Asus Transformer Book TX300 review

A well-built machine with bags of power and a unique twist

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The Asus Transformer Book TX300 is a well-built machine with bags of power and a unique twist. It's one of our favourite hybrid devices, because usability isn't hobbled by the impossible dream of fulfilling both laptop and tablet uses.

As a laptop, it's one of the most user-friendly devices we've seen. The keyboard is fantastic, the trackpad and its array of gestures is built for Windows 8 and makes using the OS a dream.

We've not enjoyed this level of comfort on a hybrid before, and the neat removal mechanism that turns laptop into tablet doesn't blot the copybook either. It demonstrates Asus' years of experience in making Transformer devices, and this is a cracker.

It's not a blemishless performance though, and we'd like to see 500g shaved off the total weight to get really excited. And a chunk off the price wouldn't go amiss either.

It's a serious outlay for quite a cumbersome laptop, but last-gen processor aside, you get a lot for your money.

We liked

The screen is fantastic, as is the overall build quality found across this aluminium-clad laptop. Quality oozes from every panel, and while it's in no way lightweight, the TX300 is thin enough to slip into a bag, although you'll feel it as you walk around.

Asus Transformer Book TX300 review

The keyboard is a major triumph here and we were able to type comfortably and accurately for long periods, which means the TX300 could easily be your family's main machine. There's certainly enough power for that, and even if it is last generation, the Core i7 chip is not to be sniffed at.

We disliked

The days of laptops that weigh 2KG are behind us, and the TX300's weight is a disappointing aspect of its performance.

Of course, we've rated some heavier machines higher - the obvious being the Apple MacBook Pro - but without dedicated graphics the Asus Transformer TX300 doesn't quite perform in the Mac's league.

The niggling glitches and hangs were also a bugbear which we hope can be addressed via the maturation of Windows 8.

It's unfair to blame Asus, and it should be a consideration that Windows 8 is still far from perfect. If you're sold on a Windows machine, we'd still recommend the Asus Transformer Book, but in a toss-up between Mac and PC, these issues make the decision less clear-cut.

Final verdict

The Asus Transformer Book TX300 is a great laptop, with a great trick up its sleeve. While it's unlikely to give the iPad a run for its money as a tablet, it's still a useful device with real-world benefits, and, most importantly, this doesn't hamper what is a fantastic Ultrabook.

If you're looking for a great hybrid but don't want to give up the comfort of a laptop, we may have just found a compromise that works.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time5 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
GPSYes
HDMIYes
Product FamilyTransformer Book TX300
Operating System Architecture64-bit
ThunderboltNo
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli7-3517U
ColourAmethyst Gray
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.90 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.30 kg
Cache4 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + EDR
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height23 mm
Width340 mm
Depth219 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesTX300
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelTX300CA-C4005H
Product NameTransformer Book TX300CA-C4005H Tablet PC
Product LineTransformer Book
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberTX300CA-C4005H
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Package Contents
  • Transformer Book TX300CA-C4005H Tablet PC
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter