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Intel and Microsoft will be pleased with wealth of x86, Windows 8 designs

It's part Windows 8; it's part Android.  It's part desktop, it's part ginormous 18.4-inch tablet.

I. Tablet + Desktop = Madness (Meet the Transformer AiO)

The 18.4-inch Transformer AiO "desktoplet", unveiled this week at Computex 2012 in Taiwan, is a pretty intriguing product from manufacturer ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357).  
 

The Transformer AiO is one of the biggest tablets out there. 
 
While primarily a desktop, it has a button, which will allow it to switch into Android mode. It also features a jumbo multi-touch display and finger-oil resistant coating to make your huge new tablet slightly less disgusting.

The desktop-cum-tablet packs reportedly will pack an ARM architecture chip.  Pricing hasn't been announced yet.

II. TAICHI Dual-Wields

Aside from the AiO, ASUSTek also was showing off the "TAICHI".  Named after the ancient Chinese martial art, which promotes flexibility and circulation, the new laptop-cum-tablet is an exercise in extravagance.  Rather than resorting to a fancy swivel latch à la the Lenovo Group Ltd.'s (HKG:0992) Yoga, ASUSTek simply puts a screen on the back of the laptop lid and calls it a day.


ASUSTek TAICHI dual-wields LCD touchscreens

This dual-screen-wielding laplet will be available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch flavors.  Each will feature an Intel Corp. (INTCIvy Bridge Core i7 processor (quad-cores), 4 GB of DRAM, an SSD, dual-cameras, USB 3.0 (x2), mini-DVI, mini-VGA, 802.11n, and a backlit keyboard.  The device is quite slender, about as thick as a ZenBook.

ASUSTek's screen weighs in at 1920x1080 pixels and is of the FHD/Super-IPS+ variety.

Sadly no pricing is available on the pair of TAICHI, like the Transformer AiO.

III. Transformer Books Switch to Windows 8

Last, but not least; ASUSTek gave some love to its veteran Transformer line, with detachable screen Transformer Book laplets.  With a court victory over Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) freeing it to use the popular name, ASUSTek looks recover from the sales flop of the Transformer Prime.

Towards that end it will be launching Transformer Prime laplets of sizes 11.6-, 13-, and 14-inches, base on Intel Core (Ivy Bridge) processors.  The units reportedly also feature discrete graphics, although it's unclear whether this will reside in the detachable lid or in the keyboard base.  There are digital cameras in the front and back (like the TAICHI) and 4 GB of DRAM.  Users can pick between SSDs and traditional hard-drives for this model line.


The Transformer Book looks somewhat like a MacBook Pro but packs a touch surprise.
 
As with rivals like Hewlett-Packard, Comp. (HPQ) ASUSTek's design aesthetics (brushed silver aluminum case, black Chiclet keyboard, etc.) narrowly mirrors Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) MacBook Pro.  

These Transformer Books were shown running Windows 8, though it's possible Android dual-boot could be in the works.

IV.  Tablet 600 Pairs Windows 8 and Tegra

ASUSTek's latest (but perhaps not final) Windows 8 themed announcement was the Tablet 600.  Similar to the Transformer models in layout, the Tablet 600 runs Windows 8 RT with a Tegra 3 quad-core ARM CPU from NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA).  The 10.1 inch screen disappoints slightly with a 1366x768 pixel resolution, but this hybrid looks otherwise solid with 2 GB of DRAM and an 8 megapixel camera.

ASUSTek Tablet 600
Tablet 600 running Windows 8 RT [Image Source: The Verge]

Pricing has not been announced.

If there's one thing clear from all these product announcements and new products from rivals like Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) it's that top manufacturers appear sold on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) new vision of laptop convertibles.  Of course that's also a vision championed by Android-maker Google, Inc. (GOOG) (to the chagrin of Apple).  However, it appears that in terms of hybrids Microsoft is gaining the upper hand, with Windows 8 and its slick Metro UI dominating in the new product shown, with Android being relegated to dual boot and a handful of new designs.

Sources: Engadget [Transformer AiO], [TAICHI], [Transformer Book]



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Reliability, Asus, and more...
By IntelUser2000 on 6/4/2012 12:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
Hah, Lenovo break-prone. Actually they create the most realiable computing devices. They also say the Yoga's hinge is certified for 20k movement? I think that's enough. :)

Asus is becoming a formidable player. I'm impressed with both the Transformer Book and the TaiChi(though personally I prefer this one). The 3-in-one Desktop/Tablet/Ultrabook looks pretty good too. Good stuff coming from them.

Overall this Computex is looking exciting.




By seeker353 on 6/4/2012 1:10:22 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Actually they create the most realiable computing devices.


For their business "thinkpad" line I'd agree with you.

However, their consumer "ideapad" line is total garbage. I ordered a Y560 a year ago and had to send it right back. The whole thing was made of cheap thin plactic, and the LCD screen dithering was so horrible it gave me a headache just looking at it.


By Sazabi19 on 6/4/2012 2:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
I've liked Asus for many years now, only use their Mobo now in my rigs, very nice build quality, never had a problem with them. Their Transformer (orig) is very nice, I like the look of the TaiChi too, may need to get one :)


By xthetenth on 6/4/2012 6:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm currently using an Asus laptop because they offered a laptop with a pretty good 1080p screen on a 15.6" chassis with decent gaming performance for the best price. Little did I know I was getting what has since become my favorite computer ever with the addition of an SSD, including a thinkpad I was very happy and a significantly higher performing desktop. The build quality is excellent, I've had a 10-20 pound vent cover fall directly on the top of my screen and it took no damage. The keyboard feels good and the whole thing feels very solid. If I get something transformable, unless somebody offers something unprecedented, it's going to be an ASUS. Great product and they hit a good price point.


The one device Windows 8 actually makes sense on
By Snoop on 6/4/2012 1:15:14 PM , Rating: 2
The one device Windows 8 actually makes sense on...




By Mitch101 on 6/4/2012 1:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft just announced you will be able to use tablets with X-Box. Similar to Wii-U. I love this as Madden football will get significantly better as you should be able to choose your plays without your opponent seeing what you choose at least I hope so.


By xthetenth on 6/4/2012 6:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using Windows 8 on my laptop pretty much since the preview came out because I didn't have another OS to put on the SSD I put in it otherwise. I would never ever consider taking the huge downgrade to Windows 7.

Being able to boot my laptop from shutdown to password screen in four seconds is huge, and 7 is significantly slower to boot in my experience on my desktop's SSD. The start screen is the best change to the start menu since the search became usable with SSDs, but that hardly matters because the search feels much better tuned so if I want to open something specific that can't be pinned (itself very hard, since with more than six or so pinned programs I can actually fit everything useful) it's just a matter of win key, three or so keys and enter and it's open.

Metro is a total red herring thrown around by people who haven't tried the preview, I haven't used it more than once in the month I've been using this laptop. The only metro stuff I see is the start menu, and that's phenomenally useful and bound to become even more so. I have thirty programs pinned and it's just about as fast to find the right one there as it is to find one of the six on the Win 7 start menu. It's also more efficient since when you tap windows, your cursor, which is likely to be in the center of the screen is likely right near what you want, rather than needing to move to the corner. I have no sympathy for people who can't figure out that tapping the Windows key with their left thumb makes the start screen far more usable than the start menu. The use of color is also quite welcome, it makes it much easier to find things, I just hope I can give pinned icons their own colors.

TL;DR: I've been using Windows 8 as my only OS and I'm sold on it, and think most of the complaints are from people who used it for only a few hours rather than actually working on it and realizing the efficiencies inherent to the changes to it on a desktop platform.


Asus AIO Desktop Hybrid
By IntelUser2000 on 6/4/2012 1:30:18 PM , Rating: 1
The Asus AIO Desktop doesn't use seperate ARM hardware. It instead runs Bluestacks to run Android.




RE: Asus AIO Desktop Hybrid
By IntelUser2000 on 6/5/2012 2:05:43 AM , Rating: 1
Sure, go downrate me. But doesn't change facts. Search for Asus Android Bluestacks. You'll see


RE: Asus AIO Desktop Hybrid
By mxnerd on 6/5/2012 2:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
You don't know what you are talking about.

The dock itself is Intel x86/x64 PC running Windows 8, yet the tablet itself is ARM based architecture running Android 4.x.

When the tablet/display docks on the base station, the base Intel station uses the ARM tablet as its display. When it's undocked, it's a pure ARM tablet. You can remotely log into Windows base station, however.

Bluestack is just an ARM emulator software that runs on Intel x86/x64 Windows.

ASUS does partners with Bluestacks, but not in this fashion.


chagrin
By name99 on 6/4/2012 4:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
to the chagrin of Apple


I think you do not know the meaning of the word chagrin.

To take a similar example from a few years ago is (or was) Apple chagrinned over netbooks? I think not.

chagrin: distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated




RE: chagrin
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/5/2012 1:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A keen feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event: To her chagrin, the party ended just as she arrived.


OMG FINALLY...
By Ramstark on 6/4/2012 7:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, so, do we have a release date other than "somewhere near November" ??




RE: OMG FINALLY...
By Visual on 6/5/2012 9:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like they are just waiting around for the Windows 8 launch... a pity, I'd love to have one of these right now.

Hell, I'd wanted the SB or Brazos version of these a year and a half ago...


$$
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/5/2012 9:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
How much you wanna bet that this AiO will cost more than a desktop and tablet combined. All AiO machines are just ridiculously absurdly overpriced.




RE: $$
By fteoath64 on 6/6/2012 2:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, for now the prices of AIO seems high due to high cost of development/design and will drop very quickly in time due to low demand. It is market forces after all. Compared to the iMac of Apple, these AIO needs to be around 1/2 to 2/3 the price of Apple to be competitive. If it is close to 80% the price of iMac, they will lose out almost for sure.

So expect a variety of AIO sizes to come up including semi-portable ones with batteries that could do 2-3 hrs without mains.

I see the tablet with keyboard dock as being the wrong design approach. One design I would like to see is a slide out keyboard which is very thin (like Apple wireless kbd) that is clipped to the case and has a coil wire to allow for some movement of the keyboard while on a desk. The tablet will slide out a couple of stands to hold it either landscape or portrait mode. Of course the detachable keyboard can be removed completely and not used if not required. This way there is no hinge/connector engineering needed, hence low-cost.


Sweet.
By Adam M on 6/4/2012 6:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
I am very interested in a Transformer Book as long as price meets performance. I have been wanting a laptop and a tablet for a long time. The tablet of course for casual uses and the laptop for word processing, image editing and some gaming (Diablo 3 comes to mind.)I am really looking forward to getting a chance to take one for a test drive to see how it feels and operates.




Sold!
By althaz on 6/4/2012 10:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'll take either a 11.6" or 13" Transformer Book with a small SSD, consider this a sale (provided price is below $1k with something like a 128Gb Samsung SSD or 120Gb Intel). I want a tablet and I want a laptop that is suitable for the sole purpose of playing starcraft 2 on at my mates' houses. Ivy Bridge has enough graphics power, but a dedicated chip is nice too. The tablet is just for home, so I pretty much don't care about battery life, as long as it's 4+ hours of video-playback.




One huge flaw with Asus
By excrucio on 6/6/2012 2:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
They are so tight with their repairs, that you must send in the device to be repaired. It's nearly impossible ordering parts online for their computers. Ebay may save you here and there on a few computers, but not everything can be found.

If Asus allowed us to order parts, things would be much smoother for them. However I reckon, they will start doing that as soon the demand for their computers and tablets becomes par with Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and so on.

If they can fix that, I would have no problem ordering from them, because they are built well.




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