Microsoft’s unchanging updates and additions to a operation of Surface inclination provides copiousness of inducement for a OEM partners to modernise their possess hybrid laptop/tablet products. The latest chronicle of a Asus Transformer Pro (T304UA) provides a good choice to a Surface Pro operation for business users who need a versatile and affordable device that can duty as both a laptop and a tablet.
Design and features
The 12.6-inch Transformer Pro T304UA creates a good initial impression, with a inscription and bundled keyboard already magnetically connected and lifting simply out of a box with a total weight of usually 1.18kg. There’s a stylus enclosed too, given Microsoft’s Surface Pro usually provides a keyboard and stylus as discretionary extras.
The primary inscription territory measures usually 8.8mm thick, and is housed in a stout aluminium surrounding that provides good insurance when you’re travelling. The inscription weighs 800g on a own, that is a small heavier than some of a rivals — including a rather incomparable 12.9-inch iPad Pro — and we can’t unequivocally reason it in one palm for really long.
There’s an tractable kickstand built into a behind row so it’s easy to mount a inscription adult on a possess when we need to. The kickstand supports 155 degrees of travel, to a limit of (near-horizontal) 170 degrees.
The keyboard’s tip row is also done out of aluminium, that provides additional insurance when a shade is folded down over a keyboard. It also gives a keyboard a firmer, some-more manageable feel than a slimline keyboards used by some of a Transformer Pro’s rivals, and is good matched to typing during speed in Word or Excel when you’re on a road. The captivating connectors reason a keyboard resolutely and make it a elementary matter to fast line it adult and insert it to a inscription when we need to get down to work. There’s even a small fabric sleeve on a keyboard to reason a stylus in place.
Display peculiarity is good, with a 12.6-inch shade charity 2,160-by-1,440 fortitude (206ppi) and a bright, charming picture with good all-round observation angles.
Asus includes one USB-C pier along with a full-size HDMI pier and a USB 3.0 port, so we don’t have to lift additional cables or adapters around when you’re travelling. There’s also a MicroSD container for fast adding some additional storage. Our usually teenager censure is that a compress stereo speakers aren’t utterly loud, so a 3.5mm audio jack might come into play for headphones or a set of outmost speakers.
Pricing and options
There are dual versions of a Transformer Pro T304UA now accessible in a UK, starting during £999.17 (ex. VAT, or £1,199 inc. VAT) for a indication with Windows 10 Pro using on a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U processor, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD (244GB accessible to a user).
The second choice stairs adult to a Core i7-7500U using during 2.7GHz, with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for £1165.83 (ex. VAT, or £1,399 inc. VAT, or $1,150 in a US). And, as mentioned, those prices embody a bundled keyboard and stylus.
Asus has already updated some of a other laptops, such as a ZenBook Deluxe, with Intel’s latest 8th-generation processors, though hasn’t nonetheless announced a identical refurbish for a Transformer Pro range. Unfortunately, Asus’s website tends to be reduction than specific about certain features, so it’s really value confirming a cost and selection of any indication before shopping — generally given there are no user-upgrade options, even for RAM and SSD.
The dual-core Core i5 processor used in a examination section isn’t top-of-the-range but, interjection to a 3.1GHz TurboBoost option, it manages to yield important mid-range opening with scores of 3,734 and 7,450 for single- and multi-core opening in a Geekbench 4.2 exam suite. That will be ideally adequate for using Microsoft Office and other capability apps, and a Transformer Pro T304UA positively felt manageable during a tests. We were also gratified to see that it practiced uniformly when switching between inscription and keyboard modes.
The Transformer’s integrated HD Graphics 620 GPU is utterly modest, though still managed a measure of 36.5fps when using a Cinebench R15 OpenGL test, so it should positively be means to hoop presentations and some elementary photo- or video-editing — and presumably even some off-duty gaming movement too. The usually genuine beating here is that a solid-state expostulate is rather sluggish: review speed was comparatively modest, reported during 555MB/s by a ATTO Disk Benchmark, though that valid to be a highlight, as write speed came in during usually 260MB/s — a opening turn that could be challenged by a good tough drive.
We also noticed, with some concern, that Asus studiously avoids any discuss of battery life on a website. Thankfully, a Transformer Pro’s appealing arrangement authorised us to reduce a shade liughtness to usually 40 percent while still delivering good picture peculiarity for observation streaming video from a BBC iPlayer. With this setting, a Transformer Pro lasted for 6 hours 45 mins when using iPlayer around wi-fi. Less complete use should concede we to pull that tighten to a full eight-hour operative day, so a Transformer Pro can still acquire a keep on a road.
Battery life and a opening of a solid-state expostulate both leave room for improvement, though a Transformer Pro T304UA is still an appealing choice for business travellers. Its lightweight, stout pattern is positively good matched to life on a road, and while it’s not a high-end performer it can still hoop Microsoft Office and other capability apps ideally well. The appealing arrangement is a sold strength, and good matched to web browsing and streaming video, while a inclusion of both keyboard and stylus during no additional cost means that a Transformer Pro provides good value for income if you’re on a parsimonious budget.
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