Last week Asus revealed an interesting Windows 8 desktop PC for consumers looking for a touch-based compact all-in-one solution. It's called the ET2301, and instead of taking the route of using the typical AiO boxy form factor, the company has created something that looks more like a stand-alone desktop monitor with a thick base. This design allows the device to fold flat, turning it into a makeshift table-like experience with a sturdy pedestal underneath.
"The Asus ET2301 AiO features a cleverly designed stand, hinged at the top and bottom to allow the screen to tilt smoothly through 95 degrees," the company said. "In an upright position, the screen is at the perfect angle for traditional desktop PC use with a mouse and keyboard; when folded flat, it sits almost horizontally for comfortable 10-point multi-touch control with Windows 8."
As always, the Asus press release was full of bloat, but once you cut away all the fat, the company reveals a 23 inch Full HD LED-lit IPS screen with 10-point multi-touch control and 178-degree wide viewing angles. Powering this screen will be fourth-generation Intel Core i5 of i7 "Haswell" processors, depending on the model. Nvidia's GeForce GT 740M GPU supporting Nvidia 3D Vision technology was also mentioned.
As for other specs, Asus said the AIO will have both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless AC connectivity with speeds reaching up to 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The sound system will be powered by SonicMaster Premium tech, enhanced by MaxxAudio Mater by Waves, and include four 1.5 watt internal spatial array speakers and a 3 watt subwoofer. A standalone desktop 5 watt subwoofer will also be an option for those wanting that "thump in the trunk" sound.
"The ET2301 also features exclusive Asus technology for increased flexibility in households with more than one Windows-based PC," the company said. "Device Share mode transforms the ET2301 into a sophisticated desktop dock by making its multi-touch display, speakers and USB peripherals available for use with a notebook PC over a simple HDMI and USB connection. Asus Ai Crosslink makes it easy to share files with other Windows PCs over a USB cable connection, too — no network required."
The new AiO desktop will include AiCharger II technology which promises 50 percent faster USB recharging of smartphones and tablets, even when the ET2301 is switched off. Unfortunately, Asus didn't provide specifics about the desktop's pricing and actual availability, but the previous-generation model, the ET2300, can be seen here sporting third-generation Intel processors. This should provide some reference as to what the newer model will likely bring.
According to the specs of the older model, it has a built-in 2MP camera, four USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, one Thunderbolt port, one SD card reader, microphone/headphone jacks, one HDMI input, one HDMI output, a Kensington Lock and an optional TV jack. That said, Asus may simply be upgrading this model with Haswell CPUs and Nvidia's GPU, and renaming it as the ET2301.