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Asus reveals Windows and Android powered convertible, the Transformer Book Duet

Users can switch between Windows and Android in either laptop or tablet mode
Wed Jan 08 2014, 09:25

TAIWANESE HARDWARE FIRM Asus is showing off a raft of mobile computer hardware in the party city of Las Vegas, giving users a fresh lineup of gadgets to look over.

Perhaps the most notable device out of the bunch is the Intel Core i7 powered Transformer Book Duet TD300, a dual OS laptop and tablet convertible that allows users to switch between Windows and Android in either laptop or tablet modes.

The device sounds a little similar to Asus' Transformer Book Trio, a device announced at Computex 2013 that didn't really take off by the time it reached the UK later last year.

Asus Transformer Book Duet side view

In true Asus style, the laptop maker claims that this piece of kit is the "world's first quad-mode convertible device", which apparently means it can flip between tablet and laptop, on either Windows 8.1 or Android 4.1 operating systems (OS) in just four seconds. This can be done "with just a single push of the Instant Switch button or a virtual key on the tablet", Asus said.

The firm also claims that the Transformer Book Duet runs up to twice as fast as existing tablets that are based on ARM processors due to its configuration of an Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel HD graphics and 4G of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM. Asus has yet to confirm whether this chip is a fourth generation Haswell processor.

The switch between operating systems is quoted at four seconds, which Asus said can be this fast due to its patented Instant Switch technology, that also has the ability to resume each OS from where the user left off.

"As it does not use OS virtualisation, Instant Switch also allows each OS to harness the full power of the Intel processor," Asus explained.

Asus Transformer Book Duet front view

The Transformer Book Duet TD300's Full HD IPS touchscreen display measures 13.3in, boasting 1920x1080 resolution.

The tablet has a 128GB SSD drive that can be supplemented by a 64GB microSD card, while the keyboard dock houses a 1TB hard disk drive, so there's plenty of space to save cat memes and Vine compilations.

The dock is also home to a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 port, a LAN port, and an HDMI 1.4 output with HD 1080p support. It supports 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity.

The tablet portion of the Transformer Book Duet measures 342x216x12.9mm, while the dock measures 341x217x16mm. Together, they weigh 1.9kg, making it portable enough for carrying around on the go.

Asus has also announced a smaller version of its less popular Padfone device, the Padfone Mini.

Sporting a 4in display with a rather disappointing 800x480 resolution, the smartphone portion of the Padfone transforms into a 7in tablet via a connector in the back of the tablet's display. Similar to the original Padfone, the smartphone's display is transferred onto the tablet's 1280x800 resolution screen once connected in order to save the hassle of having to carry two permanently separate devices.

Asus Padfone Mini front view and back view

Powered by an Intel Atom Z2560 processor, the Padfone Mini has 8GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot that enables storage to be upgraded by up to 64GB. Its combined weight is a rather light 376g.

As you'd expect from Asus, which usually releases products a few months after announcing them, there's no UK pricing or availability yet for either the Book Duet and the Padfone Mini, so you're probably in for a wait if you're already keen on owning one. µ


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