Asus' Transformer 3 Is Up Against Microsoft's Surface

Asus's haul of gadgets at its Computex 2016 unveiling was extensive, but two particular 2-in-1 laptops stood out of the crowd: the Transformer 3, which follows the same super-thin-and-light trend as the Samsung TabPro S tablet, and the Transformer 3 Pro, which goes toe-to-toe with Microsoft's excellent Surface Pro 4.

Announced alongside the ZenBook 3 and the ZenBo personal robot, the Transformer 3 Pro is only 8.35mm thick — a whole tenth of a millimetre thinner than the Surface Pro 4 — and has a nearly identical 'stepless' pivoting kickstand on the rear half of its body that lets it angle down to 170 degrees of viewing angle. Its 12.6-inch, 2880x1920 display is similar in many ways to the Surface's, although the 16:9 aspect ratio is different.

Up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB of fast PCI-E solid-state storage, 16GB of 2133MHz DDR4 RAM will be available in the Transformer 3 Pro's various variants, as well as Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports for ridiculously fast transfer rates, as well as full-size USB 3.0 and full-size HDMI. Like the Surface and TabPro S, the Transformer 3 Pro has a rear-facing camera, this one a 13-megapixel, with a Windows Hello-compatible front-facing camera.

The lesser Transformer 3 is phenomenally thin and light at 6.9mm and 695 grams — for that thinner profile, it loses the kickstand and instead uses a folding leatherette Transformer Sleeve keyboard cover to lean back on a couple of different angles. It's really quite similar to the Transfomer 3 Pro under the hood, with similar connectivity. The same seventh-gen Intel Core processors — likely a lower-powered Core M variant — and up to 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD will be on offer. Asus is talking up the Transformer 3's high screen-to-body ratio of 80 per cent, which means it's relatively small for its 12.6-inch screen size. [Asus]

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