Asus Transformer T300 Chi in the flesh, first impressions
While we’re waiting for our order of the Transformer Book Chi T300 later this week, we got some time to check out a sample unit earlier today.
Announced way back in June 2014 during Computex in Taipei, the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi is the thinnest ultrabook to date by the Taiwanese company.
The device is actually a hybrid since the keyboard dock is removable and the display can work as a Windows 8.1 tablet on its own.
The design and construction reminds us of the Transformer Pad from many years ago, a 10-inch 2-1-in Android tablet with keyboard dock.
While the Zenbook like is a pure ultrabook form factor, the Transformer Book Chi takes on a hybrid form factor that’s akin to the Transformer Book Trio, only slimmer and much lighter and less the Android OS.
With a 12.5-inch full HD display (the WQHD variant will not be released in the Philippines), the IPS screen of the Chi looks gorgeous but the thick bezels are a bit of a concern. The tablet itself is big but does not feel that heavy due to the very thin form factor.
There are a lot of ports around the sides of the tablet and the keyboard dock, although everything is micro-sized. There’s a micro-HDMI port, micro-USB 3.0, micro USB 2.0 and a microSD card slot.
The keyboard dock has a latch-lock mechanism to firmly secure the tablet to the dock with a magnetic lining to help snap it properly in place. Both the tablet and the dock have their own power source but the one on the keyboard is just for powering the Bluetooth and does not add any battery life to the tablet.
The keyboard and the trackpad of the Chi are actually pretty good. The keyboard is soft and accurate although the key travel distance in quite low. The trackpad is smooth and responsive as well.
If you need to plug an external mouse, you will have to get a microUSB dongle or else use a Bluetooth mouse.
Over-all, we’re pretty impressed with the T300 Chi. We’re still very curious with the performance of the Intel Core M (they say it’s the same as a 1st-gen Core i5) and of course, the promised battery life.
Asus is set to launch the Transformer Book T300 Chi this April 7 with two variants — one with 4GB and another in 8GB. What’s a bit lacking is the option the get a 256GB SSD storage.
ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi specs:
12.5-inch fHD IPS LCD @ 1920×1080 pixels
Intel Core M 5Y71 processor, up to 2.90 GHz
Intel HD Graphics 5300
8GB LPDDR3 RAM
HD Web Camera
1 x COMBO audio jack
2 x Micro USB
1 x micro HDMI
1 x Bluetooth On/Off Switch
1 x SD card reader
1X AC adapter plug
Built-in Speakers And Array Microphone
32 Whrs battery
317.8 x 191.6 x 7.6 ~ 16.5 mm
We expect the 4GB model to be Php39,995 while the 8GB model at around 50k.