ASUS re-announced at IFA today a slew of new devices, some of which aren't actually new. We first heard about the Transformer Book Trio back in June when ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih introduced just under a dozen products in under an hour. The Transformer Book Trio is billed as a"three-in-one" ultraportable, though there are only two pieces - a tablet and a keyboard dock. If you're familiar with the ASUS Transformer line of products, there is nothing new about this form-factor.
Dual OS devices featuring Windows 8 and Android are nothing new (if anything, they're becoming more and more common), and Samsung decided it was time to throw its name into the we can do two things at once arena with the just-announce Ativ Q. At its core, the Ativ Q is a 13.3-inch laptop/tablet hybrid, but the real allure here is its insane 275PPI display that runs at a massive 3200x1800 resolution.
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, you got your Jellybean in my Windows 8! No, you got your Windows 8 in my Jellybean! The ASUS Transformer AiO probably isn't as tasty as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but it will have a slimming effect... On your wallet. You may remember this odd tablet-meets-PC from our previous coverage. In short, it's an 18.4" Android tablet that also plugs into a base unit running Windows 8. The screen can be toggled between the Android and Windows 8 modes when docked, and it includes SplashTop Remote Desktop for connecting to the base unit while roaming freely.
The first time I tried using ADB after updating my PCs to Windows was a very unpleasant experience. What worked so well on Windows 7 was apparently borked in Windows 8 thanks to the new driver verification system that disallows unsigned drivers from running without this mode being first disabled, which requires a reboot. Upon subsequent reboots, driver verification is re-enabled, making the entire process tedious and beyond frustrating. I've since resorted to using a portable version of Linux Mint install virtualized within Windows – a less than ideal setup, it is.
Back at Computex 2012 last year, ASUS showed off an 18" Windows 8 all-in-one desktop that could turn into a gigantic Android tablet simply by sliding the display out of the dock. Questions aside about whether anyone needs or wants an 18" Android tablet, the tech was certainly neat. This isn't a dual-boot situation, but rather two completely concurrent OSes being run on two separate systems in the same device. The whole of the hardware carries an Intel processor and NVIDIA SoC.
I want to ask everyone a question - well, everyone who owns an Android tablet, that is - how often do you instinctively reach for it, as opposed to your phone or laptop? I don't care what the reason is, I'm just genuinely curious how much of a "tweener" role your Android tablet has taken in your life. And after you read this editorial, share that story with me in the comments, because I'd really like to have a discussion with people on this.
Splashtop makes some great remote desktop software. I like Splashtop. So please friends, readers, and developers over at Splashtop, keep in mind my love for the company as a whole when I say the following sentence: Charging users $25 to try out Windows 8 on an Android tablet is an absurd, opportunistic, rip off of an idea. Most disappointingly, it will work for a small minority of users. And their money spends just the same as any other.
Last week, ASUS released a couple of videos teasing its announcements for Computex 2012. Given the contents of the videos, our first guess was that the company would be announcing a dual-boot Windows 8/Android tablet. And we were right... kind of.
It is a dual OS device - but it's not exactly dual-boot, nor is it exactly a tablet. It's an all-in-one 18.4" desktop that can seamlessly transition between Windows 8 and Android 4.0.