i like xfce, simple and easy on resources.
not sure if it was the slack current updates, or fixing the rpmb errors, or a little of both, but slackware setup ran without a hitch on the t100, with the 4.1 kernel. unlike previous attempts on all three baytrail devices that ended with disk full errors.
will be reinstalling the vivotab next. i tried a slackpkg -upgrade-all and the machine hung before it finished, i/o error afterwards that attempted to kill init. luckily i had a working install on the sd card to fall back to.