB
Stylus needs a AAAA battery which is included and has no eraser functionality on the “eraser” end
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.