Asus Transformer Book Trio ad: Windows is for work, Android for play

by: Bogdan PetrovanNovember 7, 2013

The Transformer Book Trio is a curious device, even for Asus’ standards.

Its Trio moniker comes from its ability to function as a regular laptop, a tablet, or, by connecting a monitor via the micro-HDMI port, even as a desktop PC. First announced at Computex in early summer, the device combines Windows 8 with Android in a unique way – when the tablet is docked to the “keyboard”, Windows is in charge and the device runs from the Intel Core processor inside, aided by 4GB of RAM. When you detach the tablet from the keyboard, Android takes over, running on a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor, with 2GB of RAM. Essentially, the Trio is two distinct devices fused into one, running two very different operating systems.

Asus highlights the dual nature of the Transformer Book Trio in the commercial above, which assigns the productivity role to Microsoft’s operating system, and the entertainment side to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Of course, there’s no reason it can’t be the other way, but will give Asus a pass this time.

Now, tell us Asus, what happened to that new Nexus 10?

  • Jaiy

    Good idea, but is there any way to use Windows without keyboard or Android with keyboard? Hopefully yes, if not, that’s a big minus in my eyes.

    • Aniruddh

      Probably not. The keyboard dock contains the Windows hardware so you might be able to use Android with the keyboard but not Windows without the keyboard.

      • Zack Stewart

        I have no idea if this will be the same, but the AIO that Asus made earlier this year had Splashtop integrated into the dual boot button so if you have the tablet portion separated from the PC base, the windows boot actually kicks you into a remote desktop session where you can control the windows base from the android tablet…. we will see if they mimic this on the trio, but even if not the same result can be reached with third part apps I bet…

    • GT-Water-Snake

      The Android OS is installed on the Tablet portion, and the Windows OS is installed on the keyboard portion. Therefore, you can use the Android when the two are together in laptop mode (and with a single push of a button, can almost instantaneously switch back and forth between the OS’s), and of course you can use it on the tablet. However, because the Windows OS is only installed on the keyboard portion, it can be used as a laptop, or if it is connected to an external monitor, but you cannot use it on the tablet.

      • mikeh

        Hi, do you reckon you could use splashtop or team viewer to use windows as a tablet?

  • David Alexander Harrison

    Wonder if there’s a hack where one could run Windows in a dual-processor configuration on the Core and the Atom simultaneously… Somehow being able to use all 6GB of RAM would also be handy…

    • MadCowOnAStick

      …and what if your computer explodes? :D

  • RanRu

    Was there anything wrong with a conventional dual boot? This seems needlessly complicated.

    • MrMagoo

      I think it just comes down to 1( how quickly you can switch between the two. 2( Although there have been plenty of x86 ports… they just don’t run as smooth as in an ARM or SoC based (Intel Atom) style processors. You would think in a proprietary system like this ASUS, they could develop something that would work smoothly on x86 cause there should be a substantial increase in performance.

      • GT-Water-Snake

        You can almost instantaneously switch back and forth between the OS’s with the push of a dedicated button on the keyboard. Look up some of the other demo videos online. It is incredible.

        • MrMagoo

          Oh I understand that. I’m commenting on RanRu’s comment. A dual boot on the same hardware would not be anywhere near as smooth. A total reboot would be necessary.

    • amyinnh

      For a software developer, yes, dual boot is highly inconvenient, and now a needless complication, thanks for ASUS.

  • Jaime

    I love this thing. It’s awesome.

  • lollicup04

    Why is Asus able to make this if Samsung isn’t allowed to make the Samsung Ativ Q? Whats the difference besides lower specs?

    • D-Shap

      It’s not that samsung isn’t allowed to make their Ativ Q, they just tried to get the operating systems to work together at the same time and couldn’t do it

  • blanco112

    The price kills it for me. I know it’s essentially two devices, but if I were dropping $1500, I would get a laptop with the specs I wanted for $1000-1100 and a tablet with the specs I wanted for $400-500 and upgrade each one as needed.

  • Tanner Hoyt

    Windows is for work? I wonder where I’ve heard that before.

  • Hugo Oskarsson

    What the fuk?

  • gdcox

    They appear to have done a great job in terms of finding the sweet spot between windows machine and tablet.

    As a non-techie, they seem to have eliminated or reduced to less than serious all the problems of other convertibles which all seem to involve serious trade offs. Comments on the latter comment please?

    Anyway the new machine has saved me from buying the Yoga and being forced to accept serious memory limitations.

    As for using Windows ‘on’ the tablet alone, could not the tablet use Team Viewer
    1) When the Trio is together or
    2) When lounging on the sofa, with Windows 8 and Office upstairs with a monitor, or remotely, or is there something that cannot be done via that route. Is the issue for (2) that the Windows machine will go into hibernation if not used and can’t be woken up remotely.

  • Chief

    When is this coming to USA?