ASUS bridges Android and Windows 8 with new Transformer Book Trio

Summary:The Transformer line of Android hybrids has been popular with buyers wanting a good tablet with a laptop dock. The new Trio continues the tradition with a few surprises thrown in.

Transformer Book Trio
Image: ASUS

ASUS was the first to produce a hybrid computer, long before Windows 8 was released. Its Transformer line of Android tablets with laptop docks grabbed the attention of buyers wanting a good tablet that could morph into a laptop when docked. The company has upped its game with the introduction of the Transformer Book Trio.

On the surface the Trio looks much like the Transformers that came before it except it runs Windows 8. While it looks like other Windows 8 hybrids, ASUS has packed some surprises in the package.

See also: ASUS Transformer Prime: Perfect for business trips (review)ASUS Transformer Prime: The Android tablet to rule them allWhat I want: ASUS Transformer Prime running Windows 8

The tablet has an 11.6-inch screen running Android on its Intel Atom processor. This makes the Trio one of the few Android tablets running on the Intel platform.

The magic of the Trio kicks in when the tablet is docked into the laptop dock. The dock has a second processor inside, and its a Haswell Core to boot. When docked the Haswell takes over, along with Windows 8, turning the Trio into a full Windows 8 laptop. The Transformer Book Trio has two Intel processors and two operating systems making it the best of all possible worlds.

Since the laptop dock has a Haswell processor inside it can be used as a desktop system when the tablet is detached. That's right, the Trio can be used as a modular system on the desktop while the tablet is used elsewhere. This makes the Trio the most versatile hybrid on either the Android or Windows 8 platforms. On both platforms to be accurate.

To round out the versatility of the Trio, users can switch between Android and Windows 8 at the press of a special "Trio" button on the keyboard dock. Both operating systems share the storage on the tablet.

The Transformer Book Trio is the most innovative hybrid we've seen on either Android or Windows 8. The ability to use it as an Android tablet and either a Windows 8 or Android laptop is a very unique approach from ASUS.

ASUS is not providing pricing and availability for the Transformer Book Trio yet. With the ability to use it as a tablet, laptop, and desktop it probably won't be cheap. Whatever it costs this writer can't wait to get his hands on one.

Update: ASUS has confirmed to ZDNet that pricing and availability for the Transformer Book Trio will be finalized in November. Looks like a late holiday launch for the Trio so we'll have to wait.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Laptops, Tablets, Windows 8

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.