Laptops

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro review

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ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

Some people want high-powered gaming machines; others already have simple laptops that can do it all. The ASUS Transformer 3 Pro is part of a tiny gray area in between, and it’s quite the niche.

If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s line of Surface convertibles, you’ll know what you’re getting with the Transformer 3 Pro. They look and function alike, but the ASUS has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

The model I’m reviewing here is also known as the T303U. If you want to get technical, mine has a decent configuration with a sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 512GB SSD storage.

Not bad, eh? The only downside is the price: PhP 69,995 in the Philippines, or about $1,400 in most markets. That’s pricey, so you better read on before making the investment.

It’s surprisingly comfortable in all positions

What bothered me when I reviewed previous convertibles were the awkward resting positions on my lap. The Transformer 3 Pro manages to break that curse.

The main unit comes with a built-in kickstand, which is as long as the entire tablet part and has 155 degrees of flexibility. This means it can easily rest on any type of surface, whether you have the bundled keyboard case attached or not.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

Latching on the keyboard is as simple as letting the magnets of both units attract one another. And even with the two parts put together, the whole thing feels so light. The tablet weighs in at about 790g, but you’d think it’s lighter thanks to the slim 8.35mm profile.

This thing can run fast

Based on the specifications we mentioned earlier, you can already tell this convertible can blaze through everyday tasks. The question is: How far much farther can it go?

Without a dedicated graphics card, the Transformer 3 Pro will struggle when handling high-definition video editing or playing games like Tomb Raider or the new Doom. But that’s to be expected, really.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

What you can get away with is heavy editing on Photoshop while having several tabs open at the same time in Chrome. I’m writing this review on a Transformer 3 Pro, and I’m split-screening Google Docs with YouTube videos playing and Photoshop ready in the background.

But expect lots of heat on top

Obviously, you’re going to experience lots of heat when putting a laptop-level Core i5 chipset in a thin tablet. It doesn’t help that the whole thing is made of “premium alloy.” Solid? Yes, but the heat spreads all over the top half of the unit.

Since the Transformer 3 Pro doesn’t have the lighter Core M processor found in most convertibles — or even in the cheaper non-Pro Transformer 3 — a cooling fan had to be installed, and it blows hot air upwards.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

That’s a good thing, actually, as it keeps heat away from your face or lap. Still, you’ll want to give the tablet some time to cool down before slipping it back in your bag, especially if you save the heavy loads towards the end of your work session.

Speakers get loud; display’s not that bright

Something I enjoy using during my time with the Transformer 3 Pro are the loud front-facing stereo speakers. They’re a breath of fresh air after all the crappy speakers I’ve had to endure with other tablets. This is one of the few instances where I don’t have to reach for external speakers just to watch Netflix flicks.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

On the other hand, the screen isn’t that bright. While I appreciate the perfectly sized 12.6-inch 2880 x 1920-pixel display, the overall sharpness and well-saturated colors aren’t enough to make the screen clearly readable under sunlight. It’s a shame, since convertibles like this are designed to be used absolutely anywhere.

Wonky trackpad and keyboard, ugh

Here we go again: another Windows convertible, another awkward trackpad. Expect it to miss double-clicks and right-clicks, and mistakenly zoom in on whatever you’re viewing when you least expect it. I’d sometimes reach a point where I’d have to restart the whole thing just so it would go back to “normal.”

Same issues apply to the bundled pen. Although it works a lot like the one that comes with the Microsoft Surface line, with 1024 levels of pressure and two physical buttons for mouse-like controls, it’s difficult to write legibly or draw anything beyond rough sketches. Fortunately, the pen makes use of a removable AAAA battery instead of built-in charging like the Apple Pencil, and ASUS bundles the hard-to-find battery in the box.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

The keyboard isn’t that great, either. While I appreciate the well-spaced keys and their relatively long travel, they have too much resistance, requiring stronger presses while typing. You’ll get used to it eventually, but you also have to deal with a glitchy connection to the tablet. Any slight nudge, and it’ll disconnect instantly; that’s a problem if you move a lot while it’s on your lap.

On the bright side, the keyboard has evenly distributed backlighting. This is invaluable while working in the dark, since the keyboard has an all-black design. You can also choose from three brightness levels.

Hello, ports and cameras

The latest tech trend I hate most is sacrificing connectivity options in favor of a single USB Type-C port and multiple dongles. Apple’s new MacBook started this horrible idea, and companies have been following suit in order to trim down components and rip off consumers with extra accessories. ASUS is having none of that here.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

For starters, the Transformer 3 Pro has a single full-sized USB 3.0 for all those flash drives you have lying around, and a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support. Then you have a full-sized HDMI port, microSD slot, and — thank goodness — a 3.5mm headphone jack. I never had to consider bringing adapters along for a trip.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

Finally, we have a 13-megapixel camera at the back, and a 2-megapixel shooter in front with an infrared camera beside it. I honestly never thought of using the main camera for taking pictures — and don’t have any sample photos, sorry — but the front-facing camera works flawlessly for Windows Hello, which allows you to log in using your beautiful face.

Where art thou, battery life?

This part hurts the most. As much as I love the speed and overall completeness of the Transformer 3 Pro, its battery life is terribly average.

I’d normally expect at least six to seven hours of usage on a single charge from a convertible; this hybrid can manage only four hours with brightness set at 50 percent and Wi-FI turned on the whole time. And that’s if you’re lucky — three and a half hours is the norm if you go beyond simple web browsing and add photo editing into the mix.

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro

At least you get fast charging. It took me less than two hours to reach a hundred percent, and that’s for a battery capacity much larger than any smartphone’s.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Of all the Microsoft Surface clones that have been released, the Transformer 3 Pro does it best, and even eclipses the pioneer in a few aspects, such as physical connectivity and audio-visual quality.

This Transformer is also a step above the Core M-equipped convertibles we’ve reviewed recently, thanks to a much more powerful Core i5 processor coupled with plenty of storage and memory. Yet, in spite of all the goodness, you must take some things into consideration before investing in this product.

For one, it’s a little too powerful — yes, you read that right. You don’t need this much processing muscle for surfing the web and light editing. That’s why there’s a plain Transformer 3 with a starting price of only $799. What’s the difference? It has a more energy-efficient Core M processor and a single USB Type-C port, but comes with two additional speakers and an even thinner frame.

And, no matter how you look at it, the Transformer 3 Pro is expensive. For the same price, you could afford an ASUS gaming laptop with a real graphics card and better keyboard-trackpad combo. Sure, you’d end up with a heftier notebook without a touchscreen, but it’s far more capable in all other aspects.

[irp posts=”8791″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe review”]

Laptops

MateBook 16s, D16, X Pro price, availability in Singapore

Get them at the Huawei roadshow from Aug. 18-21

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MateBook 16s

Huawei’s latest and largest laptops yet – the MateBook 16s and MateBook D16 – as well as the new MateBook X Pro, MateBook 14, and MatePad Pro 11 are now official in Singapore.

As earlier announced, these latest devices are powered by up to an Intel Evo-certified 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor and come with a wide range of features to boost productivity and performance.

They will be available through the following stores starting on August 19:

Huawei Smart Office Roadshow

Customers who want to get a first glimpse of the new products may drop by the Huawei Smart Office Roadshow happening from August 18 to 21 at the Huawei Customer Service Experience Center, [email protected]

Here, there they can get discounts on Huawei devices such as tablets, wearables, and smartphones. They can also avail of free device cleaning and discounts on spare parts and battery replacements.

Pricing, availability

Below are the retail prices of the newly-released products:

  • MateBook X Pro (i7): SG$ 2,798
  • MateBook 16s (i9): SG$ 2,298
  • MateBook D16 (i5): SG$ 1,298
  • MateBook D16 (i7): SG$ 1,498
  • MateBook 14: SG$ 1,798
  • MatePad Pro 11: SG$ 998

Early birds will also enjoy free gifts with each purchase. The X Pro, 16s, D16, and 14 come with free MateView monitors and freelace wireless earphones exclusively at the roadshow.

They are also packaged with other free accessories such as backpacks, USB flash drives, smart keyboards, and Bluetooth mice for a freebie bundle worth up to SG $1,489.

WATCH: Huawei Matebook 16s: Bigger, better, brighter

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Huawei Matebook 16s: Bigger, better, brighter

For a bolder you

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Huawei MateBook 16s

Watch the video.


Bigger isn’t always better. But Huawei begs to differ. 

After seeing some success with their MateBook D15 laptop, the company decided to up the ante in literally every category imaginable.

This is the Huawei MateBook 16s. As the name suggests, it is a big boy. But it’s more than just a bigger MateBook. Huawei also made sure to up the specs for better overall performance. All while also adding some smart features, making it a bright work companion. 

Let’s break down how this bigger, better, and brighter laptop is great for a bolder you. 

Bigger

First and clearly most noticeable is the 16-inch display. It’s touchscreen and also has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. That’s sexy. 

You’re also getting a 3 by 2 screen aspect ratio which is great if you’re pulling windows side-by-side for multitasking. Lastly, it makes sure your eyes are protected with a TUV Rheinland certification for both Blue Light and Flicker. 

It’s also designed with creatives in mind. The screen’s color accuracy is professional-grade. So, for creative work like touching up images, video editing, and anything of the sort, you can rest easy knowing the display is showing the right colors.

After work, you can kick-back, relax and watch videos comfortably.The big screen is great for binge-watching Netflix series or just getting lost in a YouTube blackhole. The speakers on the side help make the viewing experience even more pleasant and immersive.  

The Matebook 16s maintains the unibody design. It looks sleek and sturdy despite the larger body. And the larger body also lends to a more comfortable full-sized keyboard. The keys have a satisfying travel and are spaced just right. You also get a large glass touchpad, making navigation an absolute breeze. 

The bigger body also means more ports. On the right side, you’ll find  two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. And on the left side, you get two USB-C ports, one of which is thunderbolt 4. Alongside it are the HDMI port and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack.

Better

This 16-inch notebook is also better in so many ways. 

The camera is placed where you would usually find it. And the camera itself is in 1080P and also wide angle. Even more impressive, it’s an AI camera with built-in video effects. FollowCam and Eye Contact work in tandem to make sure you’re always in the center of the frame and that the line of sight adjusts to you. 

And then there’s Virtual Background which lets you select the background you want to use in any video calling platform. 

But of course, the meat of being better comes in the specs department. The Matebook 16s is available in Core i5, i7, and i9 processor variants. All of which are Intel EVO certified which means you can expect a heavy-hitting performer. 

And you’ll definitely need all that power if you work with plenty of image or video assets. Same is true if you use other software that requires heavy duty performance. Whatever the case, the Matebook 16s is equipped to handle it all. And for an extended period too.

To ensure things stay cool when the workload gets heated, Huawei implemented a gaming-grade size dual shark fin fan for quiet cooling. This helps heat dissipation so the laptop can perform at its best. All while being quiet while it’s at it.

But you know what’s surprising? A laptop this big actually has a smaller power adapter. Normally, big boys like this also have huge power bricks. But not the Matebook 16s. 

It has this instead: Don’t let the size fool you, though. The highest version supports the 135W power adapter which juices up the laptop up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. 

It’s the Huawei SuperCharge but for a laptop. We love to see it. 

Brighter

Now, what sets the Matebook 16s apart from other laptops is its array of Smart features. 

This notebook is part of Huawei’s whole Super Device initiative. Super Device means different Huawei devices working in tandem for a more seamless workflow for the user. We have an entire video detailing this that you can check out after watching this one. 

But essentially, with this laptop, you can hook up your Huawei phone and tablet. Once connected, you gain easy access to the files and apps on said devices. And you can even launch a phone interface alongside your other apps. This means you don’t have to lift your phone just to check on it. You can work on everything straight from the laptop. 

While we have you here, we’d also like to mention the sibling of the 16s — the Huawei Matebook D16. Specifically, the D16’s Metaline Antenna located right around the top-right side just above the keyboard.

What it does is it ensures the laptop gets the fastest connection possible, giving you an advantage no matter what network you’re connected to. 

Another thing present on these Huawei laptops is the Huawei Mobile App Engine. What it does is kind of merge the worlds of Huawei PCs and smartphones. 

A bolder you

Now, take all of the benefits we mentioned, and imagine yourself using the MateBook 16s. Can you see it now?

Enjoying the big screen and all its color accuracy benefits to help you with work. Opening phone apps without actually having to reach for your phone. Not needing a dongle for extra connectivity. And just kicking back and relaxing with it at the end of the day. 

The Matebook 16s is a hard and smart worker’s dream. It’s a complete package that’s bigger, better, and brighter than matebooks have ever been. 

And that definitely will make for a more confident and bolder you. 

Price and availability

The MateBook 16s is priced starting at PhP 89,999 with a free MateView 4K monitor worth PhP 34,999.

While MateBook D16 models start at PhP 55,999 for the i5 16GB+512GB, which comes with a free MateView SE worth PhP 7,999.

The new laptops are now available for pre-order via Huawei’s official online store, as well as Lazada and Shopee.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Laptops

MateBook 16s, D 16, X Pro now for pre-order in Singapore

Huawei’s latest flagship laptops

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MateBook

Starting on August 5, 2022, customers in Singapore may now add Huawei’s latest flagship laptops to their carts for pre-order.

The new MateBook X Pro, MateBook 16s, MateBook 14, and MateBook D 16 will be available for pre-order on the following online stores:

The biggest and most advanced laptops yet from Huawei are both powered by up to 12th Gen Intel Core i9 H-series processors and come with Intel IrisR Xe Graphics.

They all sport up to a 16-inch FullView display screen with a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio which have various certifications for eye comfort. They also come with up to a 1080p built-in wide-angle AI camera.

For the full price list plus corresponding giveaways worth up to SG$ 1,391 total, check the list below.

Free MateView monitor, backpack, USB flash drive, Bluetooth mouse, and 1-year extended warranty:

  • MateBook X Pro (i7): SG$ 2,798
  • MateBook 16s (i9): SG$ 2,298

Free MateView GT 27-inch monitor, backpack, and USB flash drive:

  • MateBook D 16 (i5): SG$ 1,298
  • MateBook D 16 (i7): SG$ 1,498

Free MateView GT 27-inch monitor, backpack, USB flash drive, Bluetooth mouse, and 1-year extended warranty:

  • MateBook 14 (i7): SG$ 1,798

Huawei 8.8 Super Sale

All products above will be part of Huawei’s 8.8 Super Sale on Shopee and Lazada from August 4 to 10. Aside from them, customers may avail of SG$ 10 vouchers and freebies on a wide range of products, including laptops, tablets, smartwatches and audio devices.

Highlighting the 8.8 Super Sale are following devices which come at discounted prices of up to SG$ 450 off:

  • MateBook 14 (11th Gen Intel i5, 8GB+512GB): SG$ 948 (from 1,398)
  • MatePad Pro WIFI (8GB+256GB): SG$ 638 (from 998)
  • MatePad T 10 WIFI (2GB+32GB): SG$ 168 (from 228)
  • WATCH GT 2 46mm Active: SG$ 148 (from 238)
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