07
Mar
2013-03-07_10h14_25
Last Updated: April 17th, 2013

Back at Computex 2012 last year, ASUS showed off an 18" Windows 8 all-in-one desktop that could turn into a gigantic Android tablet simply by sliding the display out of the dock. Questions aside about whether anyone needs or wants an 18" Android tablet, the tech was certainly neat. This isn't a dual-boot situation, but rather two completely concurrent OSes being run on two separate systems in the same device. The whole of the hardware carries an Intel processor and NVIDIA SoC. Now, ASUS has seen fit to announce some launch details: it will be landing (with a thud) on April 12th at a starting price of $1299.

2013-03-07_10h56_49 2013-03-07_10h58_33 2013-03-07_10h58_45

When in desktop mode, the device is running Windows 8 on top of a 3rd-generation Core i5. Here are the specs when in that configuration:

  • 3rd Generation Core i5-3350P
  • 8GB DDR3 (1600MHz) RAM
  • 1TB SATA HDD
  • DVD Drive
  • 4x USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI-out
  • Bluetooth 4.0

However, you can either slide the display out of the station or press a button on the side to switch to Android mode. Here, you'll be using a Tegra 3 processor to run the Android 4.1 experience. Here are the tablet-specific specs:

  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB storage
  • Mini-USB 2.0 port
  • microSD slot
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 38Whr Li-on battery (up to 5 hours of use)
  • 5.3lbs

Let me repeat that last spec: 5.3 pounds. For comparison, the Nexus 7 is about 0.75lbs, and the Nexus 10 is 1.33lbs. While it's no surprise that a device nearly four times the size of the N10 (thanks Pythagorean Theorem!) would be four times the weight of said tablet, it's a usability concern no matter how you slice it.

Still, there's a market for everything and if you're looking to buy a decent all-in-one Windows 8 desktop—with a touchscreen monitor, no less!—and wouldn't mind picking up an 18" Android table tablet while you're at it, keep your eyes peeled around April 12th. This may just be your lucky break.

Source: ASUS

ASUS Launches the Transformer AiO
The world’s first all-in-one that is a powerful desktop PC capable of running Windows® 8 or Android 4.1 in desktop or tablet mode.

Fremont, CA (March 7, 2013) — ASUS today announced the all-new Transformer AiO.  The incredibly innovative ASUS Transformer AiO provides users the mobility of a tablet with the performance of a powerful desktop PC, all in an elegant design that is just as flexible on your desktop as it is in the home.  Combining stunning design and the imagination of ASUS, the Transformer AiO features a desktop PC Station with 3rd generation Intel® Core™ desktop processor technology for outstanding Windows® 8 performance, and a detachable 18.4-inch multi-touch display containing NVIDIA’s® Tegra® 3 quad-core for an optimum Android 4.1 user experience.  The innovation does stop as the tablet is also capable of running Windows® 8 in Remote Desktop mode.  No All-in-One PC has ever offered this type of flexibility, innovation or design, and it is only available from ASUS.
 

Advanced Technology and Options
ASUS Transformer AiO is a powerful all-in-one PC capable of handling a wide range of demanding Windows® 8 productivity and entertainment applications. Designed for desktop use, its PC Station is powered by a 3rd generation Intel® Core™ desktop processor with NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 730M graphics for outstanding performance.  ASUS
The Transformer AiO features comprehensive connectivity options, including four USB 3.0 ports – with speeds up to ten times faster than USB 2.0 – for plenty of peripheral possibilities and an HDMI out port so you can attach a monitor for extended display options including the capability to use the PC Station in Windows 8 mode while the tablet operates separately in Android 4.1 mode. 
Its 18.4-inch LED-backlit display features 1080p HD resolution with 10-point multi-touch and IPS technology for bright, vibrant images with 178-degree wide viewing angles for shared enjoyment with coworkers, friends or family.
ASUS Transformer AiO also features dual-band Wi-Fi for high-performance wireless networking with compatible routers. ASUS SonicMaster audio technology delivers incredible sound so watching the latest TV show or movie, gaming, or enjoying a new album will always be an immersive audio experience.  

Windows® 8 and Android tablet combined
When detached from the PC Station, ASUS Transformer AiO’s tablet can be used in two different ways. First, wireless Remote Desktop technology on the PC Station allows complete multi-touch control over Windows® 8 in tablet mode for easy access to the world’s largest collection of productivity and entertainment software.
Alternatively, the 18.4-inch IPS display can also be used as a standalone tablet with Android 4.1, thanks to its built-in NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor.  ASUS Transformer AiO switches seamlessly between operating systems at the press of a button and offers up to five hours of battery life*. The display also features a convenient carrying handle and a folding stand for comfortable tabletop use when away from the PC Station.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING
ASUS Transformer AiO will be available early Q2 2013 in North America with pricing starting at $1299.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    I keep wanting to see more >10" tablets, but dang, this thing is a beast. 11"-13" seems like it could be a sweet spot.

  • hurrpancakes

    GIve me a 13" model that is a Windows 8/Android tablet with a keyboard dock and I will love you forever.

  • Thomas

    Can I downgrade it to Windows 7 ?

    • Jason

      ^^^

      This...

    • ERIFNOMI

      Windows 8 really isn't that bad. On my desktop, I hardly ever go to the start page, so it's essentially Windows 7 with some subtle improvements (the file transfers are improved, for example). On my laptop I feel more constrained to doing one or two things at a time because of the smaller screen (and lack of multi-monitors) so I do use the start screen more. It's actually fairly nice for organizing the things you're going to use almost every time you open your laptop.

      But in reality, it's hard to tell if you can go back to Windows 7. There's no requirement for Windows 8 to use secure boot on desktops and I wouldn't imagine Asus doing that, they're a pretty open company. You probably can put whatever OS you want on the computer part of this computer/tablet hybridhybrid

    • New_Guy

      My concern is how is this beast going to handle custom roms...is it possible to flash and Android ROM and still keep the W8 the way it is?

      • John O’Connor

        ^^^

        this

      • http://www.facebook.com/luke.graziani Luke Graziani

        Why not? The Android guts reside in the tablet and the PC guts reside in the base station. Flashing the Android guts to, let's say (with fingers crossed) Cyanogenmod, won't do anything to the PC side of the house. When it's docked and in PC mode, the tablet is merely acting as a nice touch-enabled monitor. I'm looking forward to trying to flash to the latest CM on the tablet and then dual booting the PC side Win8/Linux (just because).

        • Luke Graziani

          Not sure if anybody is still looking at this, but I have one of these now and I love it. Got the tablet rooted and waiting on info to flash to CM10. Working with the Windows 8.1 review and am extremely satisifed. I'm actually thinking of doing a dual-boot on the PC. Then, essentially, I'll have a triple boot system. Not sure what Linux kernel to dual-boot to though. Most likely Ubuntu since I'm pretty sure it has touch interface compatability.

    • GazaIan

      If you hate yourself that much then sure.

  • Jacob Pope

    My main question is it running Windows RT or Windows 8? If it is RT, its a no go.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      In desktop mode it says it uses an i5, so I would hazard a guess that it's 8/Pro.

    • Matthew Fry

      Almost positive it's full 8. It's a desktop, with a desktop processor.

    • ERIFNOMI

      Windows 8 considering as a desktop it has, well, laptop specs but never mind that. Is there even a version of Windows RT for x86 processors? I thought it was only for ARM but with Intel trying to get into the mobile market, maybe there is an x86 version.

  • Matthew Fry

    Glad to see some companies trying something different. Obviously a dual booted Android/Windows 8 Pro Tablet is what I wish for.

    On another note, a density of 122 on a screen you hold in your hands is gonna suck.

  • New_Guy

    My mouth.....just hit.....the floor =O

  • Matthew Fry

    Also... is that Honeycomb photoshopped on the display?

    • New_Guy

      No, but it is 4.2.1 for some reason and not 4.1 that they say it has.

      • GazaIan

        Actually it appears to be a screencap of ICS or 4.1, not 4.2.1. The font gives it away, the YouTube icon also seems like the one before the UI update, and the Play Store icon has less depth perception than the current one.

        It's most likely an updated ICS shot used when the TF700 was coming out.

        • New_Guy

          No no, my friend. I just received the 4.2.1 update on my TF300T, and the icons are identical. So is that weather widget. It's also likely that Asus shopped an image of Android that they "are planning" on it having, rather than one that it currently has.

  • John D

    This thing seems pretty cool.

  • ssj4Gogeta

    Damn. How I wish it ran Android on the Core i5. It'd be the fastest tablet, bar none.

    On the other hand, since it's essentially two computers in one chassis, you'll be able to switch from Windows to Android without rebooting and run both simultaneously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    Since this is literally two separate devices in one housing, my question is whether or not they can access each other. Would you be able to transfer a file from one system to the other? I'm not sure why they didn't just use one HDD (or SSD) for both units and partition it. And that may be what they actually did, but it's not clear from the specs and I somehow doubt it since it becomes an Android tablet when you pull it off. I'm assuming the hardware for Windows stays in the "dock." If they used a HDD, they certainly wouldn't store that in the tablet part.

    I really hope there's some sort of link between the two. Otherwise, they could have just created a tablet with an A/V input and the ability to change the source. That way, you could hook it up to your existing PC.

  • JG

    A couple questions...

    1.) Are the two systems able to function independently simultaneously? Could I switch over to Android to play a few rounds of Angry Birds while I leave Windows alone to do some major number crunching?

    2.) Will I be able to access files stored on Window's storage while I'm using Android (or visa versa). If I have my 100GB MP3 library on Windows, can I listen to the music while using Android? (* yes, in this example, I could/should just upload it to Google Music and not only would this be moot, but I could also access it on my phone, etc but for this example, there's no internet access)

    3.) Why can't Windows access Android's microSD card (at least it's not listed in with Window's specs)? Android uses FAT for the SD card format, so Windows shouldn't have any issue accessing data on it...

    • GazaIan

      Based off what I know;

      1) yes. The two systems have virtually nothing to do with each other at all. Think of the tablet as a small TV with just two inputs.

      2) not directly, you'll have to access it over FTP or some other thing. Windows Explorer allows for remote connections, though I'm not sure how to do it on Android. You'd pretty much be doing it the same way you would if you just had an Android tablet and a computer.

      3) File formats isn't the issue, the issue is that the two systems are totally independent. Again, think of it as a random Android tablet and a random computer. Same circumstances.

      Simply put, these are two entirely separate devices in the same case.

  • alexxx

    Wow Eric, that's really cool! I never knew about this one. I think ASUS is the most ballzy company with integration/innovation, I mean, padphone, phonepad, this-Windroid! I'd love to smoke what theyre smoking, seems to give just the right kick!

  • John O’Connor

    long live the android table

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