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.
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.
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.
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.