ASUS Transformer Book review: meet ASUS' first detachable Ultrabook
The Transformer Book was an innovative concept when it was first announced a year ago. But now that it's finally shipping with old components, you're better off waiting for a possible Haswell refresh.
- Lovely 1080p IPS display
- Comfortable keyboard
- Fast boot-up, resume times
- Keyboard dock has a spare battery, hard drive
- Heavy for a 13-inch touchscreen Ultrabook
- Launching with a year-old CPU
For a while, it looked like ASUS' Transformer Book would turn out to be vaporware: after debuting to much fanfare a year ago, it encountered numerous delays, and even missed the crucial holiday shopping season. Now it's finally here, priced at $1,499 with a Core i7 processor, a 13.3-inch (1080p) screen and a detachable keyboard dock housing both a spare battery and a 500GB hard drive. The problem is the timing: Intel is about to launch its new Haswell chips, and here's the Transformer Book, arriving on the scene with a lofty price and a year-old CPU.
It'd be easy enough to tell you just wait for a refresh, which is how we've been ending all of our PC reviews in the weeks leading up to this year's Computex. But it's still worth investigating whether the Transformer Book (aka the TX300) is a compelling idea. Though we've seen many tablet hybrids (the Surface Pro, etc.), they've mostly had smaller 11-inch screens. So what happens when you take that form factor and stretch it to accommodate a bigger screen -- and a more spacious keyboard? And how does it compare to all those convertible options out there, like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 or the Dell XPS 12? Let's have a look.