Asus Transformer 3 Pro | 2-in-1 PC Review

During Computex 2016 in Taipei, Asus presented the Asus Transformer 3 Pro for the first time. It was a hybrid beast born to use Asus’s new super bright 12.6″ 3K panel.

The Asus Transformer 3 Pro (official website) is now available with either a Core i5 or Core i7 processor, 8 / 16 GB of RAM, and 256 / 512 GB SSD. Pretty standard in terms of modern-day computing needs.

These specs are offered at a lower base price than the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. We believe this might entice some users to abandon the tech giant for this shy (but shiny!) newcomer.

But first, let’s watch a quick overview video of the Asus Transformer 3 Pro by Asus themselves.

The Asus Transformer 3 Pro Feel & Look

Asus clearly wanted to deliver its customers a Surface-killer in terms of design but the quality of the materials used will quickly remind you that this device is not a Surface as it will scratch in no time.

In terms of size, the Transformer 3 Pro is almost as big as the Surface Pro 4 and the two devices are nearly identical in thickness. It comes in two colors: Gold and Titanium Gray.

The Asus Transformer 3 Pro is almost as big as the Surface Pro 4

The Asus Transformer 3 Pro is almost as big as the Surface Pro 4

The device also features a rear hinge to support it when used in laptop mode which looks sleek and rather un-sturdy, but does the job fairly well.

The hybrid weighs 800g by itself (and roughly 1.15kg together with the keyboard), so if you’re into the habit of watching Netflix while holding your tablet in one hand, you’ll soon come to regret your purchase.

If you are, however, looking for the lightest laptop you can actually use on your trips without the hassle of giving up too much space in your already strained 10kg carry-on, this is the device for you!

Asus Transformer 3 Pro Tech Specs

The display of the Transformer 3 Pro is absolutely stunning and packs a whopping 2.880 x 1.920 pixels (2:3) IPS wide-gamut, touch. This would make it one of the nicest we’ve seen lately if it weren’t for the exaggeratedly glossy finish which compromises the images.

The screen is simply amazing.

The screen is simply amazing.

There’s an HDMI output though, so whenever you’re tired of the glare you can switch to your TV or second monitor instead. The display of the Transformer 3 Pro can show more RGB colors than the Surface Pro 4. But you’re unlikely to notice unless you’re into the creative business.

The processing power packed with this 2-in-1 allows a seamless operation of task-intensive programs, but comes at a steep price – the battery drains quickly by the power-hungry specs.

Unless you’re willing to compromise on viewing quality and other perks (and I mean, really compromise – say, to a screen brightness of 25-30%), you’re better off with a Surface Pro 4.

It doesn’t end there. The CPU Fan is quite aggressive and noisy when the need arises for more processing power. I believe this adds to the battery woes.

Speakers quality you ask? Don’t hold your breath. They leave a lot to be desired from such a claimed contender.

Battery performance is abysmal…

It’s disappointing to see that the claim of “all-day performance” that Asus so readily offers is nothing but deceptive advertising. The 39 Wh battery will last for 90-120 minutes of moderate use with enough brightness. Needless to say, the core I5 models should last a little bit longer than the I7 models.

The deal breaker here is the battery performance.

The deal breaker here is the battery performance.

On the bright side, the 2-in-1 charges fairly quickly – about 3 hours for a full battery. Some users have reported that they failed to recharge their Transformers using their power banks.

As a consolation prize, perhaps, Asus is offering you a back-lit folio keyboard together with the device, which you can attach to the tablet part of the device almost instantly using a magnetic connector.

The trackpad is adequate, but feels antiquated as it is seriously lacking on the multi-touch front. The stylus input is flawless and intuitive, just as it is on the Surface Pro 4. You can’t base your decision on this feature only.

If you’re serious about gaming, the Transformer 3 Pro won’t disappoint. Using ASUS’ external graphics dock will allow you to use your PC’s GPU for those graphic-heavy games.

Asus Transformer 3 Pro Verdict

The top of the range Asus Transformer 3 Pro will set you off by $1500-2000. [Still cheaper then the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with same specs]

We’ve yet to meet a real Asus die-hard fan, but if you’re one of those rare unicorns, you’ll probably love the Transformer 3 Pro despite its many flaws.

The rest of us could probably live with the less-than-perfect display. But with such an abysmal battery life, this 2-in-1 is a fair option to consider. Only if you’re not planning to use it much when it’s not plugged in.

The top of the range Asus Transformer 3 Pro will set you off by $1500-2000

The top of the range Asus Transformer 3 Pro will set you off by $1500-2000

Considering the similar price point of the Microsoft Surface, we’d argue that treating yourself to the latter will keep you smiling for many months to come. Purchasing the Transformer 3 Pro will become less appealing as soon as the new-gadget rush has dwindled.

In the end – it’s cheaper to get a more expensive device today and avoid replacing it in 6 months out of boredom…

This is yours truly, Becky from the Netherlands, signing off.

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