Feeds
Asus Transformer Book Trio

This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Android tablet plus Windows laptop... plus Windows desktop

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Best of both worlds?

I’ve no real complaints on the performance front, however. The Android tablet turned in an AnTuTu score of over 17,000 which is perfectly adequate and it played all the usual demanding games with ease. PCMark8 threw up scores of around 1400 running under Windows which is par for a device with a low-power Ultrabook CPU and an HDD. The Windows system has to make do with Intel’s integrated HD 4400 graphics core, which limits the system’s gaming potential, though that hardly came as a surprise.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

DisplayPort and HDMI

Lacking both the tools and the bravery to start disassembling the Trio, I can’t tell you how easy or hard it is to upgrade the RAM but, let’s be honest, this is not the type of machine you buy with the aim of rummaging around in its undergarments or installing a Linux distro.

In use, the swap between the two operating systems in a simple matter of pressing the button with the Windows and Android logos on it. A small graphic flashes up to tell you are switching ’twixt OSesr and then, wallop, you are there. Assuming both are running and don’t need to boot up. Even if they aren’t, the swap is impressively speedy.

The implementation of the switch from Android to Windows isn’t entirely foolproof though. On a couple of occasions when I hit the swap key from Android to sleeping Windows, the screen just went dark, necessitating a restart of tablet and dock to get back into Windows or Android.

I understand this is an issue with the drivers used by the Asus OS switcher which aren’t playing nice with Windows 8.1. New drivers will doubtless hove into view soon but a simple fix seems to be to just prevent Windows going to sleep, or not upgrading to 8.1 just yet.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Still separated

The dock’s chiclet keyboard is a decent enough affair. The keys are pleasant to the touch, the action positive and there is a Caps Lock light. The Asus US product page for the Trio says the keyboard is backlit, but that’s only a feature of the i7 Trio - the keyboard on my i5 review example most certainly wasn’t backlit, which was a disappointment. Nothing wrong with the trackpad, though, which is in all ways a fine example of the breed.

This being an Asus machine, the 11.6-inch IPS LCD screen is very good. The 1920 x 1080 resolution makes everything look as sharp as a tack, though the resolution/size combo makes things look a wee bit small to my eyes when running the Windows desktop. It’s an impressively bright and colourful display, just like almost every other Asus screen I’ve played with of late.

The cameras aren’t too shabby either. The 5MP one in the back of the tablet takes a decent picture in good light, while the 720p webcam makes for a clear and bright video chat.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Asus’s Console utility

Slapped across the right side of keyboard deck you’ll find a sticker advertising the Trio’s ICEpower sound system from everyone’s favourite mad audio Danes, Bang & Olufsen. It’s not just marketing blurb. The tablet’s speakers are good but the docks are bordering on the exceptional: loud, composed and very sonorous. This is one of the best-sounding laptops I’ve ever tested.

The price? At £900, the i5 Trio is hardly what I’d call cheap, but when you consider that a decent touchscreen i5 laptop with a 1080p screen can set you back not a whole lot less - though probably with an SSD - and that a quality Android tablet like the Sony Xperia Z costs around £400, it’s perhaps not an unreasonable ask. Compared to what an iPad and a MacBook Pro or Air will set you back, it’s something of a bargain.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Power sharing is not entirely foolproof

The Reg Verdict

So, does three into one go? Pretty much, yes. Having a fully functional Android tablet and a Windows 8.1 PC in one package and both with a fine 1080p display certainly has its attractions. Cough up a few hundred quid for a monitor and it becomes an even more flexible package.

There are a few slightly rough edges, like the wonky file sharing hotspot and the absence of a keyboard backlight on the cheaper i5 machines. And the batteries could be little more beefy. But there’s no denying that with one of these in your backpack you have got all the bases covered for work or play or anything in between. ®

Asus Transformer Book Trio Benchmark Results

Benchmark results

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Asus Transformer Book Trio

This THREESOME is a HANDFUL: It’s the Asus Transformer Book Trio

Cunningly contrived Windows laptop, desktop and Android tablet, all in one - or, rather, all in two. A cute idea, but compromised.
Price: £900 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.