Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2013, 15-inch screen)stars
Thanks to new Intel CPUs and upgraded components, the 15-inch MacBook Pro remains a high-end...
Asus Transformer Book T100
The Series 7 is rather thin for a 15.6-inch laptop. Not blade thin, but only slightly taller than a MacBook Pro, making it quite manageable.
Pleasingly, it also features a matte screen, something incredibly rare these days. Also rare is that it doesn't have a resolution of 1366x768, opting for a significantly nicer 1600x900.
A backlit keyboard, the use of Elantech's multi-touch touch pad and a slot-loading DVD drive sets it up as a premium laptop — a goal at which the Series 7 mostly delivers.
The touch pad's multi-touch is good and mostly predictable, which is increasingly becoming the case on Windows laptops. It has trouble with the basics, however: we found we needed more pressure than usual when tapping, or the input wouldn't register. There also appeared to be a slight delay in all the actions performed, something that may create a disconnect. Physical clicking was an issue as well, with right-clicks frequently not registering for us.
Inside is a Core i5 2430M @ 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM and a 750GB HDD split into system and data drives. An extra AU$500 will see an upgrade to a Core i7 2675QM processor and 8GB RAM.
Something we're starting to see more of is the presence of on-board flash cache, an attempt to bring boot and resume times down. In this case, Samsung's used a SanDisk 8GB "iSSD". Things certainly improve compared to the standard laptop, but it doesn't reach the boot and resume times of say, Acer's Aspire S3.