Asus Transformer Book TX300 review

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

Asus Transformer Book TX300
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.