Asus Trans­former 3 Pro T303UA

Fi­nally, a con­vert­ible to beat the Mi­crosoft Sur­face Pro 4

Micro Mart - - Reviews -

DE­TAILS

• Price: £1399.99 • Man­u­fac­turer: Asus • Web­site: goo.gl/aBmmR5 • Re­quire­ments: MS/ Win­dows ac­count, HDMI cable for ex­ter­nal mon­i­tor view­ing

Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face Pro 4 was a sur­pris­ing hit when it was re­leased last year. In spite of the grief the com­pany has re­ceived for pre­vi­ous Sur­face mod­els and its op­er­at­ing sys­tems, many users and pun­dits alike took a shine to the sleek and rea­son­ably sprightly Pro 4.

It’s lit­tle won­der, then, that manufac­tur­ers started to take a leaf out of MS’s book. In­deed, there are a num­ber of con­vert­ible note­book/tablets that ape the Sur­face Pro 4’s fea­tures. Sadly, some aren’t re­ally worth the ex­pense, but Asus may be on to a win­ner with its new Trans­former 3 Pro.

On the sur­face (no pun in­tended), the Trans­former 3 Pro is near iden­ti­cal to Mi­crosoft’s of­fer­ing. How­ever, within its sleek 298 x 210 x 8.35mm tablet chas­sis Asus has man­aged to cram in some pretty de­cent specs.

You’ll find a choice of ei­ther an In­tel Core i5-6200U or an In­tel i7-6500U (reviewed here) run­ning at 2.59GHz. There’s 8GB of LPDDR3 2133MHz mem­ory and a hefty 512GB SK Hynix M.2 SSD, with Win­dows 10 Home 64-bit.

Con­nec­tiv­ity is ex­cel­lent, with a USB 3.1 Type-C Thun­der­bolt port, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, combo au­dio jack and a mi­cro-SD card slot. Nat­u­rally, there’s also 802.11 AC wi-fi, with WIDI sup­port and Blue­tooth 4.1, along­side a 8MP front cam­era and rear13MP cam­era.

Its de­sign is sim­ple but quite ef­fec­tive. It lacks some of the bells and whis­tles we’ve seen with other con­vert­ibles, but it works well, and the alu­minium mag­ne­sium al­loy chas­sis is cer­tainly a stylish fea­ture. The kick­stand too is sturdy and con­tin­ues the metal­lic al­loy both on and un­der it.

The key­board sec­tion looks a lit­tle plain to be­gin with, but once it’s con­nected, via a mag­netic strip, the back­lit fea­ture kicks in, and you’ll soon come to ap­pre­ci­ate the com­fort­able typ­ing po­si­tion and nicely spaced keys. Ad­di­tion­ally, the track­pad is re­spon­sive and equally well con­structed.

The dis­play is a key fea­ture of the Trans­former 3 Pro and prob­a­bly its big­gest sell­ing point. The 12.6" LED WQHD+ dis­play man­ages a max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion of 2880 x 1920, and it’s a joy to be­hold. The colours are vi­brant, and im­ages have a neat, crisp look to them that photo ed­i­tors will cer­tainly be pleased with. Fur­ther­more, the in­cluded sty­lus is re­spon­sive and sur­pris­ingly ac­cu­rate. Dig­i­tal artistry isn’t our forte, but even we man­aged to draw some­thing on the screen as well as we would with a tra­di­tional pen and pa­per.

The per­for­mance of the Trans­former 3 Pro is far bet­ter than we imag­ined. While it won’t be able to keep up with gam­ing or 4K video edit­ing, there’s more than enough weight be­hind the pro­ces­sor and mem­ory to keep up with ev­ery­day tasks, and the M.2 SSD is nippy enough to keep Win­dows 10 and any in­stalled pro­grams zip­ping along with­out any hint of lag.

There’s plenty to like about the Asus Trans­former 3 Pro. It’s quick, the dis­play is great, and it’s quite a stylish tablet and notepad con­vert­ible. It’s priced more than the MS Sur­face Pro 4, at £1399.99, but it’s a far bet­ter con­vert­ible and one that’s def­i­nitely worth a look.

David Hayward

An ex­cel­lent con­vert­ible that’ll keep any user happy

There’s a level of sim­ple, but ef­fec­tive de­sign to it, but it can eas­ily keep up with you

The Asus Trans­former 3 Pro is cer­tainly a stylish-look­ing con­vert­ible

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