Computex: Asus tries x86 in a tablet
Like Samsung in the smartphone space, Asus keeps its options well and truly open when it comes to processors and platforms for laptops and tablets… Step forward an Intel-based tablet computer from the Taiwanese maker.
Asus has introduced an Intel x86 / Windows variant of its Transformer tablet-cum-netbook to run alongside ARM / Android versions, writes Steve Bush.
Called the Transformer Book “it is the world’s first convertible ultrabook – allowing users to instantly switch between a ultrabook and a tablet by simply detaching the screen,” said the firm. “It is aimed at users who prefer the portability of a multi-touch tablet computer for leisure, but still want access to a more traditional Windows-based ultrabook for productivity use.”
As with all Transformers from the firm, it converts by detaching the QWERTY keyboard to leave display functioning as a multi-touch tablet.
Inside is some form of Intel Core i7 processor – of what type Asus will only say “specifications may vary without prior notice”, with discrete graphics, along with solid-state disc and hard disc storage, 4Gbyte DDR3 dual channel RAM, and USB 3.0.
Display options are 11.6″, 13″ or 14″ HD in-plane-switched (IPS) multi-touch displays, and there are HD front and 5Mpixel rear-facing cameras.
Amongst a flurry of Transformer announcements, the firm also introduced the 11.6″ Tablet 810 (Windows 8 on Atom) and the 10.1″ Tablet 600 (Windows RT on ARM).
The 810 has 2GByte RAM with a 64Gbyte of flash (embedded MMC).
It is said to be 8.7mm thick and have a 1,366×768 display, 8Mpixel rear camera and 2Mpixal front camera – and NFC (near-field communications).
The 600 has Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad ARM processor, a 12-core GPU, 2Gbyte RAM and a 32Gbyte eMMC.
Although smaller than the 810, screen resolution is again 1,366×768, and there is also NFC for synching with similarly-enabled devices.
Proposing an alternative approach to an ultrabook-cum-tablet Asus is using a double-sided display in 11.6″ and 13.3″ models of a computer called Taichi.
“With the lid open, the Taichi is just like any ultrabook computer, and comes complete with a full-size QWERTY backlit keyboard and track pad,” said the firm. “With the lid closed, however, the Taichi becomes a multi-touch tablet computer with stylus support, bringing a degree of flexibility that has never before been experienced on an ordinary ultrabook.”
The two screens are independent, and can be used simultaneously, “which means the Taichi can be shared with two users for a host of innovative new applications”, said the firm.
Still no Android-on-Intel option, though, if I have read things correctly…
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