Review ASUS Transformer Book Trio: Triple power

Written by Sudhir Chowdhary | Updated: Jan 17 2014, 14:00pm hrs
ASUS Transformer Book TrioASUS Transformer Book Trio
What is the ASUS Transformer Book Trio This is the question that is on top of the minds of even seasoned gadget watchers. Is it a laptop, tablet or a desktop computer The truth of the matter is that the world of hybrid devices continues to amaze us and the Transformer Book Trio, simply called the Trio, is a three-in-one portable computer. This 11.6-inch device combines a detachable Android tablet with a keyboard dock that can also be used as a self-contained Windows 8 desktop PC. Of course, quality devices carry a hefty price tag and this one retails for a whooping R98,099.

ASUS loves to innovate and they first introduced their concept of transforming a tablet into a notebook, with the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Android tablet. Essentially, it was a tablet that you can latch on a keyboard dock, thus turning it into a laptop-like device. Cut to present. Their Trio does what its name suggests. It is able to transform into three different usage modes.

Out of the box, the Trio features a sleek and durable metallic design. Like most of ASUS more premium products., the Trio is completely encased in aluminum. This rigid aluminum build makes the Trio tough and durable. Actually, it comes in a two-part dockable design that can be used by one person as a laptop, or by two people as a separate tablet and desktop PC. It has the ability to switch between Windows 8 and Android at the press of a button.

Probing further, this latest ASUS machine is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor which is decent enough for undertaking multiple tasks. When it is time for entertainment to take over from productivity, the 11.6-inch display detaches from the PC Station keyboard dock for use as a multi-touch Android tablet with its own Intel Atom dual-core processor and upto 64 GB of solid-state storage.

As I had mentioned earlier, when the display is docked the Trio can switch instantly between Windows 8 and Android 4.2 by pressing the dedicated Trio key on the keyboard, with data shared between the two operating systems via the tablets storage. And, with an external display connected via mini DisplayPort or micro-HDMI, the PC Station can then be used as a self-contained desktop PC with Windows 8 operating system. Pretty cool, isnt it

Let us talk about real time use. First, this method of switching between Android and Windows 8 is simple enough. You just need to get used to it. The Trios 11.6-inch display features a crisp full high definition resolution with IPS technology for vibrant and accurate colour with wide 178-degree viewing angles. Its 10-point capacitive multi-touch gives a good fingertip control with both Windows 8 and Android, while the backlit keyboard and multi-touch touchpad ensures comfortable use.

With its stereo speakers, the Trio also delivers rich and detailed sound with video, music and games. There are separate batteries in each part. In my test-run, the Trio performed splendidly with close to 13 hours of battery life in Android mode and five hours in Windows 8 mode. Additionally, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 in the PC Station, plus 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 in the tablet display, the Trio cuts the need for cables, no matter which mode its used in.

My takeaways: If you are enthusiastic about products that are different, the Trio is the product to go for. It is an interesting mix of hardware and software and it delivers a power-packed portable performance.

* Estimated street price: Rs 98,099