Asus launches dual-screen Taichi 31 Ultrabook with tablet capabilities

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.