Asus bring first convertible ultrabook with extra battery, and extra spare hard drive in the keyboard dock. Transformer Book TX300 is out tomorrow May 21st starting at $1500.
Asus’ first detachable ultrabook, the Transformer Book is a great option for oversized 13-inch tablet hybrid. This convertible ultrabook offers what others don’t. You’ll get a spare 3,200mAh battery and extra 500GB hard drive in the detachable keyboard. This is most likely an asset to someone who uses tablet in stationary position over a longer period of time. The total weight is almost 2 kilo and that is quite a bit more than other tablets, or even hybrids.
The thickness of the ultrabook with tablet attached is 0.92 inches (23.36mm). The tablet itself takes 0.43 inches (11 mm). Both weigh 0.95 kg each (2.1 lb).
The 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display carries a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution and decent 180-degree viewing angle. Asus went with premium SonicMaster Bang & Olufsen audio on this one.
The tablet hybrid comes with Core i7 chip of Ivy Bridge variety, clocked at 1.9GHz. There is a cheaper Core i5 option with 320GB HDD in a dock, but not available in US. There is 4GB of RAM memory. The tablet storage is 128GB SSD and it also has microSD slot for expansion. The solid state drive boots this Windows 8 Pro hybrid in six seconds (from sleep in 2 seconds). Transformer Book has integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics.
The tablet is equipped with decent 5 megapixel 1080p rear camera, though without flash.
Port-wise, the Transformer Book TX300 tablet has the above mentioned microSD card slot, and micro-HDMI port. The keyboard dock however is well ported. We have Ethernet jack, mini-VGA, DisplayPort, SD card reader, and two USB 3.0 ports. The HDMI connection will need an adapter. Two dongles (mini-VGA-to-VGA and USB-to-Ethernet) are supplied for free. Wireless connectivity is handled by Bluetooth 4.0 EDR, and WiFi 802.11n.
The two powerpacks of two cells 5000 mAh on a tablet and the two cells 3120 mAh battery on a dock hold the hybrid in working order for about five hours. Tablet only lasts about eight hours on a charge.
Asus Transformer Book is an excellent choice for a 13-inch hybrid ultrabook. The extra battery life and storage option is bound to be a great selling point. Having said all that, Intel is just about ready to launch their Haswell processor on June 3rd. Haswell chip promises double 3D speed to offer the same visual effect as a discrete graphics card and improved battery life as well. Also, the tablet hybrid isn’t cheap and doesn’t support Wacom digitizer, which may come handy.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 offers similar experience (sans detachable tablet) and starts at $975.
For benchmark comparisons of Asus Transformer Book please see engadget.
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