Take a look at the side profile of your laptop. Chances are, it’s anywhere from a half an inch to an inch thick, replete with a handful of USB ports, a power plug, headphone jack, and maybe an SD card slot. I can all but guarantee that it’s thicker than the laptop I’m currently using to write this article, Asus’ Transformer Book T300 Chi. The $699 T300 Chi ($899 as tested) is a sliver of a computer, closer in size to the average tablet than a full-blown laptop.
In fact, the T300 has a lot more in common with an iPad than an ultrabook. As with many Windows 8.1 machines, it’s a convertible laptop, with a detachable keyboard and full touchscreen. But unlike many other convertibles, the T300’s tablet portion is only 7.6mm thick and it doesn’t have any full-size USB ports, HDMI ports, or SD card slots. LikeMicrosoft’s Surface Pro 3, all of the T300’s major components are crammed into the tablet area, including its 12.5-inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel IPS display, Core M processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. The Core M processor lets the T300 do away with the fans (just like Apple’s upcoming new MacBook) and gives it that tablet-like profile. When attached to its Bluetooth keyboard, the T300 is still only 16.5mm thick, though the combined 3.14lbs of the two parts is more laptop-like than tablet-like.