The fast-growing Asus was one of the most aggressive PC companies at Computex this year. Asus announced Windows 8 PCs of all shape and sizes, including multiple convertibles and a dual-display model. The company also announced the first Windows RT device and the first laptop with 802.11ac wireless.
The Asus Taichi is one of the most novel Windows 8 convertibles at Computex with a double-sided IPS display. When the lid is open, it is a clamshell laptop; with the lid closed, you can use it as a tablet. Since the displays can also be used simultaneously, it opens up other interesting possibilities (Chairman Jonney Shih called it the "ultimate multi-tasker" at one event). Despite these dual displays, Asus claims Taichi is as thin and lightweight as its Zenbook laptops. Asus plans to offer versions of Taichi with 11.6- and 13.3-inch displays, and both will have Intel 3rd generation Core processors and solid-state drives.
The Asus Tablet 600 is the only commercial Windows RT devices at the show. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments were also demonstrating Windows RT tablets, and Toshiba confirmed it will have two models based on TI's OMAP 4470 processor, but the ones at the show were prototypes. The Tablet 600 will have a 10.1-inch IPS display, Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage. The included dock converts the Tablet 600 into a clamshell ultraportable with a keyboard and trackpad, additional USB ports and a second battery.
The Tablet 810 is a full Windows 8 tablet with an 11.6-inch IPS display. The 10-point multi-touch display also works with stylus input. It is based on an Intel Atom processor and has 2GB of memory and 64GB of storage. Like the Tablet 600, the Tablet 810 has a dock with a keyboard and trackpad, additional USB ports and a second battery. The Transformer Book is also a line of Windows 8 convertibles with detachable displays, but with Intel's 3rd generation Core processors, discrete graphics, and both hard drives and solid-state drives. It will be available with an 11.6-, 13- or 14-inch Full HD IPS display.
Give Asus credit for trying what is surely one of the largest tablets around. The Transformer AiO has an 18.4-inch 10-point touchscreen display that can be used either as a Windows 8 all-in-one PC with the included dock or as one very large tablet. In the tablet mode, it functions as a wireless remote display for the Tranformer AiO base running Windows 8. In other words, it only works within range of the base within a home. But the display can also run Android 4.0 on its own. The drawback to this hybrid approach is the cost and complexity of what is, in effect, two devices with two processors, two sets of storage, two operating systems and so on. But as other shave pointed out, a hybrid like this running Windows 8 and Window RT could make a lot of sense because both environments would use the same Metro apps and services.
Several companies announced 802.11ac, or 5G WiFi, products at Computex this week. But Asus is apparently the first to announce a laptop that will support the standard, which won't be finalized until sometime in 2013. The 5G WiFi-equipped ROG G75VW is a gaming notebook with Intel 3rd generation Core processors, up to 16GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce discrete graphics and dual hard drives. Asus also announced the RT-AC66U dual-band wireless router. Both products are based on Broadcom's 802.11ac chips.