Asus has taken the wraps off three rather unusual computers at Computex in Taipei.
The Taichi may exemplify best how much effort manufacturers put in the quest to find a computer that can bridge the gap between tablets and notebooks, and possibly beyond. The notebook features two independent screens, either 11.6" or 13.3", one on each side of its lid. The displays can show different content and can be used by two different users at the same time. This may not be practical, especially if we remember that this is a Windows 8 system that relies on touch input on a horizontally bouncing display as soon as a finger touches it. At least it is a novel concept and worth the try.In terms of hardware, we were told Core i7 CPUs, 4 GB RAM, SSD, USB 3.0, audio connectors and two cameras. There was no information if and when the Taichi may come to market.
A bit more interesting is the Transformer Book notebook, which looks like an Ultrabook, but allows its users to detach the screen from the keyboard and use it as a Windows 8 tablet. The hybrid device will ship with 1080p 11.6-, 13- and 14-inch screen options, Intel i3, i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors, as well as 4 GB of RAM. The compelling aspect of this device is that the user can choose whether to use the Transformer Book as a "lean-forward' workhorse with the added benefit of an Nvidia discrete graphics chip, or simply consume content in "lean-back" fashion with less graphics horsepower. No word on pricing yet.
The tablet trend may be getting a bit in the extreme direction with the Transformer AiO, which is an all-in-one desktop computer system that can also be used as a tablet with a giant 18.4-inch screen. The AiO runs Windows 8 when in desktop mode and Android 4.0 in tablet mode, switchable with just a press of a button. It is not a final version yet, but described as a prototype and work in progress.
Finally there were two tablets, the 810 and the 600. The Asus Tablet 810 packs an Intel Atom, Windows 8 and a 11.6” Super IPS+ display (10 point multi touch) with 1366x768 resolution. It had a keyboard dock, is 8.7 mm thick, has 2 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC memory for data storage. The rear camera is 8 megapuxel, with AF and LED, while the front one is a 2 MP model.
The Tablet 600 has a 10.1" display Super IPS+ 1366x768 LCD as well as a keyboard dock. It will run Windows RT and Tegra 3, with 2 GB RAM, 32 GB for storage. 8.35 mm thick, with a 520g weight.