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Asus' dual-screen Project Precog laptop is an AI vision of the future

Asus knows the future before you do: This is the laptop you're going to want.

asusprojectprecog-actual

Asus' concept Project Precog is real and here's what it looks like.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Damn. Asus is loving the multi-screen laptops this year. 

Fresh after announcing its new ZenBook Pro lineup -- the laptop that comes complete with 5.5-inch full-HD touchpad, because one screen is so passé -- Asus took to the stage at Computex in Taipei on Wednesday to unveil its vision of the future: the Precog dual-screen laptop.

That's right, where we're going we don't need "keyboards."

"We plan to make it real, not vaporware," said Marcel Campos, Asus global PC and phone marketing senior director, before he announced the concept laptop will be available in 2019.

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Asus wants this laptop to be an AI-powered force for good. What does that mean? Two screens that can predict how you'll want to use your laptop. It knows if there's a mouse or keyboard around, and will supply you with virtual ones if they're not. It can even preempt where your fingers are over the laptop, and shift its virtual keyboard around accordingly. 

And of course, it'll have face and voice recognition. 

Plus, it's optimised to work in normal laptop mode, book mode, tent mode and flat mode. It'll also be compatible with a stylus, for the creatives out there. And for the business types, the Precog will learn to anticipate when your meetings are and then conserve battery appropriately, to make sure you don't run out of juice.

Basically, this laptop is really smart.

Key specs

  • Dual-screen laptop 
  • Foldable into stand mode, book mode, tent mode and flat mode
  • Adaptive input -- recognises when keyboard input is removed and turns second screen into touchscreen keyboard
  • Predicts where fingers are to adapt keyboard to correct position
  • Detects stylus proximity to switch to drawing mode

If AI is on your 2018 buzzword bingo card, Computex was the place to be this week. Nvidia was busy talking about its GPUs powering the AI robots of the future, Qualcomm was talking about AI-enabled chips and Computex itself said "ubiquitous" artificial intelligence was one of the big trends of this year's show. 

If the Precog name gives you that warm fuzzy sci-fi feeling of the future, you're not mistaken. In the 2002 sci-fi film aka Tom Cruise brooding vehicle Minority Report, Precogs were the gifted other-worldly beings capable of seeing the future. 

While it remains to be seen just how expensive this Precog vision will be (and exactly when we'll get it), it's an exciting concept and we're keen to cover that baby in fingerprints.

This article has been updated. It was originally published on June 4, 2018.

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Project Precog isn't very thick -- it's as slim as most laptops.

Aloysius Low/CNET

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