Asus is brushing up its line of 2-in-1 Windows notebooks with detachable keyboards. The new Asus Transformer Book Chi 90, Chi 100, and Chi 300 are Windows tablets with 8.9 inch, 10.1 inch, and 12.5 inch screens, respectively.

Prices range form $299 for a smaller model with an Intel Atom processor to $799 and up for a model with a larger, higher-resolution display and an Intel Core M Broadwell chip.

chi t90_01

Each model has an aluminum unibody case, a fanless design, and an IPS display with wide viewing angles. The keyboard docks use magnetic hinges and connect to the tablets via Bluetooth.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T90

The smallest member of the Transformer Book family has an 8.9 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, measures 0.3 inches thick and weighs 14 ounces.

chi t90_02

Add the keyboard dock and you have a notebook that is 0.65 inches thick and which weighs about 1.65 pounds

The Transformer Book Chi T90 has an Intel Atom Z3775 Bay Trail processor, 32GB to 64GB of solid state storage, and a starting price of $299.

Like all of thew new Transformer Book Chi systems, it runs Windows 8.1 32-bit software.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T100

With a starting price of $399, the 10.1 inch model has a 1920 x 1080 pixel display and an Intel Atom Z3775 processor.

chi t100_01

This model is even thinner than the T90, measuring 0.28 inches thick (0.52 inches in notebook mode), but it’s a bit heavier at about 1.3 pounds in tablet mode or 2.3 pound when used as a notebook.

The Asus Transformer Book Chi T100 with 32GB of storage will sell for $399. A 64GB model will also be available.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T300

Asus is positioning its 12.5 inch model as a premium device. Models with a 1080p screen will run $699 and up, while there’s also an option for a model with a 2560 x 1440 pixel display for $799 and up.

chi t300

Both versions feature 128GB solid state drives, measure 0.3 inches thick (0.65 inches with the keyboard), and weigh 1.6 pounds (3.2 pounds with a keyboard). Asus will offer models with Intel Core M 5Y10 or Core M 5Y71 processors.

Accessories

Optional accessories for the tablet/notebook hybrids include an Acitve Stylus pen with palm/rejection support and a 2-month battery, a Chi TriCover magnetic cover with a pen holder that can act as a screen protector and a stand, and a Chi Case 2-piece cover which protects the tablet and keyboard, but which lets you detach the keyboard without removing the case.

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34 replies on “Asus unveils Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 Windows notebooks”

  1. T90 and T100 still on Bay Trail? Come on Asus why are you trying to flog your leftover Bay trail chips? Bay Trail is EOL now what’s the point of buying these when Cherry Trail devices will be out in a couple of months?

    I really was looking to get a Cherry Trail T100 but from the looks of this Asus won’t be shipping one until next year.

    I wish they just delayed these a couple of months and released with Cherry Trail.

  2. I wanted to throw money at that 8.9-inch model — even if it meant Windows — but that low-resolution screen, ewww.

    I seriously can’t wait for the next year’s model, though. That thing looks nearly perfect. (A trackstick would be even better, but I can do without it.)

    1. I’d be even more excited if was a standard clamshell laptop, and not a 2-in-1.

      I could live with it being a 2-in-1, if the keyboard wasn’t bluetooth.

  3. Oh, boy, that Chi 90 looks really good to me! Any word on RAM amount and HDMI?

    1. I have red that there will be 1 and 2GB versions. No word on HDMI in any of the chi tablets (it is a must for me)

      1. also no word on a sd card slot. I am afraid that the thin design forced a lack of such things like sd card slot and HDMI port. That woul be a shame but we will see

        1. Ugh… no SD would be a deal-breaker. I already have an USB-HDMI adapter so that’s less of an issue.

          1. I’m sure if the keyboard wasn’t bluetooth, there would have been more than enough room for an SD slot in the base. even a full-size SD.

  4. I’m really surprised by the 8.9-inch. Netbooks proved that people don’t like that size. The market chose 10-inches for the sake of the keyboard. A frivolous device imo. Keep the other two as the sizes makes sense.

    1. The departure of Netbooks had nothing to do with form factor. They failed because CPUs werent powerful, or efficient enough to support them. They evolved into Ultrabooks, because that was the only way Intel and gang could sell the ultra-expensive components required to make them.

      I’ve been waiting for the day that UMPCs would return with the hardware needed to run them.

      1. Hi. You misunderstand my point. I’m referring to what size form factor made sense in terms of what consumers want. The 8.9-inch and 7-inch netbooks became extinct because keyboards could squeeze into the 10-inch form factor. My point is, if 8.9-inches made sense, then the market would have spoken. Asus of all companies should realize that the market demand for squished, and modified sub 10-inch keyboards is all but non existent.

        1. You’re not reading his response properly. His point was to tell you that people didn’t like netbooks not because of the form factor. It has nothing to do with the form factor. If you had one of those netbooks, you’d realize it was underpowered CPU’s with terrible battery life that didn’t have any advantage over normal laptops. Keyboard size had nothing to do with why netbooks were so unpopular. If you read any of the reviews, you’d realize people complained about the CPU, not because it’s too small to type on.

          1. The first netbooks came at a time when processors were not fanless and terrible. People bought the netbooks because it was smaller and they enjoyed that aspect. But that’s where it ends. I bought a netbook back in the days. Why? Because I needed to do thesis presentations and didn’t want to have to carry a 13 inch laptop with me all the time. With today’s technology, the netbook wouldn’t have been so useless. Why don’t you see sub 10 inch laptops coming back today then? Well because why get a small laptop when you can just use a tablet? Now I can do presentations with a smartphone/tablet.

            The form factor for the 8.9 inch is great.. because those who wants a smaller laptop for any particular purpose can also use it as a tablet. Had Asus come out with just an 8.9 inch undetacheable laptop at this day and age, it would be DOA. You may not realize this but many people actually would prefer smaller keyboards, just that back in the days of early netbooks, nobody was willing to do that if it meant poorer performance.

          2. But yet again, you still are missing something, price!!! They help to bring down the price of even normal laptops. That’s why I rellay like Brad’s definition of netbooks, it has something to do with price, weight and size.

        2. Of course the majority of people will prefer a 10+ inch laptop to have the best typing experience, but I believe there is enough demand for people who will sacrifice a complete keyboard for smaller size.

          I was impressed with the optional keyboard for the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Enough that I would feel okay with buying an 8″ laptop, if such a thing existed.

          Such a market would be aimed at people who need a small device first, and an adequate keyboard as a second priority.

    2. The big difference, I think, is that the keyboard isn’t as important in a device like this as it was in a netbook. You rely on the keyboard a lot less in this sort of device, and there are times when you won’t use it at all. The other thing to note is that there aren’t a lot (or any?) hybrid devices with smaller screen size currently on the market. So even if there’s less demand for the 8.9″ model, it could still sell well enough because doesn’t have any competition. That’s not true of the 10 inch model.

      Finally — 1.6 pounds! Even the T100 weighs ~2.4 pounds with the dock. That’s a huge selling point for someone who walks around all of the time and wants something that’s as little hindrance as possible.

      1. Excellent points. As it happens, I cycle to work, my 10 inch Windows tablet is too heavy, 8 inch is too small. Also, the keyboard is a lot roomier than 8.9 netbooks, due the lack of trackpad.

    3. So you’re basically criticizing ASUS for giving consumers an extra choice? As it happens, I’ve been waiting for a Windows convertible with this screen size for ages (hopefully full HD at some point). People can still buy tons of ten inch models (ASUS models, too). To call the device frivolous because it’s not what you need it’s, well… frivolous. The more sizes and choices, the better for everyone, no one is forcing you to buy this size, thanks for stating I should not have a choice because you like something different.

      1. LOL. If my goal as a company is to profit, then I sure hope that I can sell enough to cover my R&D and costs. If this form factor was such a great idea, then the marketplace would have these available in big numbers already. If 8.9-inches was so great then those would have been the best sellers. Oddly enough, 10-inches seemed to win out. Not by a landslide, but by a full KO. Into oblivion and beyond! A niche is fine, but wow, this is really niche. I’m sure there is <5% of the general population who will be excited for it. That's fantastic I guess. Oddly enough, on a "liliputing" site, do you think I'm fighting an uphill battle on this one? If ever there was a niche audience, I guess this is where 8.9-inch lovers would be.

        1. Just because there isn’t a massive market doesn’t mean no one wants one.

          And it seemed a couple of years ago that netbooks full stopped had disappeared – I’m glad that Asus didn’t think that no one wanted them anymore, and brought us models like the T100 that ended up selling loads.

          1. I specified that there is probably a <5% consumer base that craves a tiny keyboard vs. a full keyboard (10-inch form factor).

            It was the Chromebook that spurred Intel and partners to reignite the cheap 10-inch form factor again. Sadly, we all didn't buy into the "Ultrabook Revolution".

          2. Pretty sure early Chromebooks are 11.3 inches, not 10 inches.. And 11.3 inch form factor has been around for ages. T100 was one of the early ones to bring back 10 inch displays.

        2. Why don’t we just assume Asus knows more about marketing computers than Graham Douglas, and accept the possibility that there are enough potential buyers to make this product worth while.

    4. If the keyboard were permanently attached to the screen I might agree with you, but I think millions upon millions of people buying iPad minis and small Android and Windows tablets prove that people do like that size.

  5. That T90 is pretty close to my dream device. Lets hope it has a 64 bit OS and 4gb RAM

    1. Agh, just reread the article. “The keyboard docks use magnetic hinges and connect to the tablets via Bluetooth.”

      Not even slightly interested. Lazy engineering.

      1. Well, what do pin connectors have over bluetooth? I mean, I’d rather have something that won’t wear out after heavy use. The T90 is on my watch list as well. Question is whether it supports active stylus pens.

        1. Pin connectors allow things like extra USB, SD card slots, auxiliary battery.

          Bluetooth means less reliable, uses battery, less convenient.

    1. It has touchscreen. If you need more mouse-like capability, plug in a real mouse.

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