Alongside the powerful Transformer 3 Pro, Asus also launched the Transformer 3 and Transformer Mini at this year’s Computex in Taiwan.
The Transformer 3 is a super thin 2-in-1 at just 6.9 mm thick and weighs in at 695g. With the keyboard dock you’re looking at an additional 500g or so according to floor staff, but that's still reasonably light. The display is 12.6-inches and the whole package is pleasingly smaller than a sheet of A4 paper.
The device comes in Icicle Gold and Glacier Grey with Asus’ trademark spun metal finish. There's also a choice of 4 colours for the backlit 1.4mm keyboard sleeve.
The sleeve folds up to create the stand, which does mean it lacks the versatility of the Mini and Pro’s impressive viewing angles, which are afforded by their flip out kickstands.
For the Transformer 3's specs, we’re looking at an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. The USB Type-C connector supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices at speeds up to 10Gbps, and Thunderbolt 3 allows for damn fast 40Gbps data transfers and support for dual external 4K UHD displays.
The display is a respectable 2880 by 1920, with 275ppi, and nice, thin bezels give an 80 per cent screen-to-body ratio. There’s a good colour gamut of 121 per cent RGB and 450 nits of brightness promises for great outdoor viewing.
Quad surround speakers provided by Harmon Kardon promise an immersive audio experience, at least for a tablet. The direction of the speakers also auto adjusts depending on the device orientation, which is a nice touch.
Asus promises up to nine hours of battery life on the Transformer 3, but we’d need to wait to put it through its paces to confirm that.
We got to play around with the fingerprint reader on the Transformer 3 and it took around a minute to build up a comprehensive profile which let us log on at pretty much any angle.
The all-metal Transformer Mini comes in a shocking neon orange option alongside others, denoting that it is aimed toward the student end of the market. While it weighs in at 790g including the backlit keyboard dock (520g without) we did find that the keys were, well, mini. It wouldn’t allow for the most comfortable or accurate typing experience, we feel.
The viewing angles parallel the Pro at 170 degrees though, with a sturdy hinge which is pretty versatile.
The Mini runs on a quad-core Atom x5 chipset, as you might expect for an entry-level device. This does offer a longer battery life, quoted as 11 hours.
There’s up to 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage. Again, as you’d expect, the 10.1-inch display is nothing special but usable enough. There’s a full size USB (presumably 3.0), micro USB, Micro HDMI and micro SD slot.
A fingerprint scanner is included for that extra cachet value and despite the garish orange, the other colour options looked very smart.
Although the Mini has a tag for the stylus, neither device comes bundled with one. It will be available for a quoted price of $59, making it a very reasonable 40 quid or so by our estimation.
Staff informed us that the Transformer 3 should be out around the end of September in the UK and it was quoted as starting at $799 or around £550. There was no availability or pricing available for the Mini which is perhaps unsurprising since most of the specs were left up in the air as well.