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Thread: General Questions about Asus Transformer T100

  1. #21
    LjL
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    I've lived for so long without a built-in ability to restore Windows on my computers, I don't think I'll necessarily miss it all that much.

    8GB isn't huge, but if you consider that the eMMC has about 11GB free for me out of the box (-ish), that's close.

    Not to overly insist on this since it's hardly on-topic, but I do believe that "BIOS" is a term specific to IBM compatibles and CP/M (where it originated, despite referring to something a bit different, given MS-DOS has some roots there). Other computers just call that sort of concept a "firmware" or variations. While UEFI can contain a BIOS emulator for booting older systems (in the T100 case, it doesn't, I think perhaps mainly because Microsoft's certification for Connected Standby-enabled computers requires them NOT to have it), UEFI itself is incompatible with BIOS.

  2. #22
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    UEFI isn't really still BIOS but an alternative that can cover the same core functions but there is a lot more to UEFI than there ever was to BIOS... Here's a basic list of those differences...

    1. UEFI is more similar to a low-end operating system in concept, as it not only has the capacity to control all the hardware resources, but it also has some basic functions akin to a small operating system, like support for mouse control, optional features like the ability to access the internet in UEFI, backup your disk drive, install drivers in UEFI, etc.

    2. UEFI supports Graphic User Interface(GUI), but BIOS only primarily has text interface with a few computer manufacture, OEM manufacture can provide a simlar GUI, but their functions are greatly limited...

    3. UEFI supports multi-languages user interface... So for many non-english speaking countries, they can fairly easily manage UEFI in their native language.

    4. UEFI is designed in modular, which is the most significant difference between EFI and BIOS. Since UEFI is designed in two main modulars, one is firmware manager, the other is operating system software manager. UEFI thus supports new peripherals, high-speed startup, and firmware upgrades sperately.

    5. UEFI is developed in C language, but BIOS is in ASM. So EFI has more adaptation in hardware or firmware. Thus UEFI has greater fault tolerance and error correction features.

    6. BIOS service is designed in 16-bit mode, but UEFI is running in either 32-bit mode or 64-bit mode, and even the enhanced processor mode in future.

    7. We can access all system hardware functions by UEFI driver model, we can visit internet or websites in UEFI without access the upper operating systems. UEFI can support remote diagnostics and repair of computers, even without another operating system, for example... Though, this is also why it's much more vulnerable to things like boot based malware attacks and why Secure Boot is actually a needed security precaution...

    8. For developers, the UEFI Specification increases efficiency because they allow developers to reuse code. In contrast to prior coding structures, UEFI standards allow for extensibility, modularity and easy prototyping during development.

    9. UEFI finally breaks free of the old DOS-style master boot record (MBR) disks, taking us into the GUID partition table (GPT) future. While not all operating systems support booting from GPT disks (notably, 32-bit versions of Windows), GPT support at the firmware layer will allow disks of enormous size to be used, even for booting the operating system.

    10. Already, a number of virtualization platforms can emulate UEFI firmware, which allows you to load UEFI-dependent operating systems within them. Some examples are VirtualBox and Qemu. And yes, this means that it is technically possible to run OS X (for those that don't know, Apple has been using EFI for many years) in a virtual machine under those environments.

    11. UEFI takes the place of the traditional operating system boot loader, which relegates any boot loading tasks to be done within the operating system itself (like asking to boot in a Safe Mode), as a result, you have one fewer thing to break or make decisions about.

    12. The UEFI specifications defines an interface, while the BIOS refers to a specific implementation of the firmware that initializes the platform and loads an OS setup. UEFI specifications define an interface in which the implementation of UEFI performs the equivalent of the BIOS, by initiating the platform and loading the operating system, but BIOS and UEFI aren't necessarily mutually exclusive... UEFI can sit on top of the traditional BIOS and act as an interface between it and the operating system. Like BIOS, it presents a standardized view of the hardware to the operating system, allowing operating system makers to build on top of it and have their OSes work on a variety of motherboards.

    So you can have a system that still technically has a BIOS as well as UEFI on top of it, for example... but at the same time, since UEFI acts as an abstraction layer between the firmware that acts as a BIOS and the operating system means that an equipment maker can use whatever it wants to in the role that the BIOS fills and put UEFI on top of it and an operating system that uses UEFI will work just fine. Indeed, makers are free to build UEFI implementations that are complete top-to-bottom and do not need any additional firmware below them in the stack.



    Device drivers can also target the UEFI instead of the specific hardware. This means that instead of needing to write drivers for different platforms, they can just write it once... Meaning the same drivers can be used on potentially any UEFI system regardless of hardware platform it is based upon... Like x86/x64 or ARM for example...




    Anyway, the main reason Asus still calls it BIOS is simply KISS... and in that regard firmware is the generic reference to the code that actually runs the hardware... either specifically, like a SSD, WLAN, Video Card, etc. or, in terms of the BIOS, to the whole system and acts as the go between for the hardware and OS... While UEFI is quite a bit more than just a firmware/BIOS, it still overlaps that function and to the end users that's the only function that directly matters to most people... but as listed above, it's capable of quite a bit more...

  3. #23
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    Very true.

    Back to my analogy though...its still a cat, even if it is a tiger (which is soooo much cooler than just a domestic cat).

    On the T100, you've got a lot of stuff. You've got the UEFI, you've got the Embedded Controller and you've got the OS layer.

    The E/C (Embedded Controller) is pretty much akin to the actual metal and controls only a few of the basic functions. On the T100...damnedifIknow what exactly it controls. At a guess, the pre-UEFI hardware control. Things like if the battery power is too low and you try to turn it on, it'll pop a low battery icon on the screen and refuse to boot. That sort of thing. That all happens before the UEFI is initialized.

    The UEFI is the pre-boot environment as well as the general interface between the OS and much of the hardware in the machine, as Zeo covered.

    The UEFI does cover the basic input and output system too...it just does a lot more than just that.

  4. #24
    Ratchet
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    Quote Originally Posted by LjL View Post
    Note that the T100 doesn't really *weigh less* than most netbooks... I think it's about 1.1kg with the keyboard. If you remove the keyboard, then sure, it's 500g or so (the keyboard must come with some weight to balance and avoid flipping over, I suppose).
    Even the tablet alone weighs noticeably more than 7" tablets, but this is probably unsurprising.

    The 9.7" iPad 4 (the one before the current Air) weighed 1.44 pounds, and it was considered one of the lighter tablets on the market.
    So, the T100 tablet is actually quite competitive at 1.2 pounds, especially when you consider it's a fully functioning Windows PC rather than a big cell phone that can't make phone calls.

    The T100 with the dock attached doubles in weight to about 2.4 pounds, but a large part of that of course, is because Asus deliberately put that steel plate in the keyboard to add weight so the device wouldn't tip over too easily on a desk the way earlier Transformers did.


  5. #25
    Jazz
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    Slight thread hijack. I sent my Asus Transformer T100 back a while ago to Amazon so I am currently debating on reordering or waiting for a refresh. I just noticed Amazon now carries the 32GB + 500GB version.

    Im not sure which to get now. I figured if you install apps to the 500GB would there be issues if you don't use the dock? Also I wonder how much heavier that one is compared to the 64GB version.

  6. #26
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    The drive is IN the dock, not in the tablet.

    How much heavier? Probably a matter of grams. 2.5" 7mm drives are pretty light and a bit of the steel plate in the dock is cut away as well as some of the plastic backing to fit the drive in there. Negligible difference.

    For problems, none, other than you MUST have it docked to run the programs on the HDD. They'll also generally be slower, because the HDD is slower than the eMMC. Also more power consumption. Drive at idle, figure maybe an hour less use docked compared to a dock without the HDD. Use the HDD in the dock much and it might be 2-3hrs less runtime than running stuff off the eMMC/microSD.

    In general a better idea to just get an external USB3 HDD if you need copious storage. Or a large micro SD card.

  7. #27
    Jazz
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    Thank you azazel1024. That made my decision a lot easier.

  8. #28
    Rescue Squad
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    Quote Originally Posted by azazel1024 View Post
    In general a better idea to just get an external USB3 HDD if you need copious storage. Or a large micro SD card.
    Besides, the 64GB+500GB model at least has been noted to come with a even slower eMMC... It'll still have faster 4k read/writes but the HDD is actually faster for the sequential read/writes... Don't know if that also applies to the 32GB+500GB model but for performance sake it's likely a safer bet to just get an external HDD and the regular 32/64GB model...

    Though, there are more options now as wireless HDDs that work over WiFi are available and come with their own internal batteries... So you can usually leave it in the bag and just keep the tablet nearby to use it, with the bonus of not adding a power drain to the tablet for longer on the go usage... Only down side is they cost a fair bit more than equivalent capacity USB HDD drives but may be worth it if you don't want to always carry the dock with you everywhere and don't think using the microUSB port a good option either... Though, you'd have to remember to recharge the drive as well as the tablet... but wireless also means you keep the ports free for other things...

  9. #29
    LjL
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    Remember a large microSD card is, sadly, still crippled by slow speeds, since the microSD slot in the T100 isn't up to the lastest card speeds.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LjL View Post
    Remember a large microSD card is, sadly, still crippled by slow speeds, since the microSD slot in the T100 isn't up to the lastest card speeds.
    True, but ~20MB/sec read and write speeds isn't terrible. If you get a rather good one, like a Samsung Pro or Sandisk Extreme, the small file performance is notably better than a hard drive too. So running programs off of it isn't THAT painful. Would be nice if it wasn't so limited though.

 

 
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