Asus Transformer Book T100 and other Bay Trail systems hit Indian store shelves

The first of Intel’s latest generation low-cost all-day computers based on the Bay Trail platform have hit the Indian market, starting with the two-in-ones – Asus Transformer Book T100 and HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11-H009TU.

While the Asus Transformer Book T100 hit stores, including Reliance Digital, on Thursday, the more costly HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 has been listed on as ‘coming soon’.

These are the first two Bay Trail based computers/tablets to be launched in India. Though the processor inside the Asus Transformer Book has been branded as Atom (Atom Z3740 to be precise) and the HP Touchsmart comes with a Pentium processor (Pentium N3510), both processors are actually based on the same underlying Silverthorne architecture.

Intel has recently started converting Pentium and Celeron into brand names, instead of architecture names. As such, some of the new Pentiums and Celerons are based on the Bay Trail architecture, while some are based on the mainstream Haswell architecture.

The only low-cost Haswell-based processor to hit India so far is the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 series, based on Celeron 2855U.

In terms of pricing, the Asus Transformer Book T100 and Dell Inspiron 11 3000 are priced in the Rs 32,600-33,000 range. The HP Pavilion Touchsmart 11 is likely to be priced above to Rs 60,000, though actual pricing has not been revealed yet.

While there have always been attractive two-in-ones in the Rs 30,000-40,000 range, such as HP’s own HP 10 X2 (costing Rs 40,000), they suffered from a key drawback – they could not run Windows.

However, the new batch – which are being called the rebirth of netbooks – suffer from no such shortcoming.

Besides, in terms of performance, the Intel chips are reported to be slightly superior to the Arm Cortex 15 based Tegra 4, and vastly superior to the earlier Atom atoms that used to power netbooks.

In addition, the new Intel chips also make it possible for companies to offer all-day computing due to their low power consumption, like their ARM competition.

The new chips, however, cover a wide spectrum in terms of power. The Atom Z3740 and Z3770 offer enough processing power to cover more ordinary workloads, while the Pentium N3510 is reputed to be slightly more powerful. They are all based on the Bay Trail architecture.

In comparison, the Haswell-based Pentiums and Celerons offer better single-threaded performance, but only similar overall performance as they are dual-core while most of the Bay Trail based chips are quad core.