A sleek ‘laplet’ beauty

BL01_Tech_Secondlead

Asus Transformer 3 Pro two-in-one laptop is a versatile, powerful performer

Asus recentlyreleased a series of gadgets that have blended the best of the two worlds of tablets and laptops. Asus Transformer 3 Pro, which is part of the new Transformer 3 Series, is the latest in this segment. Asus claims the ‘laplet’ is the most versatile personal computer in the world, featuring some of the best specs in the category.

The 2-in-1 notebook has a 12.6-inch touchscreen and a fully detachable keyboard. The notebook packs an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD. It boots incredibly fast. You can use the device as a tablet on full-touch functionality and as a personal workstation with the keyboard attached; users can pull up a kickstand on the back of the device to prop it up.

Transformer 3 Pro has a premium alloy build. The finish is smooth, but the surface and edges are not slip-proof. Even the keyboard is slippery. The laplet has a thickness of 8.35mm. The kickstand can spread really wide — up to 155 degrees, which is quite comfortable for long-hour consumption and helps change viewing angles at will. The fact that the stand is steps or notches agnostic also helps immensely while placing it on uneven surfaces.

The system doesn’t get heated up thanks to a well-designed cooling system — what Asus calls a “vapor chamber”. The Transformer 3 Pro doesn’t have enough ports and connectors; the number of ports could have been increased without compromising on the real estate.

There is just one USB Type 3 port, which is not enough in this era of multi-device connectivity. The Type C Thunderbolt 3 slot where you can connect the charger is a blessing as it also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices. This makes the device stand apart among its peers.

The cover keyboard is backlit and well-spaced out. It sports a magnetic edge for stronger and instant attachment and comes in four colors. The touchpad is suitably spacious and responds well to the touch for savvy users. But the not-so-pros might find the touchpad a tad confusing, especially while fiddling with left-right clicks. The device syncs with Windows 10’s multi-touch and multi-gesture input.

Transformer 3 Pro has a 12.6-inch touchscreen with 3K (2880 x 1920) resolution, with a pixel density of 275ppi. This makes images appear crisp and cool. If you are a media professional (a short filmmaker or a professional photographer), you will find this device’s colour reproduction quite useful.

Asus claims it can cover 121 per cent of the sRGB color gamut — you know what I mean.

Asus’s proprietary video tuning system Tru2Life works like a charm on Transformer 3 Pro. Video playing is enhanced creatively, offering vivid visuals with judicious contrast. But one must admit that the default Windows player is a headache. VLC works better, but again without finesse.

The audio is a stunner. At 96 decibels max, it’s loud and clear. This is indeed incredible given its slender body. Even low-quality audio (below 128 kpbs) is enhanced and amplified beautifully thanks to the SonicMaster Premium Audio Technology.

The Transformer 3 Pro has a 13 MP rear and 2MP front cameras. This is an area where Asus needs more work. The camera works better than many mid-range devices, but at this price tag, user will expect more. The front infrared camera is also a disappointment. The stylus works well with the interface but only business users will find it handy and useful.

For obvious reasons, the Transformer 3 Pro draws comparisons with its main rival, Windows Surface Pro 4 tablet. Asus has indeed done an impressive job of catching up with its rival, but it could have done better. It’s not a surface killer, yet. Of course, Transformer 3 Pro is cheaper (including the keyboard) and can be an alternative for Surface fans.

That said, Asus Transformer 3 Pro is a sleep beauty that blends aesthetics and affordability in the right mix and delivers a premium performance in almost all departments except the camera. It can safely be your first date with the premium tablet world.

Price: ₹1,44,990

Love: Design, performance, display

Hate: Camera, slippery body

Published on November 30, 2016

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