You know those television sets with DVD players built in? Well, there's a new twist on the combo concept in the computing world -- and Asus is pushing it forward.
The new Transformer AiO by Asus is an all-in-one PC that transforms into a tablet. The Windows 8 PC has a detachable touchscreen display that can be used as a tablet remotely running Windows 8 via Wi-Fi, or as a standalone Android tablet powered by its own processor.
The Asus Transformer AiO is made up of a desktop PC station with a third-generation Intel Core desktop processor for fast Windows 8 performance -- and a detachable 18.4-inch display with its own Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor for Android.
With its own processor, consumers can detach the self-contained display and use it as a table that runs Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean. The idea behind the Asus Transformer AiO is to give users the mobile flexibility of a tablet with the performance of a powerful desktop PC in a single, compact design.
Parsing the PC
Designed for desktop use, the PC station uses Nvidia GeForce GT 730M graphics and features several ports, including USB 3.0. The desktop machine has an 18.4-inch LED-backlit display with 1080p full HD resolution. It also sports 10-point multi-touch and features IPS technology for a bright image with 178-degree-wide viewing angles for easy shared enjoyment.
Asus Transformer AiO features dual-band Wi-Fi for high-performance wireless networking with compatible routers. With 5 GHz Wi-Fi, the all-in-one PC promises to reduce interference from nearby 2.4 GHz networks in crowded Wi-Fi areas.
"The machine's schizophrenic personality is what grabs your attention, of course, and give Asus credit for coming out with a computer that provides consumers with choices," wrote Edward Baig, a personal tech columnist for USA Today. "You still can't help but wonder if this is one of those because-we-can products, rather than a machine that will prove to be all that practical for most folks, especially when you factor in how much of your computing experiences overlap."
Tapping the Tablet
When detached from the PC station, Asus Transformer AiO's display can be used as two different types of king-size tablet. For example, wireless remote desktop technology with dual-band Wi-Fi offers multi-touch control over Windows 8 on the PC station so you can access popular productivity and entertainment software around the home.
You can also use the 18.4-inch display as a hefty (5 pounds-plus) standalone tablet with Android 4.1. The Transformer AiO switches between operating systems by pressing a button and has up to five hours' battery life. The display also comes equipped with a carrying handle and a folding stand
"There was a time when no one could imagine an Intel-based Mac or Windows and Apple's OS X operating system running on the same computer," Baig wrote. "So I suppose we shouldn't be shocked by a Windows-Android coupling. In the end you appreciate the flexibility that Asus is providing. But this is not a computer and/or tablet for everybody."