Today at Computex 2013, ASUS' Chairman Jonney Shih gave birth to no less than 11 products in a span of less than an hour, a surprising rate of fire we're not used to even at flagship events like MWC or CES, let alone Computex. Not bad at all, ASUS.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting and important announcement was the Transformer Book Trio, "the world’s first three-in-one mobile device." The Trio actually consists of two pieces:
- An 11.6" tablet with a 1920x1080 IPS display and 64GB of internal storage onboard, powered by a mobile-friendly 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip (32nm Clover Trail+). The tablet runs Android Jelly Bean exclusively.
- A PC Station dock, which is much more than a dumb keyboard with a battery attached to it this time around. In fact, the dock contains a 4th generation Core i7-4500U (that's Haswell) chip and separate storage - 1TB HDD (though the probably outdated PR says 750GB). Update: ASUS told us the Trio will have both the 750GB and 1TB options. The dock runs Windows 8 exclusively.
Two batteries - 33Whr and 19.5Whr - are housed inside the units. It's not clear whether the larger battery is located in the dock or not, but that would be my guess.
As you have probably already figured out, the Transformer Book Trio operates in three modes:
- Android tablet. The dock is not used in this configuration.
- Windows 8 laptop. In this configuration, the tablet is plugged into the PC Station dock and acts merely as a display. As with other Transformers in the past, the PC station dock charges the tablet.
- Windows 8 desktop PC, with the dock connected to an external monitor. The tablet is not used in this configuration.
As you can see, there is no dual-booting here but rather two devices with their own operating systems living in a symbiotic relationship. In fact, you can use the two separately and simultaneously if you go with configurations 1 and 3.
ASUS says the two OSes sync data to allow seamless web surfing and presumably file sharing. We would not have expected anything less - otherwise, this whole multi-OS experience would really get frustrating stat. Just how well they integrate with each other we'll have to see at a future time. Same goes for pricing and availability, as neither was announced today.
Are you impressed by the Trio? I must say it's a amusing evolution of the Transformer line with an interesting value proposition, but the verdict will depend on performance, availability, and, more importantly, price.