Skip to main content

Hands-on with the Transformer Book TX300 convertible ultrabook

ASUS has finally released details about the first Windows PC in the Transformer line. It is both similar to – and very different from – previous products that bare the name.

The similarities are aesthetic. ASUS has given the Transformer Book the same unique metallic finish and quick-detach hinge found on the company’s Android-powered Transformer Prime. The TX300, like previous Transformer products, looks and feels premium. We found that the system offers robust build quality and a simple, sturdy hinge which can be operated with one hand.

Inside, however, the new convertible is quite different from previous Transformers. It runs Windows 8 on an Intel Core processor and also includes four gigabytes of RAM. Long-term storage is provided by 128Gb or 256GB solid state drives. This makes the system both a convertible and an Ultrabook. ASUS claims this is a world first, though that’s not exactly true. Dell and Lenovo have offered convertible Ultrabooks for months.

The TX300’s display offers the same resolution as the Prime (1080p) but is stretched to fit a larger 13.3-inch form factor. The screen looked dark and beautiful in person – and ASUS wisely kept its showcase dim so reflections from the glossy display did not mar the experience.

That’s not to say the Transformer Book is prefect. We thought the system felt heavy and a bit thick overall. Detaching the display for use as a tablet is a great feature, but all of the hardware – including the powerful Core processor – is placed behind the screen. This wreaks havoc with the system’s weight distribution. Users must be careful not to flip the system on its lid.

ASUS is planning to ask $1,299 when the Transformer Book hits stores early this year. That’s a high price, but the hardware in the TX300 is of high quality. Few competitors can match the system’s specs.

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is the former Lead Editor, Reviews at Digital Trends. He previously guided the Products Team, which dives…
Hinge or detach? Asus’ new Transformer Books let you decide

In 2015, the decision you make when buying a laptop usually has less to do with the specs, and more to do with the form factor. As convertible machines grow in popularity, the price shrinks and the technology rapidly becomes more accessible. Two new Transformer Books, the T100HA and the Flip TP200SA, float in the ethereal word of machines that aren't quite laptops, but aren't just tablets either.

First up, the 2-in-1 T100HA is powered by an Intel Atom X5 Z8500 Cherry Trail processor, a quad-core chip with a 1.44GHz clock speed, backed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. For the display, Asus includes a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS panel. At full charge, the TH100A will run for a quoted 12 hours, and the fast-charge will push it up to 80 percent in just two hours. It also includes the standard selection of connectivity options, with a USB type-C port, SD card slot, Micro HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wi-fi.

Read more
ASUS Book T100 Chi now available for pre-order at $399
asus book t100 chi pre order asust100chi

Announced CES 2015, Asus' new 10.1" Transformer Book T100 Chi tablet/laptop combination has taken a good while to become available for consumers, but it's finally up for pre-order. While that doesn't mean those interested can expect to be tapping away on their HD, touch sensitive display tomorrow, it does mean that that day isn't too far away.

Unlike its bigger and badder brother the T300, the T100 comes equipped with a quad-core Intel Atom. It does however pair the Intel HD 5300 GPU for the heavier lifting and runs Windows 8.1.

Read more
Amazon’s Kindle Convert turns paper books into digital ones
amazons kindle convert turns paper books into digital ones

Amazon has just released Kindle Convert, a piece of software that enables bookworms to convert their library of paper-based reading material to Kindle-compatible content.

However, depending on how many books you want to digitize, the process could take a while. Why? Because you – or your kids – will have to scan the books page by page, something that could take weeks (if not months) if you're hell bent on getting those tomes onto your e-reader instead of paying out for them again via the Kindle Store.

Read more