07
Jan
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We've already discussed ASUS' fun-loving ZenFone and PadFone Mini, but for those who want a little more out of their gadgets-that-do-more-than-just-one-thing, the Transformer Book Duet should be worth a look. ASUS calls its "four devices in one" since it's an Android tablet, Android laptop, Windows tablet, and Windows laptop, but you can take that for what it's worth – I think it's kind of pushing it. It's just a tablet and a laptop, silly marketing people.

But I digress. From a spec standpoint, the Duet is actually pretty solid. Like most modern laptop/ultrabook/hybrid thingies, there will be various models with Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, as well as varying amounts of storage. The tablet portion packs either 64GB or 128GB of storage, and the dock has a traditional HDD. Otherwise, the two share the same processor, RAM (4GB), and the like. The display is 13.3 inches, which is great for ultrabook territory, but kind of large when used as a tablet. I thought it was surprisingly light for the size, though it's definitely a two-hander basically all the time. The docking/undocking action is very smooth and offers a very satisfying click when put in place.

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On the performance size, the Duet is full-on beastly in Android. This is, of course, thanks to Intel's Haswell-based Core chips, which maxed out the benchmark in Epic Citadel. It's crazy fast. Once everything is booted up and ready to go, switching between Android and Windows takes about four seconds, which is exactly what ASUS advertises. The transition is incredibly easy to execute, as there are shortcuts on both the keyboard and within the software of both OSes. It's all very seamless.

The overall fit-and-finish of the Duet is a little lower-end than what one may expect from a device like this – ASUS decided to forgo the brushed aluminum of its high-end devices for a much more budget-friendly plastic. The unit we handled felt a little creaky in terms of build, though the actual materials used feels much more pleasant and inviting than the cold feel of metal.

The Duet will start at $599 for the base model (core i3, 1366x768 resolution) and go up from there, with the 1080p model starting at around $699. There's no release date slated just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as that information is available.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Owen Finn

    I'm buying two.

  • Sorian

    This just might push me into replacing my tablet and laptop

  • PalmerAdam

    That bezel! Finally one device for work and play. Lenovo, make the Yogadroid happen!

  • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

    Other than the ginormous bezel. This seems dope.

    • John Petersen

      It's a 13.3-inch tablet. You're gonna need some bezel to grip that beast.

  • Primalxconvoy

    I'm interested. Although I don't really need a laptop, this might still be fun. Can files stored via one OS be accessed by the other?

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      One of the other reports implied so, but I'm not so certain. NTFS support in Android hasn't been great (not that ASUS can't add it), and permissions are always funky. But I bet ASUS will do something with the partition structure so a large volume of it is available to each, while the rest is separated.

    • Ivan Martinez

      Reports online saying there's a resizable (standard is 4GB) shared drive accessible between both, so your answer is yes.

      • Primalxconvoy

        Cheers!

  • Ray Sunghwa Woo

    How long will the battery last?

  • vgergo

    This will be my first tablet. Need to get a new laptop anyway

  • http://techsym.com/ cubanresourceful

    Damn. It would've been cool if it was Android/ChromeOS.

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

      Start Windows mode, open Chrome. Magic!

      • Ror

        Windows doesn't play nice with battery life like ChromeOS does. It's hardly the same.

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

          As a former Pixel owner, I disagree. There is potential, but ChromeOS hardly realizes it at the moment. Plus, it's not even 10% as powerful and versatile as a modern desktop OS.

          • Ror

            Hm, never knew that. I know a few chromebook users and they always talk about their battery life, albeit I'd call them casual users, mostly using them at work/coffee shops. Its still annoying that Windows still doesn't have the battery optimizations OSX has since its a very noticeable difference jumping between the two. (I have no idea if this has improved with 8.1 but Microsoft never talks about battery life outside of new processors.)

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

            The just announced Ativ Book 9 by Samsung supposedly offers a 14 hour battery life, with Windows. The Pixel lasted barely 4 hours for me. Go figure.

        • Cheeseball

          That i7 would be wasted with ChromeOS. Also, placing Windows on Power Saver mode should net you more battery life easily while surfing the web or typing stuff out.

      • http://techsym.com/ cubanresourceful

        I know that lol, it just it would be interesting to have an all Google device. Plus, I quite like ChromeOS. :)

  • Rob Johnson

    So much want for this! Shame I probably wont be able to afford it.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I hope we see more of this base concept. I've been saying for a while now that Android is getting closer and closer to being a viable primary OS. Having it in this form factor, switchable with Windows, helps make that even closer to a reality, and if people are buying and using it, hopefully it'll push Google to close the gaps.

  • Ivan Martinez

    This sounds like the perfect device to combine work and home. With one switch, I can move over to windows 8 and remote into my job to do work. When I'm done, back to Android for cat videos.

  • WhyWai

    Wow.. this looks really interesting. But Android can run on computer processor? Any issue running android apps/games on it?

  • Vinay N S

    hopefully they get all the bugs fixed ( if any ) and make it lighter and cheaper by the second gen of this lineup and i'm buying one with no second thoughts...

  • Ror

    So whats up with it looking exactly like a MacBook?

  • danishdhanshe

    I really wanna see how do the devs manage to root this!

  • TY

    With this price it's almost killing the Tab Pros... Intel i7 and Snapdragon 800 are on two whole different levels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    I'll definitely hit this up when it's time to replace my laptop. Very handy.

  • 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 for me.

  • Ivan Martinez

    I've read around the web that the RAM is split between the two devices, meaning 2 GB for Android (ample) and 2 GB for Windows (not so much). Does anyone know if this is indeed the case?