Laptops

ASUS Transformer 3 Pro review

Published

on

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”]

Deals

ASUS laptops are discounted on Shopee 8.8 sale

ProArt StudioBooks and ExpertBooks join the sale

Published

on

Perhaps you might be looking to upgrade your laptop as you continue working or learning from home. ASUS is participating in Shopee 8.8 sale. During the sale, you can score commercial laptops with up to PhP 2,000 off their retail price.

ASUS laptops participating in the sale include their ExpertBook lineup. Business-grade desktops will also go on sale. As for the sale, ASUS will offer a pre-hype sale which is happening from July 23 to August 7. The main sale event will happen on August 8 from 12 am until midnight.

Here is the complete lineup of laptops on sale:

Laptops

Model Sale Price Retail Price
ProArt StudioBook 17 H700GV (Intel Core i7-9750H) PhP 137,995 PhP 139,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i5-10210) PhP 117,995 PhP 119,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i7-10510) PhP 147,995 PhP 149,995
Expertbook P1440 (14-inch, Intel Core i3-8130U, 4GB / 1TB HDD ) PhP 38,995 PhP 39,995
Expertbook P3540 (15.6-inch, Intel Core i3-8145U, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 41,995 PhP 42,995
Expertbook P5440FF (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB / 512GB HDD ) PhP 71,995 PhP 72,995

Desktops

Model Sale Price Retail Price Freebies
SFF D540SA (Intel Core i3-8100, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 35,995 PhP 36,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC(Intel Core i5-8400, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 40,995 PhP 41,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard
D540SA (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard

Availing these laptops is as easy as heading over to ASUS Philippines’ official Shopee store. For more information about ASUS’ latest promos, visit their official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page.

Continue Reading

Laptops

Honor’s first gaming laptop pops up in leaks

The Hunter is coming

Published

on

While everyone is pushing for gaming smartphones, Honor has hinted at a different direction. In particular, Honor has previously teased an entry into the gaming laptop segment. Though the tease is substantial, the company maintained its silence on the matter. Now, Honor’s first gaming laptop pops up in leaks online.

Unbeknownst to Honor’s smartphone-focused consumers, the brand already has an existing gaming-centric lineup called Hunter. Currently, the lineup consists only a gaming router revealed earlier this year. According to @RODENT950, a Slashleaks contributor, the upcoming gaming laptop will expand this lineup.

In another leak, a Weibo user has posted teaser images of the laptop. Besides a repeating logo, the image notably contains a couple of hints at its design language: sapphire and supercars. According to the image, the laptop will have “sapphire cutting” and “sapphire shining.” In the technology world, “sapphire” historically pertained to sapphire screens. However, the laptop’s usage of the term will likely mean something else entirely. Could it pertain to the angular design or the finish of the chassis?

On the other hand, the supercar theming is more apparent. The laptop will explicitly get inspiration for its air vent from a supercar’s exhaust. The laptop’s monitor will also look like a supercar’s bonnet or hood.

If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, Honor is definitely building its lineup for a launch soon. Two separate sources are certainly more substantial than the drip of information we’ve gotten about the lineup so far.

SEE ALSO: Honor 30 Lite, Honor X10 Max with Dimensity 800 now official

Continue Reading

Features

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i: Finding the work-life balance

Work smart, play hard

Published

on

Anyone living in this age is quickly frustrated by sluggish experiences — be it through their devices, internet connection, or relationships. For most people, it’s easy to find work-life balance when everything just works; a feat you can achieve when you have the right resources.

Now that the line between our work and personal lives are blurry, our yearning to maintain a good work-life balance amplifies. However, most people forget how investing in a well-performing machine can help you fast-track your goals in achieving your desired lifestyle.

For instance, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i is a capable laptop built to help you find the balance between life and work.

The value of working smart

Gone are the days where our worth is measured by the hours we clock in. Living in this age ushered the importance of efficiency, prompting people to work smarter to free up hours for meaningful things that make them happy.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i teaches us the same ethos — the value of working smart. This machine will let you expect a hiccup-free experience so you can multitask, be productive, perform creative tasks, and even play games to unwind.

Lenovo’s smarter technology promise ensures that people can prepare for the challenges ahead, seeing how technology has become extremely important to meeting people’s basic needs, and keeping the world going even during a crisis.

The IdeaPad Slim 5i is a testament to that, as it adds to Lenovo’s innovative technologies across its vast portfolio of devices that position the company as the most prolific end-to-end global technology organization.

It is thanks to this laptop’s internals, which is powered by up to the latest 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and runs on NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 GPU and Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics. It also sports an 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, and up to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage on some units.

Moreover, it’s equipped with WiFi-6 connectivity, ensuring a strong connection for all your online activities. Even with multiple gadgets at home, trust that the IdeaPad Slim 5i won’t give up on your connection — even when everyone else does.

Feature-packed for its price

Some features that make our lives easier are considered a luxury, especially for non-flagship and non-premium laptops. Yet the IdeaPad Slim 5i was able to pack certain features to ensure a seamless experience.

First, you can have peace of mind when it comes to your safety and security since it’s equipped with Lenovo’s distinct Privacy Shutter.

Design-wise, it’s paint-coated with fabric-like finish in colors such as platinum grey, graphite grey, or light teal; colors that won’t steal the spotlight away from you.

Also, it’s soft and comfortable to touch, and it’s designed to be opened with just one hand, flexing its sturdy hinges and durable build.

Moreover, it hosts several ports — a USB-C port, two USB 3.1 ports, a DisplayPort, an SD card reader, and an audio jack — for better connection.

Work, play, rest, repeat

When the going gets tough, you can always opt to take a break. The IdeaPad Slim 5i isn’t just a productivity powerhouse, it can be a portable entertainment hub, too!

With a Dolby Audio-tuned front-facing speakers situated beside the keyboard, and partnered by an FHD display with 90% Active Area ratio, it’s set to be a perfect leisure companion. Stream your favorite tunes or binge-watch your favorite shows, wherever you want it.

Furthermore, it lets you work or play uninterrupted for 12 hours with its 57Wh battery. If you need additional juice, you can use its Rapid Charge which gives an extra 3-hour usage within 15 minutes of charging.

As the routine gets mundane, take time to rest so you and your laptop can cool down. Taking a step away and changing your scenery can help improve your well-being. Treat your body just like how you would take care of your gizmos.

Striking a balance between life and work

Surely, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i is a great tool to help you strike a proper work-life balance. After all, it’s a no-frills laptop focused on getting the job done, so you can do the things you’ve always wanted to do in life. Moreover, it’s a feature-packed laptop with value for money.

The IdeaPad Slim 5i retails for PhP 49,995 (Intel Core i5) and PhP 59,995 (Intel Core i7) and is available in authorized stores like Silicon Valley, PC Express, Villman, Complink, Gigahertz, Octagon, and Abenson.

Lenovo is currently running a promo that offers freebies worth PhP 20,475 when you purchase the IdeaPad Slim 5i. You’ll get premium gifts such as a 65W Type-C travel adapter, a Lenovo B210 backpack, a Herschel Little America backpack, and a free Microsoft Office with a lifetime license. For more information, visit Lenovo’s Summer Sale Promo 2020.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch, Intel, and Lenovo Philippines.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Gadget Reviews

Trending