Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi review
Processor: Dual-core 1.2GHz Intel Core M-5Y71, RAM: 4GB, Size: 317.8x191.6x17mm, Weight: 1.5kg, Screen size: 12.5in, Screen resolution: 2,560x1,440, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics 5300, Total storage: 128GB SSD
Tablets are great for web browsing and multimedia, but without a keyboard they aren't ideal for productivity. If you don't want to carry a laptop as well as a tablet, just in case you need to get some proper work done, a hybrid device is the way forward. The latest from Asus, the Transformer Book T300 Chi, makes the transition between laptop and tablet modes seamlessly, thanks to a clever magnetic hinge keeping the tablet firmly secured to its keyboard base.
Not having to fiddle with latches or locks is far simpler than other convertible laptops. You simply clip the two together when you want to type, and pull them apart when you only need the tablet. It works well for the most part, although we sometimes unintentionally separated the two parts by grabbing the screen at an awkward angle. Everything is machined from a single piece of aluminium too, so both parts are impressively sturdy given their thickness. There are no seams or screws on show either, so there's no denying the T300 looks sleek whether it's docked or not.
With no direct connection between the tablet and keyboard, however, the T300 isn't quite as flexible as other hybrids. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth, and only has a Micro USB port for charging its internal battery. This doesn't function as a secondary battery to boost the tablet's lifespan either.
A Micro USB to Micro USB cable is included in the box to charge both tablet and keyboard at the same time, but annoyingly the ports are on opposite sides, meaning you have to run the cable across the back of the laptop. Placing the ports on the same side and supplying a smaller cable would have made more sense.
All the ports are found on the tablet, although unsurprisingly for a convertible that's only 7.6mm thick there's not a great deal in the way of connectivity. You only get Micro HDMI, a microSD card slot, headset jack and USB3 Micro-B. Asus has included a Micro-B hub that gives you three USB3 ports; it's not the most elegant way to connect devices quickly, but it keesp the tablet thin and saves you having to buy one yourself – unlike the less expensive Transformer Book T100.