Price (RRP): $999 (starting price); Review model is $1399;
Tablets are laptops these days, and laptops are also tablets, an observation that is evident in the Asus Transformer Book Flip, a machine that tries to marry the best of both with a big 15 inch screen. Does it succeed, or just fall flat?
The latest entry in the long running Asus Transformer series is called the Book Flip, or more specifically, the Transformer Book Flip, and this results in a laptop that can be used in the conventional laptop way (screen perpendicular to the keyboard), tablet (back of the screen pressed up against the back of the keyboard), and even a stand mode (like a tent, with the screen and keyboard facing outward and sitting on the desk like an “A”) for playing back entertainment.
As a result of these needs, you can probably expect a different laptop hinge, but everything else is pretty much all your typical laptop computer, with an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor found inside this computer, from the fourth-generation known as “Haswell” and clocked at 2GHz (i7-4510U). Alternatively, a Core i5 (4210U) variant can be found.
Memory in this computer is set to 8GB RAM, with storage set to 1TB, though both of these can exist in different amounts, with memory set to either 4 or 8GB, and hard drive storage options including 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB, with solid state storage of 24GB also an option alongside each of these.
Graphics on this notebook run on Nvidia’s GeForce GT840M processor working with 2GB RAM, while other multimedia features include an SD card slot, VGA webcam, and the Asus SonicMaster sound technology.
All of this helps run a 15.6 inch touchscreen running the high definition resolution of 1366×768.
Connections here include 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, as well as Gigabit Ethernet, a port option that also joins one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI, and one 3.5mm headset jack.
With the laptop also working as a tablet, you’ll even find a few more buttons than a conventional laptop has, with the power button being joined by a volume button on the left side, as well as a Windows button moved from its regular centre screen position (which in this machine is occupied by an Asus logo) and found on the left edge with the rest of the buttons.
The hybrid market has helped revitalise the laptop world, and Asus was one of the original companies there, starting off with Android tablets that could be docked with keyboards to make notebook hybrids.
A few years later, the reinvention of Windows that is Windows 8 has pushed more new life into the notebook space, and Asus is here too, taking its designs for hybrid machines into several styles and sizes of computers that can be both a conventional laptop and even a tablet.
In the Transformer Book Flip, Asus is taking that concept and pushing out a 15 inch machine, bringing the large screen size for people that prefer bigger screens, and also want more than just the small amount of space a solid-state drive will offer, with around 1TB in our review machine, and as much as 1.5TB offered in some of the spec’d models you can buy.
Design-wise, though, Asus isn’t exactly coming up with anything new, taking a conventional laptop and adding a 360 hinge.