Microsoft’s common updates and additions to its vary of Floor gadgets supplies numerous incentive for its OEM companions to refresh their very own hybrid pc/pill merchandise. The newest model of the Asus Transformer Professional (T304UA) supplies a just right choice to the Floor Professional vary for industry customers who desire a flexible and reasonably priced instrument that may serve as as each a pc and a pill.
Design & options
The 12.6-inch Transformer Professional T304UA makes a just right first influence, with the pill and bundled keyboard already magnetically attached and lifting simply out of the field with a mixed weight of simply 1.18kg. There is a stylus incorporated too, while Microsoft’s Floor Professional most effective supplies a keyboard and stylus as non-compulsory extras.
The main pill phase measures simply eight.8mm thick, and is housed in a strong aluminium casing that gives just right coverage if you find yourself travelling. The pill weighs 800g by itself, which is a bit of heavier than a few of its opponents — together with the fairly greater 12.Nine-inch iPad Professional — and you’ll’t truly cling it in a single hand for terribly lengthy. There may be an adjustable kickstand constructed into the again panel so it is simple to face the pill up by itself when you want to. The kickstand helps 155 levels of commute, to a most of (near-horizontal) 170 levels.
The keyboard’s height panel may be produced from aluminium, which supplies additional coverage when the display screen is folded down over the keyboard. It additionally provides the keyboard a less assailable, extra responsive really feel than the slimline keyboards utilized by one of the most Transformer Professional’s opponents, and is definitely fitted to typing at pace in Phrase or Excel if you find yourself at the street. The magnetic connectors grip the keyboard firmly and make it a easy topic to briefly line it up and fasten it to the pill when you want to get right down to paintings. There may be even a bit of material sleeve at the keyboard to carry the stylus in position.
Show high quality is just right, with the 12.6-inch display screen providing 2,160-by-1,440 answer (206ppi) and a vibrant, vibrant symbol with just right all-round viewing angles. Asus comprises one USB-C port at the side of a full-size HDMI port and a USB three.zero port, so that you shouldn’t have to hold additional cables or adapters round if you find yourself travelling. There may be additionally a MicroSD slot for briefly including some additional garage. Our most effective minor grievance is that the compact stereo audio system are not in particular loud, so the three.5mm audio jack would possibly come into play for headphones or a collection of exterior audio system.
Pricing & choices
There are two variations of the Transformer Professional T304UA recently to be had in the United Kingdom, beginning at £999.17 (ex. VAT, or £1,199 inc. VAT) for a style with Home windows 10 Professional operating on a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U processor, at the side of 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD (244GB to be had to the consumer). The second one possibility steps as much as a Core i7-7500U operating at 2.7GHz, with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for £1165.83 (ex. VAT, or £1,399 inc. VAT, or $1,150 in the USA). And, as discussed, the ones costs come with the bundled keyboard and stylus.
Asus has already up to date a few of its different laptops, such because the ZenBook Deluxe, with Intel’s newest Eighth-generation processors, however hasn’t but introduced a an identical replace for the Transformer Professional vary. Sadly, Asus’s website online has a tendency to be not up to particular about sure options, so it is without a doubt value confirming the fee and specification of any style sooner than purchasing — particularly since there aren’t any user-upgrade choices, even for RAM and SSD.
The twin-core Core i5 processor utilized in our evaluation unit is not top-of-the-range however, due to its three.1GHz TurboBoost possibility, it manages to offer decent mid-range efficiency with ratings of three,734 and seven,450 for single- and multi-core efficiency within the Geekbench four.2 take a look at suite. That will likely be completely ok for operating Microsoft Place of work and different productiveness apps, and the Transformer Professional T304UA indubitably felt responsive throughout our exams. We had been additionally happy to look that it adjusted easily when switching between pill and keyboard modes.
The Transformer’s built-in HD Graphics 620 GPU is slightly modest, however nonetheless controlled a ranking of 36.5fps when operating the Cinebench R15 OpenGL take a look at, so it must indubitably be capable to maintain shows and a few easy photo- or video-editing — and most likely even some off-duty gaming motion too. The one actual sadness this is that the solid-state power is relatively slow: learn pace was once rather modest, reported at 555MB/s by way of the ATTO Disk Benchmark, however that proved to be the spotlight, as write pace got here in at simply 260MB/s — a efficiency degree that may be challenged by way of a just right onerous power.
We additionally spotted, with some fear, that Asus studiously avoids any point out of battery existence on its website online. Fortunately, the Transformer Professional’s sexy show allowed us to decrease the display screen brightness to only 40 p.c whilst nonetheless turning in just right symbol high quality for viewing streaming video from the BBC iPlayer. With this atmosphere, the Transformer Professional lasted for six hours 45 mins when operating iPlayer by way of wireless. Much less extensive use must mean you can push that with regards to a complete eight-hour running day, so the Transformer Professional can nonetheless earn its stay at the street.
Battery existence and the efficiency of the solid-state power each go away room for development, however the Transformer Professional T304UA continues to be an exquisite possibility for industry travellers. Its light-weight, robust design is indubitably nicely fitted to existence at the street, and whilst it isn’t a high-end performer it may well nonetheless maintain Microsoft Place of work and different productiveness apps completely nicely. The horny show is a specific power, and nicely fitted to internet surfing and streaming video, whilst the inclusion of each keyboard and stylus at no additional value implies that the Transformer Professional supplies just right worth for cash if you are on a decent funds.
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