ASUS continues to experiment with new form factors, with its latest effort being the Transformer Book Trio – a new breed of ultraportable that is part tablet, notebook and desktop PC. The Transformer Book Trio also has the unique ability to switch between Windows 8 and Android at a press of a button. Unmatched flexibility.
The Transformer Book Trio’s chameleon-like prowess is possible thanks to the latest 4th Generation Core “Haswell” processor (i7 or i5 configurations) and a separate dual-core Intel Atom Z2560
“Bay Trail”* CloverTrail+” processor rated at 1.6Ghz for Android tablet mode.
Whether for work or play, the device can detach from the ‘PC Station’ keyboard dock for use as a multi-touch Android tablet, or work as a notebook in Windows 8 mode. The device can then transform into a desktop PC by docking with the PC Station and attached to an external display via Mini DisplayPort or micro-HDMI.
The 11.6-inch Full HD IPS LCD is vibrant and displays accurate colour with wide 178-degree viewing angles. The display features 10-point capacitative multitouch.
The Transformer Book Trio comes built-in with stereo speakers and ASUS SonicMaster audio technology in both PC Station and tablet form.
Also included as standard is Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity in the PC Station, and 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity in tablet configuration.
In terms of battery life, ASUS quotes 13 hours of battery life in Android mode, and five hours in Windows 8 mode.
Specifications at a glance
- OS PC Station: Windows 8; Tablet: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- Processor: PC Station: 4th Generation Intel Core i7 or Core i5; Tablet: Intel Atom Z2560 (1.6Ghz)
- Graphics: PC Station: Intel HD 4400
- Display: 11-6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS with capacitative 10-point multitouch
- Memory: PC Station: 4GB DDR3; Tablet: 2GB LP DDR2
- Storage: PC Statiom: 500GB HDD; Tablet: 16GB MMC
- Camera: 5MP, autofocus, 1080p video recording
- Connectivity: PC Station: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, micro-HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic jack; Tablet: 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, microSD card slot
- Size & weight: PC Station: 304.9 x 193.8 x 13.4mm, 1kg; Tablet: 304.9 x193.8 x 9.7mm, 700g
Availability and pricing
The ASUS Transformer Book Trio is available at local IT retails stores by end of this week. Pricing as below:
- TX201LA – CQ003H (Core i7 processor) = RM4,099 (SRP)
- TX201LA – CQ004H (Core i5 processor) = RM3,799 (SRP)
The concept seems slightly oddball, fusing two different hardware platforms into one device. A tad wasteful, in my opinion, although I get the ‘flexibility’ standpoint that ASUS is attempting to market as a value proposition. You can’t fault ASUS for experimenting and trying new things though, as the popularity of its Transformer series of hybrid/convertibles have proven. I personally thought the recently launched Windows 8-based 2-in-1 Transformer Book T100 was good. If anything, I commend ASUS for being ballsy enough to be different. I’ll reserve further comment until I’ve touched and tested the device.
*Corrected: Thanks to reader Alex, for pointing out the error.