With detachables looking like the only category of PCs that is likely to grow (at least according to IDC), and with Microsoft's Surface line becoming an important driver of that trend, it's only natural to see companies like ASUS trying to offer options for consumers on all budgets.
When the company unveiled its new Intel Kaby Lake-powered devices at the Computex trade show back in June, it became clear that it wants to go in with both feet and flood the market with 2-in-1s - and one of those devices is the budget-friendly Transformer Mini T102HA..
The tablet sports a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, and its computing power is provided by an Intel Atom Cherry Trail x5-z8350 processor and 4GB of RAM. There are two storage options, either 64 or 128GB of eMMC - which should be sufficient for students and many other users - and you can always extend it via the included microSD slot.
Unlike the previous Transformer Mini, you also get a pen with this one, and it weighs a bit less (1.2 pounds for the tablet part and 1.7 pounds with the keyboard attached). Connectivity options are decent enough - one-full sized USB 3.0 port, a micro USB port, a micro HDMI port, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack - as well compatibility with the latest wireless standards.
All of this comes at the price of $399 for the 128GB model, and when you consider the magnesium alloy casing and ASUS's promise of up to 11 hours of freedom from plugging into a socket, it should start to feel like a pretty good deal. It also includes a fingerprint scanner on the back for some added convenience when logging in.
If you don't mind the fact that the new keyboard is a soft cover instead of a rigid one like in the previous models, you can now pre-order the new Transformer Mini (the 128GB model) from Amazon and B&H. If $399 sounds too steep, the 64GB version should become available soon.