We’ve had our fair share of “bombs” dropped upon us in Vegas during the opening days of CES 2013, but I’m sure there’s room for at least one more. Enter the stage the Asus Transformer AiO, the Frankenstein-esque creature that is part Windows-based all-in-one PC and part humongous Android-powered tablet.
The AiO was first unveiled back in June 2012 at Computex, but ever since then Asus kept completely silent on the hybrid’s existence. Heck, we even started to think we’ve been subjects of a mass fantasy or some kind of delusion.
Not anymore though, because the AiO has just got its second official intro, being shown off at CES to an unsuspecting crowd of tech-savvy journalists. Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to grab any one-on-one time with the “creature” just yet, but hopefully we’ll be bringing you another hands-on preview before the end of the trade show on Friday.
Until then, we’re glad to report that Asus has upgraded the version of Android on the hybrid from 4.0 ICS to 4.1 Jelly Bean. Windows 8 is still there to give people an alternative for when using the gadget as a PC, while the first hardware details revealed include a 3rd generation Intel Core processor and an NVIDIA Tegra quad-core CPU.
We can of course dream to see the brand spanking new Tegra 4 platform powering the Transformer AiO, but we think a more realistic assumption would be Nvidia has packed this bad boy with one of its “old” Tegra 3 SoCs.
The 18.4-inch display has also been detailed as being a Full HD, LED-backlit IPS panel with a 10-point touch interface, while everything else regarding specs and features is still a complete mystery.
Pricing and availability info is also foggy, while on the exterior the all-in-one PC/tablet looks exactly as it did last year. Neither the actual tablet, nor the Windows 8 docking station don’t appear to have suffered any aesthetic changes and the working principle is the same as well – the tab can be hooked to the “versatile” dock “with height and tilt adjustments”, and switching between Android and Win 8 is done seamlessly at the push of a button.
One other thing we knew from Computex 2012 was that the tablet weighed in at around 4.8 pounds, while everything else will probably be brought to light at a third official unveiling of the Asus Transformer AiO (maybe at MWC?). Meanwhile, we’re very curious to find out what you think about the hybrid – is it a monstrosity doomed for failure or another major Asus innovation that, priced correctly, could set sales records?
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If Asus could pack some Wacom stylus technology (the sort we’ve seen in Samsung’s Galaxy Note series) into this, I could see it going down really well with art students. For example, they could take the tablet out-and-about as a massive sketch-pad, and then dock it for more power-intensive applications, such as Photoshop. However, due to the size of the tablet, I can only see those in the creative industries being interested in such a device, as only they would have a need for such a large screen.
With innovations like Ubuntu for Android you don’t need this.
Anyway, I’ve been following this CES 2013 and I’ve noticed that, despite the push of android to another form factors, the lack of new Android Tablets. I think that major OEM’s do not want to compete in the Android tablet market anymore and are pushing Windows 8 with convertible tablets. Android has only the Asus Transformer line on that front, and the industry is pushing that way because they see there’s more value and margin on that front as a PC replacement. Google should put their act together and do something (partner with Canonical to integrate Ubuntu on Android). This would have the same shortcomings that windows 8 has, of having 2 separate enviroments. But it’s Microsoft the real threat to Google and not Apple (Steve Ballmer is really obsesed trying to destroy Google) and I believe that there’s more revenue to be made from tablets than from phones (and these lack the screen real state for ads)
You don’t need a pc/tablet because of ubuntu for android?