Asus Transformer Good enough to beat the Surface Pro 4?

Microsoft and Intel have been pushing the world into the 2-in-1 convertible for quite some years now. But this is only Microsoft Surface Pro 4 this has been almost perfect, with Windows 10 running. Of course, for those familiar with the universe iOS, the 12-inch iPad Pro is an option, and a powerful force that has a smaller 9-inch iPad Pro.

However, there are other manufacturers such as ASUS oem, Huawei and Acer also compete for the share of the cake. ASUS Transformer Pro 3, which is the first showcase of 2016 companies in Taiwan for the Taipei International Computer Show, is now available in India. The price tag of Rs 44990, this is not just a surface replacement, which is a direct competitor to Microsoft’s devices. So is the ASUS Transformer Pro 3 a good enough choice?

Specifications: 12.6-inch (3:2) LED backlit WQHD+ (2880x1920p) 60Hz Glare Touchscreen with 85% NTSC | Intel Core i7 6500U Processor | 16GB RAM, upto 512 GB SSD storage | 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera| Infrared camera for Windows Hello | Multi-format card reader | WiFi 802.11 AC (WIDI Support) | Bluetooth | Built-in Bluetooth V4.1| Universal dock| Battery 39 Whrs Polymer with USB Type-C charging | Dimensions: 298.8 x 210.1 x 8.35 mm, weight 790 g.

Asus Transformer Pro 3 review

I first saw the Asus Transformer Pro 3 at the Computex 2016 event, but was more interested in checking out the ZenBook 3 at the time. At first glance, the Transformer Pro 3 looks and feels exactly like the Surface, which isn’t that exciting. But on closer inspection, you can see that Asus has done a excellent job. The all-metal design is very premium, and the gold looks classy. It has an integrated metal kickstand at the back, again similar to the Surface and Asus says you can set it up at a 170 degree angle as well, which is pretty cool, but a little unnecessary.

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There’s a separate keyboard, which attaches just like the one on the Surface. Asus says the keys have 1.4mm travel, and this is a backlit keyboard. Even with the keyboard attached, the Transformer Pro 3 remains a sleek device, which you can easily carry around. But then again it’s hard to ignore the similarities with the Surface.

So what’s good?

The display on the Asus Transformer Pro 3 is 2880×1920 pixels with 3:2 ratio, and when you switch on the device, it’s evident this is a gorgeous one. The blacks are deep, the colours are crisp and vivid. Whether you are just typing out text or looking at spreadsheets, or planning to watch Netflix all day on this thing, then this screen is perfect. I watched Season 3 of Black Mirror on this device, and I was most impressed.

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The overall audio quality is also quite good. I didn’t feel the need to crank up the volume to full while watching my shows. If you’re one of those who likes to consume video content on their portable devices, then the Asus Transformer Pro 3 is more than capable of delivering on that front. The display and the sound quality don’t disappoint, and given you can use this as a tablet which has its own stand, so portability is not an issue.

In terms of overall performance, I did not face any problems with ASUS Transformer Professional 3. My main task is video consumption, writing, editing a copy, I opened 8 – 10 as usual in Google Chrome browsing on this device. 16 gb of RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor, which is more than capable of handling your everyday tasks, including in particular spending a lot of time at Microsoft Office Suites. The touch function display also responds quickly, and I do not notice any dependency on this feature when hysteresis is on and so on.

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The keyboard lives up to the claims and while it takes sometime getting used to the smaller surface area, I had no trouble typing out articles, including this review on the Transformer Pro 3. I usually take time adjusting to a different kind of keyboard, and it was the same with this device. Overall, I like how responsive the keyboard is, and it’s a good thing that Asus has made it a backlit one, which means you should not have trouble typing out in the dark.

Asus Transformer Pro 3 also has support for a stylus. I’m not much of an artist , but I found the stylus to be responsive even with a fairly light touch. But I’m still not a fan of writing with these things on a display, given I’m left-handed and it’s not the most comfortable way to write for me. Still my handwriting was legible with the Asus Stylus Pen on the OneNote app, which I consider a win.

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So what’s not so good?

It’s not all perfect for Asus Transformer Pro 3. Despite the beefed up specifications, there is a lag at times with the device. On one instance, the device refused to boot-up for me, and I had to rely on the Power and Volume down button to reboot it.

This also has support for Microsoft’s Windows 10 Hello log-in, but that never worked accurately. I’m not sure what happened here; and I tried logging in more than once, but it refused to work.

The battery on this is not impressive at all. I’d say the Asus Transformer Pro 3 will give around 6-8 hours at best, which is not great considering this thing has comes with a hefty price. I would expect a device costing close to one and a half lakh to have a 10-hour battery life at the very least.

Verdict

The reality is that not all people need a converter to cost a bomb. Most of us are satisfied with our basic day-to-day needs for ordinary laptop typing, presentations and late-night video links, even if it may be inadequate and slightly heavy. Not everyone is an artist and needs a stylus.

The ASUS Transformer Pro 3 is for those who need a strong but easy travel device that will not let them down. A stylus is an addition to your creative needs if you have the time, the same inclination and skill. Asus will be in terms of performance, and the keyboard is definitely better. But the battery short board is a problem.

If you are considering another surface and then do not want iPad Pro, ASUS Transformer Pro 3 is an option. But is it more than surface Pro 4? I do not quite believe it.