[Review] Asus Transformer 3 Pro – Taking a stand

[Review] Asus Transformer 3 Pro – Taking a stand

Design 
The Asus Transformer Pro 3 is the latest two-in-one that hops onto the convertible bandwagon and bears a form factor and design that is almost a dead ringer for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 albeit with a significant number of refinements to the design.

20161124_100934

Asus Transformer Pro 3


Externally, the Transformer Pro 3 has slightly larger dimensions than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and sports excellent, and in some cases superior build quality compared to its inspirational sire. The external finish is a diamond-cut aluminium casing done up in a  light matte gold with chamfered edges that is 8.35mm thin weighing 790g, making it one of the lightest convertibles around.

20161124_101018

The rear of the Asus Transformer Pro 3 features a fold out kickstand

The back of the notebook comes with Asus’ logo emblazoned on the back and a sturdy kickstand that can be deployed anywhere from slightly off-vertical all the way to an almost-flat 155-degree position with the ability to stay put in almost any conceivable angle due to the sturdiness of the mechanism. When deployed, the kickstand is sturdy enough to withstand heavy prodding of the touchscreen.

20161124_100842

The kickstand on the Transformer Pro 3 can fold down to a 155-degree angle

Unfortunately, as with the Surface Pro 4, the bottom edges of the kickstand need a wider footprint in general to ensure stability when deployed, meaning that it’s best used on a flat surface rather than on your lap. That somewhat limits its deployability when you’re on a bus or train. Perched on the upper left corner is a 13-MP camera. Paired with this is a front-facing 2-MP sefie camera located right in the middle of the slate when it is placed in landscape mode. Flanking the display are a pair of stereo speakers tuned by harman kardon with subtle grilles on either side of the 12.6-inch 3K touchscreen.

In terms of ports, the Surface Pro 3 comes a solid line-up that precludes it from being a dongle-festooned nightmare like what happened to the recently launched Macbook Pro. The left side of the notebook comes with a volume rocker, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader. The top is bare save for a power button and a set of ventilation grills for the built-in fan to ensure proper airflow.
20161124_100914
The right side comes with a USB3.0 port along with a full sized HDMI connector and a Type-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3. The Thunderbolt 3 port here opens up the Transformer Pro 3 to a host of possibilities as it offers fast 40Gbps data transfer and support for 4K UHD displays. It also allows it to dock with a gaming station such as Asus’ ROG XG Station 2, turning it into a svelte gaming behemoth. The provided power brick is relatively small and light palm-sized, making the whole affair a very portable proposition indeed. It also ships with an Asus Pen stylus that comes with 1,024 levels of sensitivity when used on the 12.6-inch touchscreen.
20161124_101158

The base comes with the docking clamps and magnets necessary to hook up to the provided folio keyboard. Like the Microsoft Surface series, the folio-style keyboard uses a membrane design and, in the case of the Transformer 3 Pro, is backlit without draining much power off the notebook. The keyboard itself automatically latches on in seconds to the base of the Transformer Pro 3 and acts as a protective cover for the display as well while adding very little to the overall thickness of the device. Combined, it weighs slightly over 1kg, which is still exceptionally portable.

20161124_101025
In terms of build quality the Asus Transformer Pro 3 feels exceptionally bespoke in every way with a beautiful finish and a superb heft. It even has quite a few tempting extras too to top its inspirational sire like Thunderbolt 3 support and a slightly larger display to boot. The kickstand itself deploys in an extremely smooth fashion and the whole overall package simply oozes quality which is a given seeing its impressive price tag at RM6,999.

Introduction & Design Page 1
Performance & Conclusion Page 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *