HP's return to the tablet market hasn't exactly set the world on fire just yet, with only the budget-focused Slate 7 filling in the spaces on retail shelves. Today the company aims a little higher with the StateBook x2, a riff on ASUS' Transformer series with high-end specs and a high-end price to match them. The tablet comes bundled with a keyboard - there's no tablet-only option - for $479.
The ASUS Transformer AiO is undoubtedly one of the most interesting pieces of Android-powered tech that we've seen in the past year or so. As a member of the Transformer family it's made to convert from one device category to another, but unlike the "typical" Transformers that we're used to seeing from ASUS, this one doesn't change from tablet to laptop – it's both a full Windows 8-powered desktop PC and a gigantic Android tablet.
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+).
Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor.
It's been over four months since Google officially announced Android 4.2 and slightly less time since the initial round of new Nexus devices running it went up for order. Much like the gunshot that kicks off the 100-meter tortoise race, that launch signaled the silent contest to see which manufacturer could get out a non-Nexus update first. Today, we have our winner: ASUS, with a shiny new version of Jelly Bean for the Transformer Pad (TF300T).
One of the nicest options of ASUS' line of tablets is the keyboard dock with a built-in extra battery that can make your device run forever and much easier to type on. The downside? Those docks tend to cost over $100. In the case of the Transformer Pad 300 (TF300), exactly $127, to be precise. Right now, though, Newegg is offering it for free if you buy it with the tablet.
I love how fast ASUS moves. When they say an update is coming, you can rest assured that it's coming soon. Just this morning they teased us a bit on Facebook, and ASUS rep Gary Key took to XDA to let users know that the Jelly Bean updates for the Prime and Infinity would be rolling out "within 72 hours."
Now, this evening, they've published a rollout schedule and full changelog for both devices:
- Upgrade OS from Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- Default enable System Bar Lock
- Add Multiple Photo Selection feature
- Support Connect Dock (Accessory)
- Remove Adobe Flash support
- Remove Wi-Fi Direct function support
- Remove Press Reader
It's also noted that Press Reader, should you actually use it, will still be available in the Play Store.
Update: Unfortunately, neither ASUS nor NVIDIA had anything of value to say about this device:
Officially, no comment on unannounced products.
First I have heard of it, especially since the next tablets up on the roadmap are Windows based.
As many readers have already pointed out in the comments, perhaps this will be a Windows RT tablet. Time will tell.
This is a curious one; a mysterious ASUS tablet has shown up out of the blue at the FCC today, with the model name 'TF500T'.
The original Transformer was one of the first tablets to capture the imagination of the Android community, and three iterations later the family continues to be popular among modders and ROM enthusiasts. The latest and inarguably greatest member of ASUS' tablet family, the Transformer Pad Infinity, now has infinitely more options when it comes to aftermarket ROMs and modifications. The company released the TF700 version of their bootloader unlock tool, and interested users can download it from the ASUS support website.