Microsoft and Intel have been pushing for the world to move towards 2-in-1 convertibles for quite some years now. But it is only with the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 that this segment has come to near perfection, with Windows 10 running. Of course, for those who are comfortable with the iOS universe, the 12-inch iPad Pro is an option, and a powerful one at that; there’s the smaller 9-inch iPad Pro as well. However, there are other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Asus, Huawei and Acer, too, vying for a share of the pie. The Asus Transformer Pro 3, which was first showcased at Computex 2016 in Taiwan, is now available in India. With a premium price tag of R1,44,990, this device is not just a Surface replacement, it’s a straight competitor to the Microsoft device. So is Asus Transformer Pro 3 a good enough option? Here’s our review:
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 stunning job. The all-metal design is very premium, and the gold looks classy. It has an integrated metal kickstand at the back and Asus says you can set it up at a 170 degree angle as well, which is pretty cool, but a little unnecessary. There’s a separate keyboard; Asus says the keys have 1.4mm travel. From a design perspective, Asus has done an excellent job, although it’s hard to ignore the similarities with the Surface.
What is 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 device, the screen does not disappoint.
The overall audio quality is also quite good. If you’re one of those who like 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 since you can use this as a tablet which has its own stand, portability is not an issue.
With 16GB RAM and Intel Core i7 processor, this is more than capable of handling your daily tasks, especially if that includes spending considerable hours on the Microsoft Office Suite. The touch feature on the display is also fast and responsive, and I didn’t notice any lag as such when relying on this functionality.
The keyboard lives up to the claims and while it takes some time to get used to the smaller surface area, I had no trouble typing out articles, including this review on the Transformer Pro 3.
Asus Transformer Pro 3 also has support for a stylus. I am not much of an artist, but I found the stylus to be responsive even with a fairly light touch.
What is 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 am not sure what happened here; I tried logging in more than once, but it refused to work.
The battery on this is not impressive at all. I would say the Asus Transformer Pro 3 will give around 6-8 hours at best, which is not good considering this thing comes for a hefty price. I would expect a device costing close to R1.5 lakh to have a 10-hour battery life at the very least.
Let’s face it, not all of us need a convertible device which costs a bomb. Not all of us are artists either, and require a stylus at all times.
Asus Transformer Pro 3 is for those who need a powerful, yet easy to carry device that won’t let them down. The stylus is an addition for your creative needs, should you have time, inclination and skills to try it out. Asus delivers on the performance front, and the keyboard is certainly one of the better ones. But the battery is a problem.
If you are considering a Surface alternative, and don’t want an iPad Pro, then Asus Transformer Pro 3 can be an option. But is it better than getting a Surface Pro 4? I am not entirely convinced.
Estimated street price: Rs 1,44,990