ASUS IS GEARING up its Transformer hybrid tablet/laptop range to take on rivals such as Microsoft with its Surface range and the likes of Samsung and Acer.
The Asus Transformer 3 Pro has clearly been designed to lock horns with the Surface Pro 4, offering more powerful innards yet measuring just 8.35mm thick, 0.15mm thinner than Microsoft’s hybrid.
The device has an Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of 2133MHz RAM. SDD storage goes up to 1TB.
Connections include USB Type-C, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI allowing the hybrid to support dual 4K monitors if buyers want to go beyond the 12.6in 2880x1920 resolution display.
Like any decent hybrid, the Transformer Pro 3 has a keyboard cover. Asus’s latest take features back-lit keys with a standard 1.4mm travel, which should make it decent to type on.
Other specs include dual Harmon Kardon speakers, face recognition via a front-facing camera and Windows Hello to allow people to log-in to Windows 10 with their face. The hybrid comes in Stone, Charcoal, Taupe and Amber.
Much like the Surface Pro 4, the Transformer 3 comes with a fancy stylus, dubbed the Asus Pen. The Pen offers 1,024 levels of precision, which Asus reckons will make for “more natural note taking and sketching”.
An Asus Universal Dock is also on offer, providing a breakout box of connectors to expand the number of devices that can be plugged in.
The thing that really sets the Transformer 3 Pro apart is the ability to plug it into Asus’s ROG XG Station 2 external graphics card dock, which provides a dedicated GPU boost, making it a machine for gaming as well as work, something that even the well-specced Microsoft Surface Book cannot do with much gusto.
Sitting below the Transformer 3 Pro is the Transformer 3. The hybrid offers the same 275ppi display as its bigger brother, but is slimmer at 6.9mm and weighs a light 695g.
This svelteness means lower-powered Intel Core processors, and memory and storage limited to 8GB and 512GB respectively. The Transformer 3 manages to fit in four Harmon Kardon speakers, USB Type-C and 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt connector. This means that the hybrid can be connected to the ROG XG Station 2 just like its bigger brother.
Asus has given the Transformer 3 a different detachable keyboard. The Sleeve Keyboard does not appear to be backlit but still offers 1.4mm of travel and a glass-covered trackpad with a two-position built-in kickstand.
Oddly, the Transformer 3 is offered only in Icicle Gold and Glacier Gray, while the Sleeve Keyboard comes in Stone, Charcoal, Taupe and Amber.
Asus is not shy in staking its claim in the market. But it’ll need to make sure that the Transformers stand up to our reviews when they are released, as the hybrid space is getting competitive with the likes of Huawei’s MateBook and the competitively priced Acer Switch Alpha 12. µ
Siri-powered speaker will start shipping on 9 February
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