New qualities of the Asus Eee T101MT-BLK120S netbook transformer

    A guide to the rare picket of wintel-transformers. In a huge number of very similar netbook models, it is difficult to find something unique that would stand out from the series and at the same time be useful in terms of consumer properties. Which directions does the consumer look at (with a slight bias towards development and reading on the road)? We list the niches that may interest, knowingly limiting ourselves to weak, inexpensive models.
    1. The minimum price and preferably the maximum battery life.
    2. With a more decent screen by the number of points.
    3. With good performance characteristics (among the weak), so that you can compile projects or watch movies (far from games).
    4. Extremely geeky with Android on board, a small solid state drive and low weight.
    That's all the main niches that are seen as attractive. As a few more bias options, you can choose a smartphone with Android, a tablet for a universal OS or iPad. And here, among this variety of netbooks, another class of devices appears - a combination of a netbook and a tablet , and, besides, models with attractive characteristics. The people called them Transformers (Convertible Tablets). But first things first. We will not be likened to other reviews with many photos, we will send those who wish to follow the links. This review is a "picture-less" comparison of models in order to choose the one that suits your needs.

    As the name suggests, the most recommended is one Asus model, which has been on the market for almost 1.5 years. But they made a review of a couple of new qualities that were not available in the first copies of the model, reviews of which can be found on the Internet. There is still no review under the same name, but with new qualities (a 2-core processor and twice the amount of memory - agree, a lot). Moreover, the old single-core processor (!) (With the words "... thanks to the new economical Intel® Atom ™ N450 processor and exclusive technology ...") is advertised in full on the Asus website in the description of the model, and in English it’s already newThe 2-core N570 CPU, and stores actually sell 2-core models, although often outdated features can be seen on sites. The first reports of a quiet processor upgrade (without changing the model name) can be noticed 8 months ago, on March 31, 2011 .

    Unfortunately, we no longer see a productive author describing Asus products (the size of the letters shows that this article was not paid by the company) on the site as the author, as well as a full replacement for him. Asus left Habr, otherwise, most likely, we would see an overview of this model - it seems so original and attractive right now. Therefore, choosing this model as a personal (home) netbook, I consider it my duty to fill the vacuum and talk about the current state of the transformer market in general and the place of this model in particular, with a nice bonus in the form of a lack of mass of photos.

    Transformers, of course, have always existed, from time immemorial, since some laptop manufacturers decided to surprise the world and release (usually at a double price) transformer laptops. We also remember about phone-books with a similar opportunity and with a similar pomp in advertising. But the time of miracles passes, and some manufacturers begin to practically look at this design and produce models at a competitive price and without discounts on uniqueness. Now we see a rather liquid range of models on the market, but they cover various needs quite well.

    Landmark - prices and features

    There are people (some statements in the comments are an example) who have worked with transformers for years. The HP TC1000 or TC1100 collapsible computer is considered legendary . For them, the issue of their usefulness has long been resolved. To win the minds of other users, transformers have a difficult battle with the rest of the large population of store shelves. It is necessary to show what places transformer models occupy among others, in terms of properties and prices. Therefore, first prepare to outline the big picture.

    In order to compare the model range according to a completely understandable and universal reference point - prices, we will do what they usually do not do in reviews and what buyers have to do on their own on resources like Let us determine the price level of other classes of devices in order to understand from them how much you have to pay for the class in question and what is considered attractive in it. After all, one often has to make a conclusion based on the balance of many factors, and it is impossible to single out one or two of the most important. A dozen factors are mixed in different proportions in different models, and you need to conclude which model is considered the best for yourself at the moment. To the list of niches from 4 points at the beginning of the article that we now want to evaluate, 3 more non-laptop niches (smartphone, tablet, iPad) are added and you can add the niche of old laptops, which are kept by the owners as spare ones, at a residual price that have already become cheaper than all netbooks, and surpass them in power. In total, we estimate the approximate cost of these 8 classes of devices to see what place among them the line of transformers will occupy.

    Of course, in another country and even in another city the price will be different, but the ratio is likely to remain the same if you focus on the most representative market. For reference, take the default city market in the form in which it is now (November 2011).

    What characteristics are we interested in? Based on discussions and opinions, at least on Habré, it is easy to build a series of priorities from properties and approximately stick to it. If someone gives a different weight to the properties under consideration, he can easily adjust his reasoning and conclusions. Simply, these preliminary considerations are needed to evaluate the background, and a number of transformers, as we will see, are rare, and the choice in it is not accompanied by painful thoughts - most likely, the model from the selected price category will have to be compared with other classes of devices, and which class to focus on - I’ll have to think about it.

    Niche of choice

    As commentators have repeatedly noted in Habr's articles, this class of devices is not suitable for serious work - weak processors, small screens, often only the VGA output of the 2nd monitor, and the lack of 3D graphics. But it is suitable for a mass of various auxiliary cases - viewing, reading on the road and other autonomous environments, editing materials, simple tests, demonstrations on the road, transferring large archives of tens of gigabytes. To cover the maximum range of simple tasks, Intel architecture is better than the other, because it means compatibility of programs and data from these programs, the absence of a separate zoo of utilities for performing similar functions on the main and auxiliary computers. It can equally well be used to install Windows or Linux, or both.

    Therefore, it is very advantageous to use netbooks with Intel architecture for such auxiliary tasks. For the role of experimental ones, with their own rules and utilities, there remain devices with telephone OSs breaking into this market on the other hand - saving space in your pocket by combining it with the phone and expanding the phone's functions at the same time.

    Niches of Netbooks and Gadgets

    Let's repeat the list of niches against which we will compare transformers according to their capabilities.
    1. Budget and energy-efficient - optimally something like the Asus Eee PC 1015B with a price of 10 thousand, 2-core AMD, good graphics, a matte screen, but you can go down to 7 thousand
    2. Increased pixelity. Yes, 600 pixels. in height - a serious stumbling block, but it is undesirable to grow larger than A4, so 12 "and 1366x768 is the only step up. For example, ASUS Eee PC 1215P - 12.5 thousand, 2 cores, a mirror screen, the case is matte. Unfortunately , this is the base price, the rest are higher. (This is still nothing, because a commensurate, but ideal MacBook Air 11 Mid is offered from 35K.) There are rare alternatives to 10 "and 1280x720px - Acer AO522-C5DGkk, 12.5 thousand.
    3. Budget simple laptops - usually larger and heavier, with DVDs and come close to netbook prices - from 11.5 thousand rubles.
    4. Exotic with Android (for example, Toshiba AC100).
    5. Smartphones with a multi-pixel screen.
    6. Tablets "on Intel" - from 3Q 3QTAB Surf TN1002T - 11.5 K as a base (gloss, they write in the forum about weak WiFi, 10 ", 950 g. And higher.
    7. iPad 2. 16 GB - 18 K, 32GB - 21K.
    8. Second-hand laptops, taking not novelty, but price. Searching on our shelves or people who want to get rid of trash, we get a budget option with good or excellent graphics and performance, but most likely with a depleted battery resource and a noisy fan, for example, for 3-15 thousand. Usually, such models store "On a rainy day" in case of a breakdown of the main computer or for nostalgic memories of the old desktop configuration :).

    We’ll select the requirements and prioritize. Some interesting devices may not have them all, this is permissible.
    *) Intel architecture (Win / Linux);
    *) lightness, less than 1 kg;
    *) book sizes;
    *) keyboard, including a comfortable one;
    *) communication on interfaces and memory cards;
    *) battery life from 3 hours, better - from 6;
    *) matte case;
    *) matte screen;
    *) brand awareness for ease of service and accessibility of accessories.

    The requirements do not indicate the desirability of the tablet, and the presence of a keyboard seems to indicate its undesirability. But the facts are that some of the work can be done without a keyboard, and when you need it, connect it or transfer the work to another computer. Therefore, tablets also fall into one of the niches of interest, usually for mobile applications, when they can even replace the navigator in the car (when GPS is connected).

    In general, price analysis in niches with an Intel processor shows that the simple store happiness of owning a new high-quality product with an annual guarantee starts at 7 thousand. Provided that this store is selected among hundreds of similar ones, and the requirements are unassuming. Requirements for aesthetics and ergonomics (primarily dullness, hereinafter referred to as the processor) raise the bar to thousands to 9 and give a sea of ​​options, and for 10 you can get monsters of the meager capabilities of netbooks with the same cheap display matrix. A step higher in quality, by 12 "adds at least 2.5 thousand to the required amount.

    Having dealt with the price ranges of alternatives, we ask ourselves: are there laptops with a touchscreen? It turns out that not only there, but also have a rotary screen, transforming into a tablet, and have a couple of decent representatives in the lower price range. They, due to the weight of the device compared to tablets, kill 2 birds with one stone in a dilemma before deciding whether to have only a screen or spend half the working space on a keyboard?

    A number of transformers

    Finally, consider a small number of transformers on the market.

    Searching for various keywords (transformer, Convertible Tablets, netbook touchscreen) shows all the small number of such devices along with exotic prototypes. Without considering purely android solutions, we get:

    1. 3Q Whirltab RS1001T white or black , 10.1 - 12 tr.
    Here are a few general photos to get an idea of ​​the two color options for the model.

    (Photo previews are collected from a review article on the manufacturer’s website. Full photos and the most detailed review can be found in the article on the manufacturer’s website.) List of main characteristics:
    N450 processor - 1 core, 1.66 GHz. Memory 1-2 GB. Disk 250-320 GB.
    OS - DOS or Win7 Starter.
    Screen 1024x600, TN, 10.1 ", swivel; Touchscreen; Intel X3150 video chip; VGA port.
    3300 mAh capacity, 3 hours of operation.
    Microphone, 1.3 MP webcam, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3 USB, SD / MMC / MS port, stylus in white models
    Weight 1.3 kg; 265x190x29 mm
    All specifications and photos from the NYX .
    The mysterious company, the second time found under the name 3Q, is not from the jungle of China, but from the Mozhaisk highway, Moscow. Nevertheless, little is known about it, the most detailed description from third parties takes 1 paragraph . They are about themselves on Some additional information about the company. Their service centers . Manufacturer's website .
    There are few negative reviews on the Internet, and there are no negative references to the model in question. The most detailed description of the model is made on the forum of the manufacturer’s site by the site administrator. Nevertheless, there are still errors in the description - the screen is called matte, although the photograph clearly shows that the black model has a glossy screen, and the white model has a semi-matte one. The same goes for the cover. Not enough information to install multitouch on Linux. The description shows the difference in models - a black laptop has a capacitive screen with multitouch, white - resistive without multitouch support (on the website of one seller, apparently, an error where he claims about multitouch in a white model?). However, at the moment the black model (12 tr) is sold only by one Internet company with delivery. Sales of the white model are observed at a dozen points in Moscow, from 10.1 tr with variations in memory size, disk size, installed OS.

    It is distinguished by the weakness of the battery (for 2-3.5 hours), 1 GB of memory in the minimum configuration, which usually requires replacement with 2 GB of SODIMM DDR2 (700-900 rubles), the lack of an OS in some cases, which makes them cheaper. Reviews of the Yandex Market - there are no negative words in the reviews, so it can become a candidate for a purchase. But it has a gloss and a mono-touch. And this makes us look at the next model of the series.

    2. In second place we meet a renowned company with rich experience in production and sales.
    Asus Eee PC T101MT ( 1B - black, 1A - white), 14.600-14800 r.

    Intuitively, we are waiting for the characteristics and qualities of the best and are not mistaken.(Briefly, the characteristics are below, and the full description and photos can be found on the links.)
    Processor, N570 - 2 cores, 1.66 GHz; 2 GB memory, 320 GB disk.
    OS - Win7 Starter.
    Screen 1024x600, TN, 10.1 ", rotatable; Touchscreen resistive, Multitouch (2 points; to use, you need to install Win OS not lower than Premium or Linux); Intel X3150 video chip; VGA port.
    4900 mAh capacity, 6.5 hours of operation.
    Microphone, webcam 0.3 megapixel, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3 USB, SD / SDHC / MMC port, stylus.
    Weight 1.3 kg; 264x181x31 mm.
    Description on the manufacturer's website .
    All specifications and photos are from the NYX , white version .
    Old review (everything is the same, except that now the processor and memory are different). Yandex Market reviews are mostly positive.
    The main disadvantages .
    *) Weight greater than that of "clean" tablets. Yes, there's no getting around it, 1.3 kg. However, the role of the tablet, if necessary, performs, and the tablet functionality does not create additional weight for a simple netbook.
    *) The quality of the screen, it is most often complained about in reviews - yes, screens with TN matrices are better. Here, after high-quality screens (especially IPS), a limited viewing angle (noticeable when viewing together) and the “angularity” of pixels are evidently not the most successful technology matrix. They say that the resistive film with its regular structure superimposed on top is “to blame”. However, for comparable money - only the model from paragraph 1 in black.
    *) on the Linux quick start button for Win there is a screen rotation - good, but sometimes this function flies (after turning the Windows screen, and then - the tablet shell screen - a program from Asus).
    *) Glossy frame around the screen; chrome details and inscriptions.
    *) Win7 Starter - many consider the first thing to do is remove it (or upgrade);
    *) 20 GB of disk are initially hidden under system recovery - this is the case for everyone now; when reshaping the OS, do not forget to return them back to access.
    The main advantages .
    *) Touch screen with multi-touch.
    *) Frosted plastic and screen.
    *) Quiet cooling. Weakly noisy, but quiet, without high frequencies.
    *) An alternative quick start OS is “Express Gate” (the image is on the manufacturer’s website).
    *) Matte keyboard in the black version, without unusually arranged keys, without distortions when pressed from the edge, with a clear response.
    *) the “lack of thought” of the connectors mentioned in the reviews in tablet mode does not interfere if the screen is programmatically flipped 180 degrees.
    *) multitouch on the touchpad, scrolling gestures, zoom.
    *) bluetooth for the mouse (in particular) and freedom of choice of manipulations - mouse, touchpad, screen, keys.

    Such a netbook for web developers is at the same time a good object for testing promising touch interfaces. As an alternative, you can choose a separate touch glass - overlay for a monitor for 4-6 thousand and use it even separately from the monitor, but if it is included in the transformer, space and weight are saved.

    Of the nice additions - there is a button for quickly turning on Linux (in 5 seconds) with surfing the Internet via Chrome and a number of utilities (without touchscreen support) and a number of installed programs from Asus that facilitate initial work with the touchscreen (there is no Russian handwriting input), but then all recommended for demolition. Annual support of 500 GB network drive on Asus servers.

    3. DELL Inspiron Duo 1090 , 18-19 tr.
    N550 / 2Gb / 320Gb / WiFi / BT / Cam / W7 HP / 10.1 Touch
    Despite the size of the screen 10.1 ", the number of pixels is 1366x768, this is a clear step forward in netbook construction, the matrix is ​​reduced; the price is quite well deserved.

    ... About 4 -th place you can put Gigabyte T1125N with TFT 11.6 "1366 x 768, capacitive multi-touch, core i3 - 29-31 tr. etc.


    Transformers with Windows are currently represented by only 2 models and prices of 10 thousand and 14.5 thousand rubles. - a large span of prices, inside of which are various no less interesting other models of simple laptops and “simple” tablets. But it’s not bad that the upper model has a well-thought-out number of ergonomically important characteristics, is represented by 2 colors and has a whole loop of useful Asus technologies inherited from the Eee PC line.

    An analysis of the description of a cheap model from the Mozhayskoye Shosse shows that it is also quite acceptable for use, it also takes into account the undesirability of gloss in a white model, and even there is a variant of a capacitive touchscreen in black. No consumer complaints regarding durability and usability. The rest, as befits a budget computer, the amount of memory, a single-core processor and gloss contributes to cheaper and more competitive price with convenient and expensive, but ordinary netbooks such as Eee PC 1015B.
    The second model (Asus Eee PC T101MT) requires significantly more money, but it takes into account consumer wishes in a wonderful way - the last years of “speaking out against gloss” were not in vain. Therefore, having sacrificed a large screen and wishing a tablet, we get a transformer with a 2-core processor and maximum memory in addition. Do not forget that there is also embedded Linux for quick surfing and with a number of utilities (without a touchscreen).
    The third model, which did not get compared because of the price of 18 thousand rubles, certainly deserves attention as well as consumer properties and an increased screen pixelity with the same 10 "diagonal.

    From the review, we can make an interesting conclusion that, although inexpensive models of transformers on the market is very small, but each of them is made very soundly and there are no random manufacturers in this niche, everyone knows that in order to earn money, his model must “shine in his own way." According to some models, it can be seen from the reviews, according to the Eee PC T101MT - live that each of them produces in printing and causes few complaints from users and in general each of them is successful.

    *) Transformers news feed (2010-2011) .

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