The Transformer Book T300 Chi rocks an all-aluminium unibody design with diamond-cut chamfered edges for a well-built chassis. The tablet / keyboard is held together by a neodynium magnetic hinge, so no hardware connections to worry about. The keyboard is a standalone bluetooth device, with it’s own battery pack. The battery cannot be shared so you would need to charge them separately but the keyboard should be good for a week’s use.
The Transformer Book T300 Chi compares favourably with the Surface Pro 3. In fact, the T300 Chi tablet itself is actually lighter than the Surface Pro 3, (0.72g vs 0.80g). The keyboard is heavier though, as Asus opt to implement a more traditional keyboard experience, which might be more favourable to heavy typists. When docked, the Transformer Book T300 Chi weighs 1.44kg, and is 16.5 mm thick. A whisper thinner than the Macbook Air at 17mm.
It runs on the latest Core M 5Y71 1.2 GHz processor, which is perfect for the mobile users. The Core M series from Intel is noted for its efficient electrical architecture and low thermal output, which translates to an 8 hour battery life on the Transformer Book Chi as well as a fully silent mobile experience (no fans!).
The Singapore model also comes with an SSD, and a 12.5″ QHD 2560 x 1440 screen. Asus shared that the display encompasses a sRGB colour gamut which is 20% wider than the gamut of standard displays, which provides richer, more vivid and accurate colour reproduction.
The Transformer Book T300 Chi offers a number of connectivity options, but they are all micro-sized. There’s a micro HDMI, micro-USB 2.0 and a micro-USB 3.0 and a micro SD slot. This could prove challenging as you wouldn’t be able to plug in a thumbdrive directly to it. In comparison, the Surface Pro 3 features a single USB port.
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
Singapore: The 12.5-inch Transformer Book T300 Chi will be retailing $1,498 at all ASUS authorised retailers and ASUS brand stores. Pricing and availability for the 10.1-inch Transformer Book T100 Chi will be announced at a later date. The Singapore price is on the higher side as the US pricing is at US$799 or S$1100 (T300 Chi with QHD screen).
I would have appreciated if Asus had brought in the other models for consideration and a more competitive pricing. Personally, I would prefer the 1080p screen version.
Buyers should definitely compare the Transformer Book T300 Chi with the Surface Pro 3. The i5 Surface Pro 3 and 128gb SSD with the type cover is priced at around S$1491.