Powerful tablets with detachable keyboard are very popular these days. They are light, can be used as a stand-alone tablet, and as powerful as some of the high-end laptops. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Apple iPad Pro are some of the finest examples of this new category of devices. Asus is trying to take on Microsoft with its new 2-in-1 convertible called Transformer 3 Pro T303UA which comes with a similar built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard. The new Transformer impresses with its premium build quality but commands a very hefty price tag of Rs 1,44,990.
Design: Premium build and light
Transformer 3 Pro’s design looks inspired by the Surface Pro 4. It has a very similar flat back metal body with slim (8.5mm) edges. The gold finish on the back and the spine give sit a dash of premiumness. The front panel is dominated by a 12.6-inch display while on the back rests a built-in kickstand. It is flexible and feels firm at the same time. You can adjust the inclination as per your requirement. Unlike other big screen tablets it doesn’t feel hefty or unmanageable. It tips the scales at 798g, which is very close to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 (785g).
Despite the sleek profile, the tablet carries a USB 3.0 port, HDMI port, USB type-C port, microSD card slot and an audio jack. The volume button is placed on the left side while the power button is placed at the top.
The whole mechanism is interesting, but you can’t really use it anywhere you want. You need a flat stable surface to use the whole setup comfortably.
Keyboard: Big and easy to use
What makes it a perfect productivity tool is the detachable keyboard. The keys are big, don’t make a racket as you are typing and backlit as well, which makes typing an enjoyable experience. You can also give the keyboard a slight angle by folding it at the top. This makes tying more comfortable.
Asus has managed to integrate a touch pad with ample space for palm rest, within the confines of the compact footprint. What they have missed out is the rubber feet or some other mechanism in the keyboard that would prevent the keys from brushing against the display when the lid is down. This makes the display prone to scratch or picking dust from the keyboard. The keyboard is connected to the display with a magnetic strip. It holds it firmly and is not easy to shake off.
Display: Rich colours, supports touch
The 12.6-inch LED display packs a resolution of 2,880 x1,920p and looks impressive most of the time. It is a bit reflective in nature which makes using it in bright rooms a bit of a problem. We didn’t notice any change in colour or had any difficulty reading content on the screen from odd angles. The multi-touch support makes handling the device a lot easier.
Performance: Powerful workhorse
To power the Transformer 3 Pro, Asus has used Intel’s top of the line Core i7 2.5GHz processor and has paired it with 16GB RAM and Intel’s HD graphics 520 GPU. The device runs Windows 10 Professional edition. It is a powerful device with blazing fast performance. However, we noticed a slight amount of heating up on the top of the back panel while watching movies.
The 500GB SSD takes care of storage and provides a significant boost in terms of performance as well. The device boots up instantly while apps load quickly. Asus is offering 1,000GB of free cloud storage on the device which should take care of your cloud storage needs. Watching movies was quite enjoyable and we didn’t have to put a headphone or connector a speaker to it. It comes with a powerful Harman Kardon speakers placed at the top the tablet.
The device uses USB type-C to charge which means you can use any USB Type C based adapter to power it up. Battery backup is not one of its strong points, though. On full brightness, it lasted 5 hours of typing, web browsing and movie playback of 30 minutes.
The Transformer 3 Pro’s biggest rival is the Surface Pro 4, which comes in multiple options based on storage, RAM and processor. The variant which comes closest to the Asus device in terms of specs cost Rs 1,97,990. This gives it an edge over the Surface Pro 4.