ASUS Transformer Book preview: the perfect combination?

The arrival of Windows 8 brought with it a whole slew of notebooks, including this 13.3in ASUS Transformer Book. It's a tablet that you can click into a keyboard, but it's much bigger than the 10in Transformers we've seen that run on Android and the 11.6in VivoTab laptop/tablets with Windows 8.

It's a bit peculiar that ASUS gave this the name Transformer, considering all other hybrids with Windows 8 go under the name VivoTab, and the all-in-one with removable screen is called Transformer all-in-one and runs on Android. The Transformer Book is a true Windows 8 machine, however, with a design that's reminiscent of an ASUS Zenbook. While it looks like an Ultrabook, all of the hardware is located behind the 13.3in Full HD screen. The keyboard isn't much more than a glorified docking station, equipped with a battery and a built-in hard disk.

It's unusual to have a tablet this large, but it's not a bad user experience, thanks in part to the reasonable weight. 950g is acceptable, so despite the larger screen it doesn't weigh more than the Microsoft Surface Pro. It's nice that you can turn it into a fully-fledged (and heavy, 1.8kg) laptop with SSD, and hard disk provides a flexible and effective work environment.

Behind the screen an entire Ultrabook has been built-in, with an Intel Core i5-3317U, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SanDisk U100 SSD and an Atheros 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter that also provides Bluetooth. Those last two components aren't our favourites, as the SanDisk is one of the slower SSDs and the Wi-Fi chip is single-band only with a low maximum speed of 150 Mbit/s.

For a tablet in this price bracket we expect dual-band and 300 Mbit/s. It has two cameras; one a 5 megapixel one and the other a 0.9 megapixel one. You can read the rest of ASUS Transformer Book preview: the perfect combination on Hardware.info.