What I want: ASUS Transformer Prime running Windows 8

Summary:Imagine a thin tablet running Windows 8 that plugs into a laptop dock to become a full notebook computer.

The CES is about to get underway in Las Vegas and we are sure to see a lot of Ultrabooks and tablets on display. There will no doubt be future products on display that will run Windows 8 in all its Metro interface glory. What I want to see more than anything is a hybrid Windows 8 tablet that pops into a laptop dock for double duty as a laptop. Think of an ASUS Transformer Prime running Windows 8.

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The ASUS Transformer Prime, which I am anxious to get my hands on, is a thin Android tablet that runs state-of-the-art tablet hardware. It is the best Android tablet on the market, and has the added distinction of plugging into a laptop dock for those times when a keyboard is needed. This turns the Transformer Prime into the most versatile tablet, and I can't help thinking how great that would be with Windows 8 onboard.

Imagine having a tablet running the Metro interface of Windows 8, capable of running new apps designed for touch operation. It would be awesome if that included pen input for those scenarios when it makes sense, although it isn't absolutely necessary. Even without the pen it would be a full Windows tablet as capable of those running other OSes.

Now imagine that tablet can be plugged into a laptop dock, gaining a full keyboard and trackpad for operation as a laptop. This would be able to handle not only the new apps designed for Metro, but the thousands of legacy Windows apps already out there. This would be the most capable laptop or tablet on the market, and running Windows.

The ASUS Transformer Prime gains the benefit of an extra 10 hours of battery life when plugged into the laptop dock as it has a second battery inside. This would be spectacular with Windows 8 onboard, as it would then become the longest running Windows laptop on the market for its size and weight.

The Android-running Transformer Prime retails for $500, $650 with the laptop dock. That is a solid price point for the Windows 8 version I want to see. I predict ASUS would sell as many of these as it could produce, in fact I believe this would quickly become the biggest-selling tablet that is not an iPad. I also believe it would be the top-selling laptop, for which it would also qualify. It would be a runaway best-selling hit of the year.

This is a product that could be made today, not sometime in the future like a lot of gadgets that will be shown at the CES. It is already a shipping product, with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor that is tailor-made for Windows 8 for ARM. It could be one of the first real products shipping with Windows 8, and the only one that can take full advantage of the new version of Windows. If the Microsoft team developing Windows 8 hasn't already gotten Windows 8 running on one of these, someone should be fired.

I can envision the TV ad for the Windows 8 Transformer Prime. A man sitting at his desk at home using it as a laptop, and his wife comes in and says "Maybe we should look at those tablets everyone is talking about. A tablet would sure be handy." Then he pops the screen off the laptop and hands it to her. Oh yes, they'd sell millions of these.

How about it? Would you be willing to try a Transformer Prime with laptop dock running Windows 8?

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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

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