Challenging the dominance of Microsoft’s Surface 4 Pro in the 2-in-1 category, Asus upped the game in creating the ultimate tablet/laptop hybrid and announced the Asus Transformer 3 Pro.
With tough competition in the hybrid market, Asus, together with a number of manufacturers have been offering varying versions by making one better and faster or creating alternatives paired with a lower price point.
It was last year where Asus unveiled the Transformer T300 in a step towards the right direction but suffered heavily in terms of a poor screen together with weak batter life in tandem with an array of ports trimmed to micro-levels that had limited capabilities in the I/O department.
The refresh on the latest Transformer Pro answers some of the question marks emulating a premium standpoint from the build quality, right down to how the rear hinge works.
From the get-go this hybrid offers options of Intel Core 15 6200U or i7 6500U, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 256GB to 512GB of SSD. Starting at P69,995 or $1,390 USD, the Transformer 3 Pro is slated to be more expensive than the Surface 4 Pro but will come with a larger screen packed with wider gamut and higher resolution, with added better connectivity to boot.
Remove the logos for either devices and you will arrive at a fork as to deciding which is which as the Asus Transformer Pro 3 looks and feels a lot like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 sans the size. The magnesium body that has been diamond cut is a shade darker comparing with the familiar button placements and the stepless kickstand works wonders for versatility.
Placed beside competition, the Samsung Galaxy Book looks like a keeper but with a smaller screen and sacrifices on taking away USB Type A ports for slimness, users are left to look for dongles; and the Huawei Matebook may want to play with the big guys but its under-powered when pit against its rivals.
Ports include a USB 3.0, a full-sized HDMI socket, and a Thunderbolt port, USB Type C that doubles as a charging port, headphone – microphone 3.5mm combo jack which checks way more connectivity ports compared to those that focus on slimness first that will call for a myriad of adaptors and dongles.
Asus focused a touch on the display when they took the wraps off the Transformer 3 Pro in Computex and that it’s catered for creative types and we agree. The 3:2 ratio of the display boasts 86% of the Adobe RGB colour spectrum and 100% of sRGB colour gamut and then some. Yes, the 12.6-inch screen is a touch larger but also packs more pixels at 2,880 x 1,920 resolution counting at 275 pixels per inch. It will, however get a little dim under direct sunlight or when being used outdoors in broad daylight.
Your input, your way.
Whatever you may need the Transformer for, you will get it as the included stylus will let you poke, draw, drag your creative juices onto digital screen. The soft ‘folio’ keyboard, included in the package unlike Microsoft’s, isn’t the most comfortable to type on but makes do with limited space considering they packed a whole lot into its tiny frame.
It’s not as spongey as last year’s iteration but aren’t clicky, too. The bendyness of the board itself will need some care to not place your entire weight over it where the option to lay it flat, on a flat surface, of course, makes it better. Keys are spread out for comfortable typing and spacing allows for touch typing.
The trackpad will have some issues recognizing multiple fingerprint gestures and will get confused on right and left clicks if done somewhere on the neutral area. You might want to opt to utilize the touchscreen for navigation purposes.
The included stylus is light and properly shaped for comfortable hand grip and the two buttons included can have an assigned function of your choice. The technology supports up to 1,024 levels of pressure that will make it easy for professionals to use the Transformer 3 Pro for graphics, illustrations, and sketches. Unfortunately, unlike the Surface Pro 4’s version with included magnets, there’s nowhere to place, dock, or store the stylus which will make it easy to lose.
While it’s not powerful enough to play highly intensive games with, it’s more than capable in speeding past your regular documents to even 3D and CAD should you need it for that.
Starting at P69,995 PHP or about $1,390 USD it will land on the more expensive side but will benefit your creative on-the-go needs. Should you need something more powerful Asus has other options to offer for varying requirements from thin and light, to bulky and ultra-powerful.
What do you think of the Transformer 3 Pro? Hit me up on Twitter @ginuhit or at the comments section below.