Personally, when I think of desirable ultrabooks/thin, light and powerful laptops running Windows 10, I always think of devices like a spec-ed out Dell XPS 13, a ThinkPad X1 Carbon, or the high-end Lenovo Yoga convertibles.
As a low-key hipster (I’d say self-proclaimed but that’s so mainstream), I probably wouldn’t have considered the ASUS ZenBook 3 Deluxe. Why? I’m not too sure, but these devices never seemed particularly desirable to me.
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Microsoft isn’t the only one releasing a slew of new devices. Huawei‘s also got some toys to show us and they’re an update to the company’s previous first Windows 10 device, the MateBook. This time, there are three variants — called the MateBook X, MateBook E and MateBook D — and they’re all a little different from each other.
The ASUS Transformer series have come a long way. From a convergence Android tablet with an accompanying keyboard, the latest Transformer Book Chi aims to replace both your laptop and your tablet. Announced during CES 2015, the Transformer Book Chi series offers a Windows 8.1 experience while giving a flexibility of having an interchangeable notebook or tablet mode.
The smallest of the lot is the ASUS Transformer Book T90 Chi with an 8.9″ display and a compact keyboard that lacks a touchpad. This reminds us of the compact Sony VAIO P-series but ASUS lets you detach the screen fully for a tablet mode. The screen pushes a 1280×800 resolution on its 8.9″ IPS screen and it runs on an Intel Atom 1.46GHz Quad-Core Z3775 BayTrail-T processor that’s mated to 2GB of RAM. This is obviously better than the EeeBook X205 which lacks a touch screen display.
You get an option of 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage which can be expanded with microSD. On the tablet itself, it gets a 2MP camera in front and a main 5MP auto focus shooter at the rear. Overall it is 7.9mm thick and weighs 0.75kg inclusive of the keyboard dock. In the hands, it feels pretty solid with a nice matte finish and diamond cut finishing around the edges.
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ASUS wants to take on the MacBook Air with a device that’s thinner and arguably more versatile. Say hello to the Transformer Book T300 Chi, a “thinner than Air” (claimed ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih), all-aluminum 12.5-inch convertible laptop that was just announced at CES 2015 in Las Vegas.
Powered by Intel’s latest Broadwell Core M processor (not our favourite when it comes to performance and stamina), the 12.5 Book Chi has two variants. The top of the line features a WQHD (2560×1440) IPS touch panel display, 128GB iSSD with Intel Core M 5Y71 processor at 1.2Ghz. The entry level variant brings with it a full HD (1920×1080) IPS touch panel, 64GB iSSD with Intel Core M 5Y10 processor at 0.8Mhz.
The Book Chi’s versatility comes in the form of a detachable keyboard dock that allows you to use the computer in either full laptop mode with the keyboard attached or full table mode with the keyboard detached. While it’s not anything new, the form factor is an interesting take on the convertible/hybrid computer genre, but when it comes to convertible computers, we the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is still our favourite when it comes to execution.
In terms of dimensions, at 16.5mm (0.65 inch) complete with the keyboard dock attached, the Book Chi is a smidgen thinner than the MacBook Air (17mm or 0.68 inch). If you take the keyboard dock out the Book Chi becomes even thinner at and 7.6mm (0.3 inch).
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Acer has recently launched its new Tablet/Ultrabook hybrid devices – the Aspire P3 and Aspire R7. The Aspire P3 is a rather slim Ultrabook which works as a standalone tablet. There are 2 models available with the Intel Pentium Processor version going at RM1,799 and the one with higher spec 3rd generation Intel Core i3 processor going at RM1,999. If you need more power on the go, there’s the Core i5 version but that’s coming into Malaysia in a later time.
The Aspire P3 comes with a touchscreen 11.6″ IPS display capable of pushing 1366×768 pixels resolution, 2GB of RAM and 60GB of SSD storage. The tablet/ultrabook itself is only 9.95mm thick and weighs 0.79kg. At this price point, you would expect it to run on something basic such as Windows RT. Surprisingly the Aspire P3 runs on the full fledged Windows 8 OS and boasts a battery life of 6 hours.
The accompanying keyboard is connected via bluetooth and its own standalone battery source is said to last a month of average use. For productivity mode, the tablet is stowed in its proprietary folio style case with the keyboard attached.
Meanwhile, the Aspire R7 is a larger 15.6″ Notebook which doubles up as a tablet with its flexible Full HD display thanks to its unique Ezel hinge. In terms of design, the touchpad and keyboard had swapped positions with the keyboard made closer to the user. The flexible display allows you to tilt forward or the opposition direction depending on usage. It runs on a Core i5 processor with 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB Hard Disk. Pricing starts at RM2,999 and it is expected to go on sale next month.
For more information, head over to Acer’s Aspire P3 product page.
Head after the break for photos and videos of the Tablet/Ultrabook hybrid devices.