Tablet? Desktop PC? It's both!
Asus kicked off a flurry of announcements at this year's Computex trade show in Taipei with the unveiling of a touchscreen Windows 8 PC that also turns into a giant tablet.
The Transformer AIO looks like an ordinary all-in-one PC with an 18.4in screen and 1920x1080 pixel resolution, but the screen actually detaches completely and can be used as a giant, hefty tablet. When detached from what is effectively its stand and charger, the AIO tablet can be propped up using a built-in kickstand.
Even more surprisingly in a trade show dominated by Windows 8 rather than Android announcements, the AIO will be able to switch between Windows and Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The PC will use one of Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processors, but we're still waiting for clarification on whether the AIO uses an Intel-compatible version of Android or if there's a second ARM processor for running Android or if Android running on top of Windows using some sort of emulation or virtualisation.
As expected Asus wouldn't be drawn on pricing or release dates, since both are dependent on the final launch details of Windows 8 itself. It's clear from the early pre-production units on show at Computex that AIO still needs polishing before release though – an attempted demonstration by Asus Chairman Jonny Shih of an Asus Windows 8 cloud app on the AIO failed when the app repeatedly crashed.
Despite the desktop PC angle, the AIO is technically just a very big Intel-based tablet with a charger that also has lots of ports on it. We have our doubts about the usability of what is bound to be a very big and heavy tablet, but the AIO is nothing if not eye-catching.
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