Asus Transformer AiO Windows 8 tablet/desktop hybrid launching in second quarter

Asus Transformer AiO Windows 8 tablet/desktop hybrid launching in second quarter

Summary: Starting at $1,299, the device features an 18.4-inch touchscreen and can serve as either a giant tablet or a desktop PC when docked.

TOPICS: Tablets, PCs, Windows 8

Microsoft promised new form factors with the launch of Windows 8, and it looks like Asus is about to deliver one in the form of the much-rumored Transformer AiO

Unlike the Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptops that are starting to appear, the Transformer AiO is part of a new class of hybrid desktop (or "table PC"), like the Lenovo Horizon and Sony Tap 20. Unlike those models, the new Asus actually has a solid release date of the early second quarter.

The Transformer AiO takes the form of a massive 18.4-inch touchscreen with 1,920x1,080 resolution that can work either as a tablet or, when attached to its base station, as a desktop. As a slate, it uses a Tegra 3 processor with 32GB of internal storage. You can even switch from Windows 8 to Android for its full lineup of apps. If you want to stay in Windows 8 mode, the display essentially serves as a remote desktop wirelessly connected via the base station.

When docked, the Transformer AiO becomes a traditional Windows 8 desktop (albeit one with a touchscreen), using Intel Core processors, a traditional hard drive, and a Nvidia GeForce GT 730M mobile graphics card. As giant a screen as it is for a tablet, the 18.4-inch monitor isn't so massive for desktop use, but it's a compromise you'd presumably make if you want the hybrid features of the device.

The Transformer AiO will start at $1,299 when it starts shipping early in the second quarter, which isn't exactly the type of mainstream pricing that will move the big units that Microsoft envisions. However, this may be the start of a trend that transforms desktop computing, with pricing eventually easing as the concept catches on. (Then again, even Asus itself says that Windows 8 sales haven't lifted off yet.)

Do you have an interest in buying the Transformer AiO? Do you think it's the model for a new wave of desktop computing, or that it will be a dead end? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section below.

[Via Engadget]

Topics: Tablets, PCs, Windows 8

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


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Why Android?

    Why switch to Android when you unplug? Why not use a laptop or tablet Intel processor and you can unplug and continue working?

    It works well enough with my Samsung ATIV tablet. I unplug it from the dock and I just continue working, plus inking notes in a meeting, then plug it back into the dock and write up the notes on a second screen using a physical keyboard...

    I think the change between Windows and Android will be too alien for many people. They'll unplug and suddenly their desktop disappears, replaced by something looking totally different...

    The remote desktop mode sounds more promising, if it doesn't lag too much, but you have a very limited range... That said, also no word on battery life. Good effort, but I don't seeing it taking off in the mass market.
    • Asus should have made this a giant Transformer

      I think Asus should have made this essentially as a giant Transformer, 18 inch all-in-one / tablet, which docked into a desktop stand by default. Users could then tear the unit out of its stand, and carry it around like the Sony Tap 20. (The above design would not give users as jarring a user experience as they would get switching from Windows 8 to Android.)
      P. Douglas
      • I agree - Keep in all Win8

        I agree, while the concept of switching from Andriod to Win8 and vise versa sounds innovative, the applications are so different that unless you only browse with it, and if so why not get a Chrome, you will be hampered in Android from using your desktop apps. I don't care for that at all. With the mediocre 4 hour batter life, there appears to be no benefit powerwise switching to Android either. Keep it all Win8 IMHO.
  • Weight?

    What's the weight of the undocked tablet?
    • weight is about 5 lbs

      It is a big tablet at 5lbs.
  • Just thinking...

    ...but it appears to me that all of these manufacturers are going to ultimately force us all to use a design which virtually prohibits us from having our own functional design, i.e., most if not all of our computing will be done locally but all of our storage, our precious data, will have to be in the cloud.

    Now for the corporate environment I remember thinking that it would make a lot of sense, for essentially it was what I was doing with designing and installing LANs in the first place, or even when the LANs went to MANs and then WANs, still we're not talking about cloud type status for the infrastructure of your data.

    My point is that soon, most of our real processing will be done at the Cloud level too, however one assumes a tremendous upgrade in network infrastructure.

    Of course there's the argument that Google already has all of our data, or can extrapolate what they don't actually know, but being old school (I was thinking about Clouds in the late 80s/early 90s). But hey, maybe we won't ever have to actually evolve telepathy, for if we integrate our computers with our brains, and all the data is there, we'll have instance communications between any two individuals no matter what world they live on.

    Essentially we will devolve physiologically into monkeys, by then unable to repair what we have built. Oh yeah, we've already done that, haven't we?
  • I like the idea

    I'm not seeing huge sales of such device, but looks nice.
    I doubt about the price though, seems cheap, giving that from the description this is a desktop pc plus a tablet with a full HD giant screen.
    If the base station is running windows8, why not let the tablet be always on android with the possibility of using a remote desktop app - simpler.
  • My clients are going to all-in-ones...

    I think this is the more viable option though. However, they are picking Windows 8 and 27" screens! I think I'd want a handle on that, but I suppose a bag would work - more protection that way. I assume this thing will come with a complete docking kit, and keyboard/mouse etc.?

    With the new attacks on Android, I'd rather have the battle tested x64 Windows OS. Windows 8 may not have suffered the slings and arrows yet, but the new security features are locking the operating system/browser down even more. It is getting to where you can just about operate with little or no anti-virus/malware now - as long as you do no banking that is.