Asus Transformer Book review - Hands on
Posted on 1 Sep 2012 at 01:27, by Seth Barton at IFA in Berlin
While the ARM-powered Asus Vivo Tab RT and Atom-powered Asus Vivo Tab were both on full display, the next step up in the Windows 8 range was under a big Perspex cover.
The Asus Transformer Book is, like the other devices we’ve mentioned above, a combination of ZenBook design and Transformer technology. The version we saw resembled a full-sized 13in Ultrabook, but like the others, the screen can be detached to function as a standalone tablet. There will also be 11.6in and a truly massive 14in version of this product at some point.
With the Vivo Tab devices, the transformation to tablet feels very natural, but the sheer size of the 13in Transformer Book makes it a very different experience. No specifications were on hand but a 13in tablet certainly isn’t a single-handed device. The weight here isn’t just down to the screen size though, as squeezed into the slender tablet is a fully-specified laptop.
Exact specifications weren’t available but, as part of the range, Core i7 processors were mentioned, along with SSDs and even traditional hard disks with flash memory caches. The extra heat created by all that hardware means there are vents on the design, but that’s to be expected and Samsung’s similar device also has them.
As with the Asus TaiChi, the build-quality here felt excellent for a prototype, with a great, responsive keyboard and a sturdy feeling chassis. Unfortunately, the prototype wasn’t powered when we saw it, and so we can’t comment on the screen, though it’s set to have an XXXX resolution and we’d be certain of a high-quality IPS panel based on Asus’ past record.
The big question remains, though, will anyone want a tablet-laptop hybrid this big, or even bigger still at 14in. Given that the Transformer Book doesn’t have a release date yet, while the Asus Vivo Tabs do, that possibly hints that Asus itself isn’t too sure of the answer to that one either. We certainly look forward to seeing the 11.6in version, though, which should be far more manageable.
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