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.
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.