Asus Transformer Book Trio is tablet, laptop and desktop rolled into one

The combo device runs Android as a tablet, Windows as a desktop and a choice of the two in laptop mode

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih at Computex Monday

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih at Computex Monday

The company that brought us the PadFone, an all-in-one smartphone, tablet and laptop device, is thinking a bit bigger. Taiwan's Asustek Computer has now combined a tablet, smartphone and desktop PC into a single product that it calls the Transformer Book Trio.

Asus Chairman Jonney Shih introduced the product during Asus's news conference at the Computex Trade show in Taipei on Monday. "Ladies and gentleman," said Shih, who loves to put on a show for the Computex press corps, "I present the Transformer Book Trio, the world's first three-in-one notebook, tablet and desktop PC."

The Trio is an 11.6-inch Android tablet, with a 2GHz Intel Atom 2580 processor. Snap it into a keyboard and it becomes a laptop that can run both Android and Windows 8. Remove the tablet display, and the keyboard -- which has its own hard drive and Core i7 processor -- can be connected to a wireless monitor and used as a desktop PC.

The tablet and keyboard each have their own battery, CPU and operating system, so while using the keyboard as a PC, "you can give the tablet to your kids to go play with independently," Shih said.

The tablet has a 16:9 aspect ratio IPS display with 1920x1080 resolution and up to 64GB of storage, Shih said. Connected to the keyboard "dock station," which has its own 750GB hard drive, the device can "smoothly transition" between Android and Windows, he said.

"You can access 700,000 apps in the Google Play store and over 50,000 apps in the Windows store, and they all run natively on the device," Shih said. He didn't give a price or a shipping date, but most of the products unveiled at Computex are on sale in time for the end of year holiday season.

It's not clear how much demand there will be for the all-in-one product, but Asus is doing more than most companies to innovate around the PC and help it compete with tablets and smartphones, which many people are turning to for their computing.

At last year's Computex, Asus introduced the PadFone, an Android smartphone that can dock into the back of a 10.1-inch tablet PC, giving it up to 64 hours of extended battery life. The whole device can then be docked onto a keyboard to form a laptop-like contraption.

The Transformer Book Trio was one of a half dozen products Asus announced at Computex Monday. It also launched a 6-inch phablet called the Fonepad Note FHD6, and a 7-inch tablet called the Memo Pad FHD7 that will be priced at $149 in developed countries and $129 in emerging markets.

Shih is one of the more entertaining executives at Computex and enjoys playing the impresario and putting on a show. Each time he introduces a product, he takes time to walk across the stage, posing for photographs and saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

"We try to see the world the way da Vinci saw it," he said at one point Monday, flashing a sketch of the 15th Century artist and inventor on the big screen behind him.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Tags computexWindows desktopsdesktop pcshardware systemstabletsAsustek ComputerAndroid tablets

Recommended

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?