Hands-on with the Asus Transformer Book 13.3″ convertible tablet

The Asus Transformer Book blurs the lines between ultrabooks and tablets. It’s a notebook with a 13.3 inch, 1080p display — which you can pull away from the keyboard dock to use as a tablet.

Like the Asus Transformer line of tablets, the docking port doesn’t just house a keyboard. It also has a battery which helps provide extra run time. But the Transformer Book dock has one more trick up its sleeve: It has a hard drive, giving you extra storage space.

Asus Transformer Book

The CPU, memory, and other vital bits hang out in the tablet portion of the computer. There’s also a 128GB solid state disk behind the screen. But the keyboard contains a hard drive with up to 500GB of additional storage space.

Asus plans to bring the Transformer Book to market in the coming months — possibly in the first quarter of 2013. The company will offer models with up to an Intel Core i7 processor and 4GB of RAM.

The tablet has micro HDMI and microSD ports, but the keyboard dock adds a range of extra ports including USB and Ethernet ports.

Pricing hasn’t been determined yet.

Overall the Transformer Book makes a nice laptop — but a kind of awkward tablet. I find most tablets with screens larger than 10.1 inches not only to be kind of heavy, but also awkward to hold — especially in portrait mode.

I also found that it took a bit more effort than I’d like to attach the tablet to the keyboard dock. But I was playing with a pre-release demo unit, so there’s a chance things might be better on the models Asus ships next year.

As you’d expect from a tablet with an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, the tablet felt quite responsive, although I only used it for a few minutes to surf the web and scroll through the Start Screen and a few Windows apps.

Screen rotation seems a little on the slow side when compared with an Android or iOS tablet. But everything else felt quite fast.

Note: It was noisy at this event, so I didn’t bother trying to talk at all in the video. What you’re hearing in the audio track is a conversation someone is having nearby. The $1499 price mentioned may be for a Core i7 version of the Transformer Book. It may not. I think that’s just an estimate at this point. The model with a Core i5 chip will likely be cheaper.

  • Chris

    From the hands-on video it sounds like the ASUS rep says $1,499…

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      I was standing too close to someone talking about a different product. Ignore the audio.

      The starting price will probably be about $200 less than that.

      • Guest

        He says $1499 for the i7 model.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618384009 David Hutt

        The i7 Model of a different product, for the 3rd time. That was not a transformer book he was talking about. Ignore the audio, the video was recorded while standing next to a REP talking about a different product altogether.

  • JTI

    I really think they missed the boat by not including a Wacom/active stylus. I think it would make this product much more attractive

    • artinvent

      13 incher with Wacom stylus and full x86 graphics programs . . . positively drooling over that possibility, what an incredible digital art pad. Sigh.

      • kristen

        I know. I don’t understand why they would leave out the wacom stylus and make a perfect device? We are left with samsung slate as the runner up, which IMO isn’t as powerful as this. I wanted this. I feel like a whiny child.

    • sg2dx

      It would have been amazing for them to include the stylus, but many are sold separately, even though they are reviewed together and advertised as compatible together. Unfortunate marketing ploy.

  • http://www.comparatif-tablette.com/ Comparatif-tablette

    The tablet is pre order in France for 1299€ (Core i5, 128 Go + 500 Go, 13.3″) :

  • jb82

    I’m a little overwhelmed by the barrage of products we are getting. They are just slapping a touchscreen on everything they can think of.

    • Guest

      You’re right, stick with your outdated non-touchscreen-non-detachable-non-tablet MacBook and let us enjoy progress.

  • mit

    Where’s the 11.6″ version.

    • http://JeremyCouch.com/ Jeremy Couch

      My question exactly. The original information on this said there would be both sizes but now it looks like it’s 13.3″ only. This would be a huge disappointment. An 11.6″ version seems like the absolute perfect all-in-one computing device.

      • CyberGusa

        Apparently it’s only the 13.3″ model for now, the 11.6″ and 14″ are on the back burner.

      • http://JeremyCouch.com/ Jeremy Couch

        My laptop is just about at the end of its life and I need a new one right away. Maybe I’ll have to settle for the touch Zenbook. I imagine those will be ready on the 26th.

      • slacker

        Hopefully the 14” has pressure sensitive capabilities and and 8gb… And a dedicated GPU… Upgrade ability for mb and ssd by consumer/tech would be pluses too.

      • slacker

        Oops, I meant pressure sensitive STYLUS!

    • http://www.facebook.com/percz Alan Childs

      From what I’ve seen the nearest thing is the Asus
      Vivo Tab

  • shy

    Mmmm… considering the time frame… do I dare to dream this will be one of the first to include Haswell??

    • Guest

      The Asus representative in the video says i7. So, I would think it’ll ship with IvyBridge.

  • the_eldani

    has asus confirmed so ship it first in the beginning of 2013?
    the transformer book is already pre-orderable at amazon.de and the date is set to 26th october

  • Guest1

    Sigh. I was hoping to get this for the holidays. My laptop is barely alive.

  • Daryl

    will there be dedicated graphics in this?

  • http://twitter.com/10basetom Tom

    The keyboard doesn’t seem like it’s as easy to attach/detach as the magnet-based Surface tablet, that’s why I’ll wait for the Surface (full Win 8 model, not RT).

  • Christopher

    No wacom stylus? No sale! The perfect tablet pc would not be missing a wacom stylus / pen. Please don’t tell me you’ve blown such a critical detail, Asus?!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ivor-Thomas/100000300526632 Ivor Thomas

      Agreed… I hope Wacom shows up when it comes to market. Not getting my hopes up much though.

    • Ed

      I agree. To me, the whole point of having a tablet or a hybrid/convertible is to be able to write on the screen, take notes rapidly and discretely in classes and meetings. Seems like they may be overlooking a huge market here.

      • Sjofels

        the exclusion of a stylus is a deal breaker for all digital artists I think, let’s hope they read forums and comment sections.
        Also the rumored (not in this model present anymore) gpu would be awesome for the video enthusiast. The addition of a gpu and stylus would be a graphic/video artists dream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1832502090 Jackson Lambert

    One question. WHEN CAN I BUY IT? I have been waiting so long for this! more than a year. HURRY UP because come January I will buy something non ASUS!

  • Num

    This device is my ultimate wet dream as far as laptops are goin. …except for excluding the wacom stylus. It’s odd that Asus decided for this, as they’ve been the company that’s been absolutley best in providing wacom-licensed products (apart from perhaps Fujitsu). And it’s no mistake, which can be verified by Asus looking att their Vivo-pad and the older EEE Ep121- pad.

    But like Kristen said; with a pen this would have been perfect. I cannot understand why Asus (and others) can’t take the step and make the ultimate machine. And it’s not the first time Asus did such a decision. When the first transformer came out it had a detatchable keyboard which was revolutionary. Then they release the EP121 with full Win7, i5, 4gb RAM, Wacom pen; but no keyboard! That was a stupid decision hindering the ep121 from being the ultimatum for its time. And this Transformer Book is the otherway around: full keyboard and top-notch specs; a dream! – But no Wacom Stylus!!

    Let us hope that the rumors are true that the TransBook display do support Wacom input and that one may buy a stylus separetly later on.

  • الربيع

    لا يوجد به دعم لشبكة الجيل الثالث أو الرابع ، للمرة الثانية تفعلها asusلماذا؟؟

  • holsen

    I completely agree this is the most desirable tablet / ultrabook and I’d buy it in a heart beat EXCEPT no Wacom Digitizer – for me it’s a deal-breaker. I’ve already bought to Win 8 Tablets including the VivoTab which does have the Wacom Digitizer. Hopefully Gen 2 will have the inking capability then I’m in.