Asus launches dual-screen Taichi 31 Ultrabook with tablet capabilities

Asus launches dual-screen Taichi 31 Ultrabook with tablet capabilities

Summary: The unique Windows 8 device has back-to-back 13.3-inch screens and works as a touch-enabled laptop with lid open, or as a tablet with lid closed.


Microsoft promised unique form factors with the launch of Windows 8, and the Asus Taichi lineup certainly qualifies. The company's take on the hybrid laptop is different than the competition's: instead of using a single screen that detaches or swivels in order to switch from notebook mode to tablet, the Taichi has a pair of displays placed back to back.

The 11.6-inch Taichi 21 was released several months ago — and ZDNet's own Ben Woods did some hands-on testing here — and now Asus has introduced a larger Taichi 31 Ultrabook with dual 13.3-inch screens. Each one comes with full 1080p resolution (1,920x1,080) with IPS technology, and the included stylus allows for note-taking and the like on the touch screens.

You'll be able to get the Taichi 31 with either an Intel Core i5-3317U, Core i7-3517U, or Core i7-3537U processor running either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. It includes 4GB of RAM and offers 128GB or 256GB solid state storage options. You also get an HD webcam, integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader. 

Asus is touting Taichi's ability to work as a laptop with the lid open and a tablet with the lid closed. It also points out that the second screen can be used as an external public-facing display in laptop mode, so you can show a presentation to clients on it without the need for a projector or other external monitor (and allows you to navigate through the presentation with the other screen facing you). 

In its official announcement, Asus neither listed a price nor availability details for the Taichi 31, though Taichi 21 models are well above the $1,000 threshold. Will its unique design be worth it? Or are you as skeptical as Ben Woods was after testing the Taichi 21? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

Topics: Tablets, Laptops, Windows 8

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  • Built in dual monitors

    My first thought on tthis is ...Battery life ?

    My second thought is the possibilities for gaming...Battl;eships anyone ? two players on each side of the screens
    • You sunk my bank fund ship

      Better play a TON of battleship or else that's one expensive digital board game.
  • Thinking outside the box

    Kudos to ASUS. This is the sort of outside-the-box thinking that Wintel needs to give the market the kick in the pants that will get people spending money again. Now, I'm not sure how much consumer appeal this particular device has, but I can definitely see something like this being useful for small group presentations in places where a projector just isn't an option.
  • I saw one ASUS Taichi 21 in physical form

    the 11.6" model. It is very nice and very useful, when you are into presentations a lot to small group of people. its owner let me play for few minutes (thanks to him). The only complain I have with that the Touch screen is not facing forward like Ben Wood thought. Otherwise it is really a good companion to take notes and present stuff to small group of people like 5 to 6.
    Ram U
  • niche product

    For the price and the weight/volume one can get a real ultrabook and a tablet and benefit from way more battery life combined. If both sync (as is the case with Apple devices), there is really no compelling reason to have it all in one very specialised device. Using separate devices allows for much more use scenarios.

    Would you prefer a swiss army knife or separate high quality tools?
    • Question

      "Would you prefer a swiss army knife or separate high quality tools?"

      Is this a trick question? Because the answer really depends on what I'm doing. If I'm going to be on the move and need extreme portability (i.e. a camping trip) then the Swiss Army knife's the tool I want. If I'm putting something together in my workshop then I'd want individual, specialized tools.
  • Weight and battery

    Are the processing chips Haswell or not? I would think that having these chips available makes putting out any new expensive computing device without using them totally counter productive. This form factor screams Haswell.
    • Nothing is Haswell yet

      Haswell chips don't come out until after mid-year. They will improve battery life significantly. I'm not sure though that they will otherwise have a big impact on this kind of device. They will have more of an impact on pure tablets, where they can cut their weight and thickness while retaining Core i5 levels of performance.
  • Are the screens synced?

    I don't want to be watching pr0n on this thing if my old lady's gonna be able to see it on the back side of the lid...
    • Synced

      I can tell you from experience that they are fully synced. I had the privilege of playing with one at PAX East at the asus booth. The overall usefulness of the screen on the lid is still out for debate. The only thought that I had when seeing the new ultrabook/tablet was that now there is more worry about. Dell has an ultrabook out that has a flip around screen, though still feels flimsy doesn't worry me like asus's dual screen does. If I scratch the lid on the dell I really won't sweat it much. But a touch screen monitor on the lid at all times will make most sweat a scratch. All in all the asus is really nice in concept I think that I might purchase one, as I am an avid fan of their products.
      • Can be dual

        I believe you can use the dual screens as a dual monitor configuration, as mentioned in the article where you could have a PowerPoint slide show on the "outward" monitor and presenter's view on the "inward" monitor.
      • Lid screen

        The screen of the lid is made of gorilla glass.. good luck scratching that on accident
        Jordon Pelletier
  • What's the point?

    I have an 18" notebook and 7" tablet, and their combined cost was under $1000. Why pay more for one device which is going to be a combination of a too-heavy/large tablet and a too-small notebook.
  • wow!

    thats pretty much cool....ive also watched its overview on Euro News
  • euro news

    euro news is shown on www . ghanalive . tv