CNET First Look
Asus Transformer Book hands-onAsus adds a lot of what we've been looking for in a hybrid to the Transformer Book, but no one has yet really nailed the perfect laptop/tablet combo.
I am Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Asus Transformer Book. This looks like a fairly standard Ultrabook style 13-inch laptop but because it has the word transform in the name, you're not gonna be surprised when I grab the screen like this and just lift the entire thing off because it's one of these laptops that becomes a tablet. We usually call it as a hybrid. Now, this is a little bit different than a lot of the other hybrids that we've seen because a lot of the other hybrids over low power systems. This is actually an Intel Core i7 system. So, it's a fairly powerful laptop and it has a 128 gig SSD hard drive in the screen where most of the components are but then a second 500-gig standard hard drive in the base where the keyboard is, so that lets you store lots of movie files, maybe video game, install files, all kinds of big stuff here in the base by just have the smaller tablet to take with you, you know, when you're on the go, when you have to access all of that other information. I think it's a brilliant idea and I'm surprised that more of these hybrids have not done that although a few other models like that are coming up pretty soon. You also get a secondary battery in the base, although, it may not really increase your battery life that much because you're driving the extra hard drive and the keyboard and the ports and everything from it. You've also got a screen here that's different than one we see in a lot of the other hybrids. It's sort of the high-end price they're asking for this Transformer Book here. It's a 1920 by 1080 screen which is fantastic and of course it's got that Core i7 to drive it and then when you're using Windows 8, it's really great to have that HD screen especially for streaming HD movies, maybe play games. This machine doesn't have a discreet graphic so it's a [unk] of super gaming machine but you can use come console gaming on it. Now, of course you put all that together and they're asking about $1400 for this which is a lot more than something like the HP ENVY x2 or some of the other less expensive hybrids that we've seen but it does add a lot of the high-end features I'd like to see in one of these. If they can get the touch pad a little bit better, maybe get a keyboard to be a little bit less flexy and just maybe make Windows 8 a little bit better at switching between orientations when you move the screen vertically and horizontally, then they really could be on to something. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Asus Transformer Book.