Print 19 comment(s) - last by excrucio.. on Jun 6 at 2:12 PM

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
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.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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