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Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi review

Richard Easton
29 Jun 2015
Asus Transformer Chi T300 teaser
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
670
inc VAT

The Transformer Book T300 Chi is a rather large convertible that proves cumbersome to use as a tablet

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Specifications

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

The dual-core, 1.2GHz Intel Core M-5Y71 processor inside the T300 can boost to 1.4GHz when thermal limits allow. As one of Intel's newest mobile chips, the Core M doesn't need active cooling, meaning the T300 is completely silent. It is paired with 4GB of memory, but there are models available with 8GB. Performance was respectable, scoring 77 in our 1080p benchmarks - just behind what we'd expect from a Core i3 laptop.

However, while performance was decent, the T300’s battery life left us disappointed, managing just 6 hours 49 minutes. This is below what we would expect from a Windows tablet and two hours shy of the Transformer Book T100 Chi, although admittedly the T300 is considerably more powerful and has a higher resolution screen.

At least the display didn't disappoint in terms of image quality. The 2,560x1,440 resolution is very sharp, contrast was fantastic with a ratio of 1,291:1, and sRGB colour gamut coverage was an exceptional 99%. Colours looked vibrant, with plenty of contrast and detail on show. Black levels were also very good at 0.29cd/m2, although we did notice a disappointing amount of backlight bleed around the screen edges. This detracts from what is otherwise an excellent screen, but only when viewing very dark images.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T300 keyboard

We didn't have many complaints using the T300 in laptop mode, thanks to the comfortable and responsive keyboard. There might not be a lot of travel in the keys, but there's plenty of space between each one so we didn't feel at all cramped when typing. The keys aren't backlit, however. The touchpad is admittedly quite small too, especially for vertical scrolling, but the surface was smooth and our fingers could glide across it without any problems. The tablet and keyboard weigh roughly the same, at 760g and 700g respectively so they are well balanced and won't tip backwards while you're working.

Our real issue is whether the T300 Chi is practical to use as a tablet; the 12.5in display is far larger than the average tablet, and the 16:9 aspect ratio makes it rather unwieldy. It feels imbalanced in your hand, whether you use it in portrait or landscape. The big screen was still useful when showing images or content to others, as it’s far easier to pass around than a laptop.

The Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi has several great features, such as its gorgeous design and high resolution screen, although battery life was disappointing and connectivity is only average. Unless portability is your absolute priority, the thicker Microsoft's Surface 3 is a better pick, it has a full-size USB3 port and much better battery life. Even with the optional touch cover on top, it's cheaper than the T300 as well.

Core specs
ProcessorDual-core 1.2GHz Intel Core M-5Y71
RAM4GB
Memory slots (free)1 (0)
Max memory8GB
Size317.8x191.6x17mm
Weight1.5kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Display
Screen size12.5in
Screen resolution2,560x1,440
TouchscreenYes
Graphics adaptorIntel HD Graphics 5300
Graphics outputsMicro HDMI
Graphics memoryIntegrated
Storage
Total storage128GB SSD
Optical drive typeNo
Ports and expansion
USB portsMicro USB Type-B
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0
NetworkingWireless 802.11n
Memory card readermicroSD
Other portsNone
Miscellaneous
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyOne year RTB
Price inc VAT£670
Detailswww.Asus.com
Supplierwww.pcworld.co.uk
Part numberT300CHI(MS)-FL097H

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