06
Jan
TD300_Detached_Dual OSm

Asus likes to explore unusual designs for its Android devices, as one look at the Padfone X will tell you. Another fresh take on mobile devices announced at CES comes in the form of the Asus Transformer Book Duet. This is a convertible laptop/tablet hybrid that dual-boots Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2. It also packs some serious laptop-grade hardware.

TD300_Cut_10

Here are the specs straight from Asus:

  • Dual-OS - Windows 8.1 Standard / Android 4.2.2
  • 13.3-inch Full HD IPS multi-touch display
  • Up to Intel Core-i7 processor [specific configurations not listed]
  • 4GB DDR3L 1600 RAM
  • Up to 128GB SSD in Tablet
  • Up to 1TB HDD in Dock
  • 38WHr battery, estimated battery life around 5 hours in Windows 8.1 and 6 hours in Android 4.2.2.
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR
  • Tablet ports: Micro SD card, Headphone jack, DC jack
  • Keyboard dock ports: 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 10/100Mbit/s LAN, HDMI 1.4, audio combo jack, DC jack
  • Tablet measures 342.7 x 216.3 x 12.9mm; dock measures 340.9 x 217.6 x 16mm.

The device can be used in either laptop or tablet mode in Windows and Android. A physical switch on the device (or software button) will immediately shift the Transformer Book Duet between Android and Windows. Asus, unsurprisingly, calls this the Instant Switch button. Because this hybrid is rocking laptop-quality hardware, the tablet portion is a little bigger than standard ARM tablets. Imagine a Microsoft Surface Pro 2, but with an Android option and a slightly bigger LCD.

TD300_Detached_Dual OSm

Asus was originally planning on shipping the Transformer Book Duet with Android 4.1, which was reported by several sites today. However, a last minute decision was made to get a build of Android 4.2.2 on the device. It might not be KitKat, but it's better than 4.1. Asus hasn't announced any specific release date or pricing details yet, but expect it to be spendy. PR is below.

Update: Pricing (per Asus) will start at $599 with a Core i3 and 1366x768 screen. $699 gets you an upgrade to 1080p. Other configs are still unknown.

Las Vegas, NV (January 6, 2014) — ASUS today announced Transformer Book Duet (TD300), the world’s first quad-mode, dual-OS laptop and tablet convertible that allows users to switch between Windows and Android in either laptop or tablet modes with just a single push of the Instant Switch button or a virtual key on the tablet. With a powerful Intel® Core™ i7 processor at its heart, Transformer Book Duet runs up to twice as fast as existing tablets based on ARM® processors.  ASUS SonicMaster technology and dual speakers ensure that Transformer Book Duet delivers incredible audio for immersive entertainment.

Quad-mode, dual-OS laptop and tablet with Instant Switch

ASUS Transformer Book Duet (TD300) is an extremely capable device that is able to function as an Android or Windows 8.1 tablet or notebook. Users can simply switch operating systems with a single push of the Instant Switch button or a virtual key on the tablet.

By offering both operating systems, ASUS provides users the ability to run supported Android applications and a vast array of native Windows applications. Transformer Book Duet features a powerful Intel Core i7 processor with Intel HD graphics and 4G DDR3L 1600 RAM, giving it performance that’s up to twice as fast as existing tablets powered by ARM® processors.

The patented ASUS technology that powers Instant Switch offers many performance and productivity benefits over other dual-OS solutions, such as fast, smooth and seamless switching and the ability to resume each OS from where the user left off. As it does not use OS virtualization, Instant Switch also allows each OS to harness the full power of Intel’s latest processor technology.

Striking audio-visuals

ASUS Transformer Book Duet (TD300) delivers striking visuals on its 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS touchscreen display. This multi-touch display features sensitivity and responsiveness that exceeds Microsoft’s requirements for Windows 8.1.  For audio, it comes with ASUS SonicMaster technology for true-to-life sound through the tablet’s dual speakers.

In addition, Transformer Book Duet has a front-facing HD camera with a built-in digital mic for video chats. The tablet display has 128GB of SSD storage that can be supplemented by a 64GB Micro SD card, while the keyboard dock houses up to a 1TB hard disk drive. The dock is also home to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, and HDMI 1.4 output with 1080p support. In terms of connectivity, ASUS Transformer Book T300 has 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR.

ASUS Transformer Book Duet sports the same stylish concentric-circle finish found in other ASUS offerings. The Transformer Book Duet has compact dimensions, with the tablet measuring 342.7 x 216.3 x 12.9mm; and the dock measuring 340.9 x 217.6 x 16mm. Together, they weigh around 1.9kg, making it supremely portable and flexible for those on the go.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

  • jordan

    no word on price? damn sounds good at 700 to 1k

    • Clint P

      Read: "Asus hasn't announced any specific release date or pricing details yet, but expect it to be spendy."

      • jordan

        sorry i didnt post the entire thing I missed that last sentence

        • JvonH

          Does this ASUS has built in graphics card? and what is its graphics capacity (GB)

          • Deathless

            it says "Intel HD graphics".so maybe no

      • g

        I've seen these in the mall before 2013 xmas. The guy from Asus said the would be just below or above $1000 depending on hardwareand screen size. I had a chance to try it out. Was really good. Wanna buy one.

    • Doctor Awesome PhD

      "...the system will start at $599 for a Core i3 model with an "HD" (read: 1,366 x 768) screen, and $699 for a 1080p unit." From Verge.

      • jordan

        cmon ap gotta get those prices if they are available ;)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          ASUS wouldn't tell us, I even asked.

  • Cheeseball

    So it would be running Android-IA?

    • Clint P

      It would have to.

      • Cheeseball

        Yeah, considering the Android-x86 project isn't exactly official.

        It also explains why it's only at 4.2.2.

        • Kieron Quinn

          Nothing stopping them from building their own x86 Android version

          • Cheeseball

            Android-IA *is* Intel's x86 version.

            https://01.org/android-ia/

          • Kieron Quinn

            Well funnily enough, this is Asus not Intel. They might be using the Intel version, but Asus could easily build their own from source, and might have done

          • Cheeseball

            They probably made a custom build from Android-IA, because AFAIK ASUS doesn't have any x86 Android products (e.g. running on an Intel Atom).

          • Uki5

            Shouldn't it be x64?

          • Cheeseball

            Not really. When you use the term "x64", it basically means x86-64, which is the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set. None of the Android x86 ports are running 64-bit yet.

            I'm guessing when you use the "Instant Switch" button, it will load up Android and run it in 32-bit mode, like running a 32-bit version of Windows 7/8 (but obviously this is running the 64-bit version with RAM like that).

  • Danny Holyoake

    Huh? They got KitKat on their phone but couldn't get it on here? I wonder why?

    • TheStumblingBlock

      I imagine the upgrade wouldn't be far behind, and with root capabilities you'd probably find a ROM pretty easily.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    Asus with their cool stuff that never comes to US.... *cough* PadPhone *cough* took 3(?) years to get it on Att lol

  • Zaatour36

    nice, i like the portability

  • Paul

    Interesting. I just may be interested. I could never give up my laptop for a tablet, and I could never see running Android like a laptop. This seems like a very interesting compromise.

  • Roger Chan

    No 3G again?! Why?

    • Gabernasher

      Tether?

  • Matthew Fry

    Hmm... this is an interesting alternative to the Surface and Chromebook. Gives you all the power of full fledged Windows with an attached keyboard for both. This is honestly what my wife wanted 6 months ago when she got her Chromebook.

  • rwedink

    Seems nobody noticing the horrible battery life
    "5 hours in Windows 8.1 and 6 hours in Android 4.2.2."

    I hope it's not true.

    • CoreRooted

      Those are still pretty good specs considering the hardware. Honestly, I couldn't see using a laptop/tablet for more than 3-4 hours without a power source nearby (and really, in this day and age, when is a power source NOT nearby?).

      • Ashish

        Really? 5 hours is the worst number I've seen for a Haswell PC. If it's not a Haswell this thing has has bigger issues. Lastly, what's with not having higher ram options?

        • CoreRooted

          You have a point there. I forgot that all the 4th gen i7s use Haswell now. I'm guessing that the 5 hours is due to the load of Win8.1 and the higher specs in play. The Core i3 should get better battery life with the reduced display.

  • Jeff

    I WANT IT RIGHT NOW !!!!

    An i7 is maybe a bit overkill for that kind of computer, i would be more than happy with an i5.

    http://jeffsandroidtop5.blogspot.ca/

  • Simon

    No battery in the dock? Great, a dual laptop that lasts half a day

  • Guest

    Can we stop buying products whose OS is two versions behind?

  • Mike

    Any word on this device having an active digitizer/pen input? If it does I'm sold, an Android tablet that can run the full desktop version of Office (with pen input for Onenote) is a match made in heaven.

  • someguy

    I wonder if you can open the dock and swap the hdd with a sdd
    and open the tablet and upgrade the ram to 8 or 16gb

  • http://geekspertise.net/ Elise Hines

    I am definitely interested in it, but not if it's shipping with Android 4.2.X. That's a bit sad. I think I'll wait for the next generation so Asus has time to work out the kinks.