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Broadwell Asus 2-in-1s: Transformer Book Chi T300 and V

By Andrei Girbea , last updated on March 26, 2015

Intel are going to release their updated architecture later this year, code named Broadwell, which will replace the current Haswell platform as the go-to for modern ultraportables.

That means we’ll start seeing a lot of potential Broadwell running prototypes in the next couple of months. Among them, these two Asus Transformer Books that were recently announced at Computex: the Transformer Book V and the Transformer Book Chi T300.

Update: Here’s my detailed review of the Chi T300.

Before we get to them though, let’s talk about Broadwell for a little bit. Like I said, it will be unveiled later this year, while actual products built on this line will be available in stores by Q3-Q4 2014. Broadwell is expected to change quite a lot of things for ultrabooks. It will be Intel’s first 14 nm platform, which leads to smaller chips, and at the same time, much more efficient electronics. Latest rumors point towards 30% efficiency boost over Haswell and 30 to 40% improved graphics performance. Low energy consumption also comes with lower temperatures, thus easier to cool platforms that will lead to more fan-less designs and overall thinner and lighter devices.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T300

The Transformer Book Chi T300 stands prove of what’s to come in the next year. There aren’t a lot of details on it, but we are talking about a Broadwell Core powered tablet with a 12.5 inch 2560×1440 touchscreen, up to 8 GB of RAM and SSD storage, all inside a 7.3 mm thin body, which makes it more compact than the recently announced Microsoft Surface Pro 3. On top of that, the Chi T300 is going to be fanless, from what I can tell by looking at the available pictures and clips.

Update: Here’s my detailed review of the Chi T300.

This device will offer an optional 4G/LTE integrated modem, but there are no details of a digitizer and pen-input support. Along its sleek sides there’s a full-size USB port, stereo speakers, a headphone/mic jack and some docking connectors on the bottom, while its body is made from aluminum.

Asus Transformer Book Chi T300 - an incredibly thin Windows running tablet

Asus Transformer Book Chi T300 – an incredibly thin Windows running tablet

As a proper Transformer Book, the Chi comes with a matching docking station, which integrates an actual keyboard and a large trackpad. Latched together, the two make up for an under 15 mm thick device. Again, I can’t say whether there’s an extra battery inside the dock or not, but I’m pretty sure this will provide a better typing experience than the Surface Pro 3, given how it has an actual keyboard with a stiff frame, and not a keyboad-folio. Plus an actual proper sized touchpad.

Anyway, that’s about it for now, but stay tuned for updates in the near future, and check out the video below for a quick look at the Chi T300.

Asus Transformer Book V

The Book V is a more complex device. You might be familiar with Asus’s Padfone concept, an Android phone that can be docked inside and power a 10 inch tablet. Well, they took this approach to a next level.

Asus Transformer Book V - 5 devices in 1

Asus Transformer Book V – 5 devices in 1

The Book V consists of a 5 inch Android smartphone, with an IPS touchscreen, 2500 mAh battery, powered by an Intel Atom platform (quad-core MooreField platform, with 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage) and running Android 4.4 . This one can be docked on the back of a 12.5 inch tablet, which contains an Intel Core processor (Broadwell, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage) of its own and runs Windows 8.1 . But why dock the phone inside the tablet? Well, because when docked, you can get a big-screen Android running slate, powered by the platform inside the phone.

Last but not least, there’s also a keyboard-dock which adds more storage space (up to 1 TB 2.5 inch unit, in top of the 128 GB on the slate), alongside a full-size USB port. There’s no extra-battery inside the dock, so you’ll have to rely on the battery on the tablet, thus I;m not sure what to expect in terms of battery life here. We’ll see.

In the end, the Book V can work as 5 different devices: an Android phone, a Windows/Android tablet or a Windows/Android laptop. Switching between Windows and Android is supposed to be smooth and seamless. But is such a device something the average user would actually buy? I don’t know, but I do know that there are so many things that can go wrong with this complicated combo and on top of that, I’d reckon the Book V is going to be really expensive.

Is this something you would buy?

Is this something you would buy?

As a technological achievement though, the Book V is truly impressive. But don’t forget that it’s not Asus’s first attempt at a dual-OS device though. Remember the Transformer Book Trio, announced many months ago? Well, that one was only available for a short time, so hopefully this new try will be more widespread.

Either way, I’m excited about what’s going to come in the next several months. Broadwell is not just another platform update and it’s probably going to have a bigger impact than Haswell had back in 2012. It’s going to spur a swarm of new compact devices, thinner, more powerful and able to last longer than they do right now. And it will probably lead to new form factors and approaches. So if you’re like me and hate carrying around large computers, you should have a smile on your face right now.

Update: I’ve put up together a complete list of all the available Broadwell laptops, if you’re interested.

Stay tuned on the site, I’ll have more details on these Asus Transformer Books in the near future, but also on any of the upcoming Broadwell ultraportables.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I've been covering mobile computers since the 2000s and you'll mostly find reviews and thorough guides written by me here on the site.

19 Comments

  1. david

    July 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Sadly your article is in error:
    “But don’t forget that it’s not Asus’s first attempt at a dual-OS device though. Remember the Transformer Book Trio, announced many months ago? Well, that one never reached the stores, so hopefully this new try will actually make it.”

    that is wrong the trio did reach production, and was in stores available.
    the asus duet got canned because of it dual os. and was never released.

    so next time please fact check bro

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      My bad, thanks for noticing. Not sure why it was stuck in my mind that the Trio never actually got the stores.

      • ed tranosky

        August 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

        so about the transformer book v. I have heard nothing about if it is real, or just another pipe dream, any update?

        • Andrei Girbea

          August 21, 2014 at 9:14 pm

          Maybe we’ll see some news at IFA. I haven’t heard anything about it since launch

      • B. McGee

        October 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        ASUS has taken the T300CHI product off their website. What’s up with that? Have they decided to drop this product too?

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 31, 2014 at 11:59 am

          I was talking to my Asus contacts a few days ago and they said the Chi should be available in Q1 2015. They might rename it though, as they already launched a T300FA with Core M and that’s not a premium 2-in-1.

          • Jenny

            February 26, 2015 at 2:23 am

            Any idea when the Asus T300 Chi will become available to purchase? And if it already has, where?

          • Andrei Girbea

            February 26, 2015 at 7:33 pm

            WEll, soon, that’s the best I can say. It’s not yet available anywhere from what I know.

  2. Ryan

    October 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I wish someone would make one of these docking convertibles so the tablet can dock in reverse with the screen facing away form the keyboard for presentation mode like the yoga types as well as the ability to use it like a tablet while docked and flush against the keyboard. I hate stowing the keyboard somewhere while using it like a tablet. It’s not like people are hand holding a 12+ inch tablet for a period of time. Would also be better for watching media in close quarters like on a plane and make the keyboard one less accessory you have to worry about forgetting or losing.

    One reason why keyboard covers can be nicer than an actual dock. It’s a more convenient solution for a hybrid device even if the typing experience is a touch less and it’s a little less lap-able. They provide protection as a built in cover/case and make the tablet a more always carry device. It’s where some android mfg’s (you Samsung) are dropping the ball and relying on third parties to make your devices more business capable.

    Plus I don’t see or have read about any micro HDMI out on the T300. Making things thinner and thinner doesn’t make sense when it’s at the expense of connectivity. If the dock at least has it, that’s one thing, but I’m just tired of the thinness wars at the expense of productive features. Phones have sacrifice battery life and lose micro HDMI, capacitive buttons and a dedicated camera button. Tablets lose ports and battery life. And yet the thinness war continues. Taper the stupid design towards the top so extra weight is towards the hing in a hybrid for better stability and can add space for ports and create a win/win for the customer. Rant over.

    • ewrtyeerfg

      December 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

      All of your points are personal preferences and does NOT agree with everyone’s lifestyle
      For connectivity, there’s a reason why they created adaptors… right?

      • Ryan

        December 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

        So where do you plug in the adapter genius? You have a high end ultrabook convertible and you’re stuck carrying a microUSB host adapter? For the road warriors that work off of flash drives quite a bit and want to give a presentation, they do what?

        A USB 3.0, micro HDMI and card slot are pretty standard. If you want to compete against the Surface Pro 3, Lenovo Yoga and the like, it helps to keep up with the features. Thin is great until form overrides function.

  3. Dustin

    January 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Have there been any updates on the T300 chi? What might they be renaming it? I was holding off on my new purchase for this to come out but I haven’t seen anything on it since this article.

  4. robert

    February 28, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I am also still Waiting on information on its release.

    • Martin

      March 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Hey folks,

      Since last Computex I research on the release date for the Transformer V but I have not found anything new on it at all. I am aware that not all presented devices end up actually going to the stores but then I at least would expect someone to report on it. Beside yours there are tons of other blogs and technology sites and I keep wondering why none of them actually keep track of devices that once had been presented (at least this the case on the Transformer V). If I had one big wish from ultrabookreview it would be for you to ask Asus what is happening to the Transformer V since they did not reply to me.
      I would greatly appreciate!

      Martin

      • Andrei Girbea

        March 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        It never became more than a prototype from what I know and was never launched as a retail model.

        • Rob

          March 25, 2015 at 5:09 am

          I think Microsoft and/or Google are pretty unhappy about having both operating systems on what is essentially one device so perhaps they are blocking it

  5. Martin

    March 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you for that information!

  6. rachit

    May 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    hey i want to know the price and launch date of transformer book V in India

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      There’s not going to be a TB V, that model has never been more than a prototype.

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