The 10.1-inch Asus Eee PC T101MT straddles the netbook and tablet worlds. Although it looks like a pretty standard netbook, it has a touchscreen display that can be swivelled around and snapped back against the keyboard to convert it into a tablet. The T101MT is available from Laptops Direct and other vendors for around £430.
Measuring 31mm deep all around the chassis, the T101MT is much thicker than an ordinary netbook. It's heavier, too, weighing in at 1.3kg, whereas most networks top out at around 1.2kg. This extra weight is especially noticeable when you're using it in tablet mode, cradled in your hands. It really feels like it's weighing you down after a while.
The T101MT doesn't look great either. Despite Asus' efforts to jazz up the design by adding a few chrome highlights here and there, the rest of the chassis is finished in matte black and looks dull. At least the swivelling mechanism of the screen feels quite robust, so it should stand up to a fair bit of punishment.
When it comes to connectivity, this machine adheres to the traditional netbook template. You get three USB ports, a VGA socket for connecting it up to an external display, and a memory-card reader. There's no HDMI port sadly. The T101MT has an Ethernet port and 802.11n Wi-Fi support, but unfortunately there's no Bluetooth connectivity. The T101MT has a pretty roomy hard drive by netbook standards, offering 320GB of space for your files.
As with Asus' other recent netbooks, this one has a keyboard with isolated keys. The keys are reasonably large and there's a decent amount of space between them, so it doesn't feel too cramped to type on. The layout is generally good. The return key is large and Asus has even found space to fit in dedicated cursor keys. But there's a fair amount of flex in the middle of the keyboard, so it doesn't feel quite as comfortable to type on as, say, some of Samsung's newer models.
Screen makes you scream
With a tablet device like this, you'd expect the screen to be its main strength, but, unfortunately, it's the opposite. There are so many issues with this display that it's difficult to know where to begin. For example, its vertical viewing angle is very tight, so, if you hold the T101MT at an angle, colours either look very washed-out or descend into a sea of black.
Even worse, though, is the fact that the screen always looks smudgy, as if there's an extra layer of plastic film sitting over the top. As a result, when you move the screen around, the surface of the display seems to shimmer, which makes it hard to read documents and Web pages.