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Hinge or detach? Asus’ new Transformer Books let you decide

In 2015, the decision you make when buying a laptop usually has less to do with the specs, and more to do with the form factor. As convertible machines grow in popularity, the price shrinks and the technology rapidly becomes more accessible. Two new Transformer Books, the T100HA and the Flip TP200SA, float in the ethereal word of machines that aren’t quite laptops, but aren’t just tablets either.

First up, the 2-in-1 T100HA is powered by an Intel Atom X5 Z8500 Cherry Trail processor, a quad-core chip with a 1.44GHz clock speed, backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. For the display, Asus includes a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS panel. At full charge, the TH100A will run for a quoted 12 hours, and the fast-charge will push it up to 80 percent in just two hours. It also includes the standard selection of connectivity options, with a USB type-C port, SD card slot, Micro HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wi-fi.

If you want your tablet and keyboard stuck together, the Flip TP200SA offers similarly functionality in a 360-degree hinge form factor. Behind the 11.6-inch 1,366 x 768 display, the Flip’s chip is a quad-core Intel Celeron N3050, with up to 2.16GHz clock speed, and it’s also paired up with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. It boasts a slightly shorter eight hours of battery life.

Related: Windows 10 touch and tablet review

Both systems ship with Windows 10 pre-installed. The newest OS from Microsoft is built with a number of tools that render using a touchscreen or convertible device much simpler. Whether that means shutting off the keyboard when the Flip’s hinge is turned, or enabling the expanded Start Menu when you detach the keyboard, you’ll find a much more seamless experience with Continuum.

Both devices will be available within a month; the T100HA will cost $299, and the TP200SA will cost $349 — fitting prices for their budget-minded specs.