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  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    T100TAF UK/EU model info (T100TAF-BING-DK024B)

    This forum was a great resource when I was looking to buy a notebook/tablet hybrid a few weeks ago, so I figured I should contribute back some things I've learned about the T100 I received. The specific model is the T100TAF-BING-DK024B and this looks to be the official product page for it.

    I'll bust this out into sections so it's a little clearer to read. It seems a better idea to post it all here than bump half a dozen older threads.

    Where to buy

    This deserves a quick note since I got stung slightly. Here in rip-off Britain the cheapest you can get the T100TAF is about 250, although you get a choice of retailers at that price (amazon/argos/johnlewis/scan etc). Most places list a 2 year warranty (24M), however I got mine at Argos who didn't list the warranty period and I assumed it'd be the same, but in fact Argos are selling ones with a 1 year (12M) warranty. So just a heads-up to get it from somewhere stating the 2-year warranty for 250 like amazon or john lewis instead.

    Hardware

    Compared to the original T100TA there's a few differences, some good, some bad. I think some of this info could be already on the forums across various threads.

    The SoC is a Z3735F, instead of the original's Z3740. it still connects to 2GB of RAM but the difference lies in the memory type. The Z3735F's memory controller supports DDR3L memory instead of the LPDDR3 of the Z3740. Basically it uses cheaper memory that is slightly more power hungry (the SoC's SDP is 2.2W compared to 2W for the original), and has a little less bandwidth (single channel 64-bit 1333MHz versus dual channel 64-bit 1066MHz). More info about the differences at Wikipedia.

    There's better news with the screen, which is actually the same as the more expensive T100TAM model (the one with the brushed metal case and Z3775 CPU). The LCD panel model is an AUO20DC, and there's some good info on it in a T100TAM review here. The short of it is that the sRGB coverage is a little higher (72%) and the default calibration is a little more accurate. Personally I've been using IPS screens on the desktop since they stopped making CRTs and while it's weak by IPS display standards, this is good for a laptop screen so long as you're not doing serious image editing, especially since the gamma is a little too bright in the mid-tones, and adjusting it with the Intel control panel will only introduce colour banding and some black crush in the dark greys.

    The 32GB eMMC drive is a Samsung MBG4GC instead of the Sandisk or Hynix drives found in the T100TA/TAM. There's no 8GB read-only recovery drive, they put the recovery partition at the end of the disk, so your C: partition is only 21GB. The MBG4GC seems fairly decent for an eMMC drive though. It has TRIM support. CrystalDiskMark gives me 91MB/s sequential read, 49MB/s seq write, and 15MB/s for random 4K read and write both. ATTO gave me 179MB/s read and 58MB/s write for 8MB block size, with 25MB/s read and 7MB/s write for 4KB blocks. That's with only 7GB space left of the 29GB total for the disk. It seems the Samsung is marginally quicker but hardly noticeable.

    It has a Broadcom GNSS 4752 geolocation sensor. I haven't tested that though. The wireless chip appears to be a Broadcom BCM43341, which I found out by looking up it's device PID (a94d) here. I can only get it work in 75mbps mode but I suspect that's a router issue on my part, as it appears to support 150mbps mode.

    There are no great shocks with the rest of the hardware. Llike the other T100TAF models it only has a USB 2.0 port, and a single speaker on the left side. The battery is the usual 31Wh 2-cell.

    Battery

    Despite theoretically up to 200mW more being used by the SoC compared to the T100TA, the battery life seems about as expected. All my results are with the display set to 40% brightness, for indoor use.

    One thing that was pretty weird, when I first charged it after purchase, the battery reported as 72Wh in windows. That made for a strange first "powercfg sleepstudy" report with the capacity ratio at over 200%. After a couple of full charge cycles it got down to around 35Wh, and worryingly after a couple more it dropped to 28Wh. That was roughly 8% battery wear after 4 cycles, but it's since stabilised upward to 30.8Wh after more use. So don't panic if you get similar initial battery behaviour.

    Battery Life - Video/Web Browsing

    For watching offline videos I get roughly 2800-3100mW power usage with 720p60 (60fps) content with MPC-HC playback, while for 720p24 movies it's 2600-2900mW. That bears out to the expected 10-11 hours on a single charge. SD video seems to fair a little better, with 480p stuff pulling about 2500-2700mW. I didn't test 1080p, it's a 10 inch sub-1080p screen after all!

    Online videos like youtube and twitch streams are roughly similar, with 720p60 HTML5 playback using 2900-3200mW, which gave about 10 hours playback. General browsing power usage is harder to gauge, since it depends on the websites, with animated GIF/Flash heavy sites sucking up 3500+mW while forums and more sensibly built sites use only 2200-2400mW.

    The main factor with web browsing battery life is actually the touchscreen/keyboard/trackpad devices, as using any of them to simply move the cursor, or press a key that does nothing on the page, instantly bumps up the power use by 400-600mW until they drop back into standby a few seconds later. So websites that make efficient use of space are easier on the battery simply because you have to scroll the page less, which means waking up the dock/touchscreen less often. I'd say I get roughly 10-12 hours of browsing time (8-10% battery lost per-hour).

    Battery Life - Remote Desktop

    My main reason for getting a T100 was for remote desktop use. I'm a graphics programmer and that needs a fairly powerful CPU/GPU, so you're either tied to a desktop or get an expensive bulky great gaming laptop. I have tried using visual studio (2015 community RC) on the T100 itself, and while it actually wasn't that slow to use for code editing, features like intellisense kept the power usage well over 3000mW, closer to 4000mW most of the time, especially for larger projects. On the other hand as an RDP client this T100 has been great. Power usage is 2400-3000mW at most in the editor, and I can get a good 10-12 hours out of it, which is plenty more than a working day. Debugging a graphics-heavy application over RDP pushes the power up to 3500-4000mW, but it copes surprisingly well, handling what is essentially streaming video without stuttering. The Wifi connection on the T100 seems to be stable for this kind of usage too, with so little latency over LAN at least, that it's easy to forget you're not running everything locally on the T100.

    Battery Life - Games

    I haven't tried too much gaming for battery usage numbers with it. I threw bejewelled 3 on since my SO likes to play it, and that pulls about 4000mW. I did test out Steam Home Streaming from my desktop machine, playing some Dark Souls with a ps4 controller Bluetooth connection to the T100 and that used 3500-4000mW at 720p60 stream settings, and only a couple of frames latency. You could probably get that closer to 3W by using 30fps and/or a lower resolution.

    Battery Life - Standby

    There's been plenty said in some great threads here already, so I'll keep it brief. Standby with the dock connected and wifi on eats the most battery, almost 1% an hour for me, partly due to a noisy LAN with a lot of other devices causing "spurious wakes" from the wifi driver. Turning on airplane mode with the dock connected before entering standby reduces that to roughly 1% lost every 3 hours. Removing the dock and leaving wifi on loses 1% every 4 hours. The best advice I have is to look up enabling hibernation in windows 8.1 in the other threads here, and if you don't expect to use the T100 for over an hour, hibernate it before you close the lid.

    Battery Life - Software Choice Matters!

    Again this probably said in many places on these forums, but which software you use makes a huge impact on the battery life. On my desktop machine I use VLC for streaming, HPC-MC for offline videos, and Chrome for browsing. Trying to use the same programs on the T100 performs fine but appears a bad idea in terms of power usage.

    VLC is a CPU hog, I don't know why, though I suspect it's to do with the mass of different codecs and cross-platform libraries it uses. Playing a 720p60 h264 video in VLC pushes CPU usage well into double figures and raises the CPU frequency scaling to higher multipliers. On both MPC-HC and Windows Media Player the same video drops CPU usage below 10% and the CPU speed scales right down. MPC-HC's CPU use drops right down to 2-3%. WMP is around 7-8%. Both WMP and MPC-HC use the system codecs instead of their own like VLC does, and I expect the system codecs offload more work to the GPU from the CPU. The result is MPC-HC uses 300-500 less mW than VLC. So on the T100 I use MPC-HC for all videos, since I was surprised to learn it can load video streams too, such as extracted twitch urls.

    It's no secret that Chrome uses a lot of a RAM, but it also seems to use a lot of CPU too. IE seems to be a lot kinder on the CPU usage (and so battery) for both scrolling on webpages and playing HTML5 video like youtube. Maybe I'm a bad person but I like chrome for it's ad-blocking (some sites are obnoxious with their ads), luckily you can use a form of ad-blocking on IE11, via it's Tracking Protection Lists. It even works on the metro version of IE, although I use the desktop version on the T100 mostly. You can get an ad-blocking TPL here, just click Add on one of the lists (I use Easylist Standard). The other gotcha with IE11 is changing the default search provider from Bing to Google. There's currently a windows update that prevents you changing search provider (via the same gallery site used for TPLs), so it's best to change the search provider when you first start using the T100, before applying windows updates. You can also remove the offending update (KB 3038314), change search provider, then re-apply it.

    Battery Charging

    This T100TAF model comes with the standard 10W charger (5V/2A), and a 3-foot USB cable. I couldn't source the 10-foot monoprice cable everyone here recommends, for sale in the UK. Instead I found an "ooh-la-la" 3 metre cable on amazon for 5, that is supposed to be "22/24 + 28 AWG". It seems alright, losing only 300mW over the 10 foot run compared to the original 3 foot cable.

    I have a few other USB chargers around, mostly 1-1.5A, but my galaxy S4 charger is 5.3V/2A and that will charge the T100 slightly faster (about 600mW more) than the stock charger. It's good advice given here to turn the tablet off while charging to get around 25% an hour, versus 10-15% an hour if you're using it.

    Additionally it appears that this newer T100TAF model supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and will also accept 9V/2A input via the micro USB charging port. The info was on the impossibly hard to read sticker on the back of the tablet, which you can read using a camera. I posted more info in this thread.

    I haven't tested the 9V/2A charging yet. I suspect the galaxy S6 charger will work to fast charge the tablet, so I might buy one (the charger that is) or another QC 2.0 charger, unless I run into a new S6 owner soon whose charger I can test with.

    A Couple of Problems

    I've only had two real issues with my T100. The first was the touchpad gestures failing to work after putting it into standby. I like to use the two-finger scrolling, and the two-finger tap for right-click is a much better alternative to the kinda loud right click button on the touchpad. I tried the latest ATK and gesture software packages on the T100TAF support page but they made no difference. If anyone else has the same issue, I solved it by using the ATK and touchpad software from the T100 Chi support page (ATK VER100037 and smartgesture_t100chi_t300chi_VER3012).

    The other problem, this one I still have, is an occasional issue with system interrupts using 25% of the CPU. There's a thread here about this on the T100TA, which can be reproduced by using the hardware start button after standby. Unfortunately it isn't the same cause on the T100TAF, and I can't reliably reproduce it. It seems quite rare though, only occurring 3 times in about the 3 weeks I've owned it. I've since installed xperf to track down which device driver is causing the problem, when it next occurs. I'll update this post then.

    Other stuff

    After a few weeks using it, aside from a couple of issues, I really like this T100TAF. My other laptop is a couple of years old, a Toshiba satellite with some AMD APU in it, and a 17" TN screen. The T100 feels so much more practical, despite being a notebook. Viewing angles are infinitely better with the IPS screen, and a good 10 hour battery life beats the Toshiba by a long way, where it kinda defeats the purpose of being a laptop when you're chained to the charger after something like 3 hours use. The keyboard on this T100 is fine for productivity work too, despite the smaller size, the keys have decent travel and feel good to type on.

    So thanks again for this superb forum guiding me to the T100. It's hard to find a similar device for the same money or less, with an IPS display, good keyboard, and long battery life. I had looked at chromebooks, but their RDP support is lacking. I'd also looked at the Eeebook X205 for about 180, but that has a TN display and can't be detached as a tablet.

    I was going to end on a question about whether I can wipe out the C: drive (21GB partition) and still use the recovery partition to restore it again later (I want to test windows 10 compatibility), but I suspect that's already been answered if I look around here more.

  2. #2
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    Great write up. You must have quite a bit if experience doing tests like this.

    We do have a few articles on the recovery partition. Turns out it really varies depending on the capacity of the internal memory. My preference is just to use the Microsoft Windows 8.1 install iso that recognizes the license key built into the Bios. Much better way to clean install Windows.

    I'm curious. Bow did you find I formation about the display type. I'm looking under device anger but can't seem to find anything.

    Also, mind explaining what you use to measure power use? Must be some sort of external tool to bypass the battery?

    I too have a slightly different variant. It is a Canadian t100TA which came with the z3735 but with a Hynix memory module. I'm interested in running crystal disk to compare results with yours although mine is no longer out of the box new.
    *I apologize for any spelng mistakes. I frequently answer questions on my phone. The content is (usually) good, but the words may not be intelligible. If you cant understand my post... check back later or call me out on it.
    Tf300 Root and Custom ROM Guide!!_________Clean Install Windows 10 and Drivers______Tf700 Root and Custom ROM Guide!!

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  3. #3
    Soundwave
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    Hey, cheers for the tips on re-installation, I guess the recovery partition is pretty optional if you don't mind losing WIMboot support. I am curious how much disk space you lose doing a normal install from a desktop ISO compared to WIMboot though.

    I don't have that much experience testing out laptops really, just the usual end-user kind of thing like this. I'm not using an external tool for the mW values, just the logged output from BatteryBar Pro (you can also configure it to show current wattage on the explorer icon instead of time/percent).

    I pulled the display model name using Aida64's display section, it's also how I got the VID/PID for the wifi device. Device manager only shows the display as Generic PnP Monitor.

    Let me know which version of Crystal Disk you're using and I'll post the the output, my copy is 4_0_3a, the portable version (the installer version tries to install adware/antivirus??).

 

 

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