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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.


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