ASUS Transformer 3 Pro hands-on, first impressions
The beefiest among the recently-launched Transformer 3 series, the ASUS Transformer 3 Pro carries capable specs for on-the-go productivity and a stylish design that demands attention wherever you go.
If the Zenbook 3 is positioning itself as a more affordable alternative to the Apple MacBook, the Transformer 3 Pro is taking on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 in terms of overall design, functionality, and internals.
Starting with the display, the Transformer 3 Pro touts a 12.6-inch display just like its Transformer 3 sibling. This is slightly bigger than Surface Pro’s 12.3-inch screen but ASUS fitted theirs with a 2880 x 1920 resolution which, again, slightly overtakes Surface’s 2736 x 1824 display resolution.
The Transformer 3 Pro still applied that thick bezel at the sides of the display. It’s a bit unsightly but serves as the area where you hold the device when you use it on its own as a tablet.
The Transformer 3 Pro includes its own detachable keyboard dock from out of the box unlike the Surface Pro that you’d still need to shell out extra money for. The company also claims that each separate key has a 1.4mm travel that would make it feel like you’re typing on a normal-sized notebook. We gave it a quick test and we could say typing was easy during our initial experience.
It also has a built-in kickstand which is versatile enough to let you position the display in various angles. Looking familiar? Yup, the Surface Pro 4 has a similar stand that’s also razor thin.
It maintains a thin profile — maxing out at 8.35mm. This makes the device easy to bring around as it can effortlessly slide in between things inside a bag.
Talking about ports and connectivities, there’s the audio jack, microSD card reader, a USB 3.0 port, USB 3.1 Type-C/Thunderbolt 3.0 port, and HDMI connectivity.
We can also see here the aluminum alloy body that ASUS implemented and its diamond-cut chamfered edges which give a nice accent on the Transformer 3.
It sports a 13-megapixel main camera located at the upper left corner of the back plate. Unlike the Transformer 3, the shooter has no protruding housing so the device could lay flat on a surface.
Apart from the camera and the company branding, the back plate is devoid of anything except for the line where the hinge for its kickstand pivots on. It’s very simple but still maintains a sense of elegance when you use it.
Finally, at the top left corner, we see the power/wake button lined along the running grille for what appears to be the device’s way of dissipating heat.
From our brief time with it, we could say that the Transformer 3 Pro has a solid build quality. Its metallic finish not only reinforces the chassis, but it also exudes an elegant presence — something that you could whip out at executive meetings and such.
Inside, ASUS set the configuration to have an Intel Core- i5/i7 processor partnered with up to 16GB ofRAM and 1TB of SSD. We spent a short time browsing through this 2-in-1 PC and it was snappy and responsive to commands.
ASUS Transformer 3 Pro specs:
12.6-inch (2880 x 1920) display, 275ppi
Aluminum alloy body
Harman/Kardon quad speakers
Intel Core i7 CPU
16GB RAM, 2133 MHz
1TB PCIe x4 SSD
Intel Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C 3.1
Dual 4K Display output
40Gbps data transfer
13MP rear camera
3-in-1 SD Card reader
ASUS Pen (capable of 1,024 pressure levels)
Compatible with ROG XG Station 2 GPU Dock
Icicle Gold, Glacier Gray
It has a starting price if $999 with no news on local availability as of yet. Although during our interview with Jerry Shen, Global CEO of ASUS, we could be looking at the end of the year for the local arrival of the launched devices.