Microsoft’s Surface-range of productivity tablets, that when connected with a keyboard accessory, become full-blown Windows PCs have redefined the 2-in-1 category. There’s simply no beating the Surface, so they say. Slowly and gradually, others including Apple have joined the bandwagon. So, why should Asus, a company that has a history in laptops and mother boards, stay behind? To counter the Surface, or more precisely the new Surface Pro 4, Asus has come up with its own version of the 2-in-1 convertible. Asus calls it the Transformer 3 Pro, and it’s every bit as futuristic as its naming convention: in design and in specs.

Also Read: Asus Zenbook 3 review: A perfect Windows alternative to MacBook

Asus has also priced it, at upwards of Rs 1 lakh, to ensure you have little doubt what it is gunning for. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 of course. Here’s a closer look.

  1. The Transformer 3 Pro takes major design cues from the Surface, but then, it is primarily a tablet and frankly speaking there’s very little that you can do around a tablet form factor – design per se — any ways. Microsoft has the advantage of being there first, but, that doesn’t mean others can’t innovate. Samsung has, so has Huawei but at the cost of some compromise here and there. Asus has meanwhile played it safe. The design isn’t the most original, and looks a lot like the Surface, but at least Asus has tried to cut short on compromises.

  2. Asus hasn’t tried to make the Transformer 3 Pro slim or sleek, but functional therefore many (especially who have tried out the Surface) would say, it is a little thick and a little bulky. The Surface Pro 4 is a lot compact in comparison, but that is because Microsoft has been working on the Surface for a while now. Slowly and gradually, it is reaching perfection. The Transformer 3 Pro is Asus’ first attempt at a 2-in-1.

  3. Still, Asus could have at least added a little more grip on the edges because a 2-in-1 is supposed to face some wear and tear since it would spend a considerable time of its life being a portable laptop. Sharp corners and edges will be prone to wear and tear, over time.

  4. Just like the Surface, the Transformer 3 Pro has an adjustable kickstand on the back that can be adjusted to a maximum of 155 degrees. There’s a hollow groove that lies in the middle of it, so it’s convenient to pull the kickstand out and about at all times.

  5. Asus includes a keyboard accessory and a stylus inside the box, which is very generous of it, as Microsoft doesn’t offer a keyboard with any version of the Surface and also does not give you a stylus with the base version.

  6. The Transformer 3 Pro’s keyboard accessory is made out of plastic and offers decent feedback, although just like in the Zenbook 3, typing can feel a little wonky on Asus’ convertible as well. The stylus, that its calls the Asus Pen, meanwhile offers up to 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.

  7. Asus, as mentioned earlier hasn’t compromised much on functionality. The Transformer 3 pro comes with a headphone jack, a microSD card-reader, a full-size USB 3.0 slot, a full-size HDMI connector and a Thunderbolt 3 port. It sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.

  8. The Transformer 3 Pro comes with a 12.6-inch diagonal (IPS touchscreen) display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2880×1920 pixel resolution. Although the colours look good, the screen of the Transformer isn’t the brightest in town. It’s just about adequate making sunlight legibility a bit challenging on the device.

  9. The top-end Transformer 3 Pro is powered by an Intel Core i7-6500U processor with 16 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. It is not a fan-less design, and therefore is prone to some noise especially when you push it to the edge. Since the exhaust vent is located up top (in landscape mode, when you’re using it as a laptop) you’re more likely to hear a little more noise than the usual. But, this sort of placement also means that you’re less likely to feel the heat dissipation when you’re using it as a convertible. The 2-in-1 is backed by a 39 Wh battery and offers average at best battery life.

  10. The Asus Transformer 3 Pro starts at Rs 1,10,990 and goes all the way up to Rs 1,44,990. It costs a little less than the Surface Pro 4, at least the top-end variant does, and tries to provide similar functionality. You get full-blown Windows 10 and all its nuggets straight out-of-the-box. More on the Transformer 3 Pro in our full review.


Also Read: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 review: In a class of its own

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