Along with the Zenfone variants we got to play around with during our almost week long trip in Breathtaking Batanes, a couple of Transformer Pro 3‘s had been brought and was a part of the design group challenge. Having a background in architecture and with probably the most time with a graphic tablet among the team, the task of composing naturally fell to my hands.
I was able to secure the Transformer Pro 3 at the end of day 2 and I had gotten to know the device quite a bit during the interim. The Transformer 3 Pro has, on its right side: a single USB slot, a full HDMI port, and a USB Type-C port which doubles as the charging port;
on the left side: the headphone jack, volume rocker, and a microSD card slot.
At the top lies the sleep/wake button and vents which keeps the device circulated with cool air… this is an Intel Core i7 equipped machine after all and cooling it is quite important.
A stepless hinge design is found at the back which props up the device to whatever comfortable angle of utility.
I believe I’ve put in a couple of hours when I was drawing on it and the device had a little bit of warmth on the backside (I was using it without a flat surface for a more natural sketchpad drawing feel). The charge had went down to 54% from full charge, when I checked two hours in, and this can be an indication of overall runtime with moderate to heavy utility. Of course with the keyboard attached and lit up, there is a bit more power consumption but it shouldn’t have that much impact on overall timings.
The adapter is rated for variable outputs which are 5V/2A or 12V/2A or 20V/2.25A for whichever device might be attached to its USB-C end.
The screen is quite generous with real estate and that is a very important thing to consider especially when this thing would be utilized for sketching for those interested in this form factor. I have yet to try this with a true sketching program like Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro to understand more in depth how the palm/touch rejection tech works within such. In the Windows Ink Workspace where I drew on, it wouldn’t register any touch points and always waits for the stylus before applying the input.
The Transformer Pro TF303 has a few quirks that had happened while I was using the device with the keyboard, there are a few flickers that happen for no apparent reason but it stabilized immediately after, the touchpad sensitivity is something to consider as well… might be that turning it off will be infinitely better for long typing sessions.
It is a little bit different from its Zenbook contemporaries and has quite the travel that doesn’t make the flow quite as swiftly. There is quite bit of time to get used to especially the modified enter button which is situated at the end of the keyboard and has been split to accommodate a different button which contains the tilde and the pound sign…
We don’t know yet if the keyboard will have an english version that would be a more normal configuration for users of this region… else there might be a problem getting to some of the buttons if it were to be hidden in the guise of other buttons which are not of usual utility in this side of the globe. The magnetic keyboard has three levels of illumination.
The pen (which is sold separately) is an active stylus with 1024 pressure levels and two buttons which I haven’t yet figured out if it can be programmed or not. It has a very nice powder coated finish and a metallic clip as well as a replaceable nib. The two buttons have a plastic appearance which breaks the continuity of the pen body.
It has “asus.collection” written at the top which aligns it with premium / luxury accessories previously from the brand and it deserves to be so. It is powered by a single AAAA battery that can be found when the top area is unscrewed.
It’s quite unfortunate that we cannot tuck away the pen inside of the device, or beside it magnetically to keep it within the vicinity in case there is a need to use it while tethered to the keyboard… there is a space underneath the keyboard when it is magnetically snapped and you can place the pen there as advised but it will be a challenge to get it out fast.
The Transformer 3 Pro is a solid performer in a form factor that is best at presentations and being a tablet, and is capable of moving into a more productive tool with the illuminated keyboard attachment apart from the pen accessory. This is quite the promising unit from Asus and should be out within a couple of weeks right in time for the holidays.
During the Zenvolution, the Transformer Pro 3 i5 variant had been pegged at Php 69,995… here’s to hoping that this price will be for the i7 variant instead.