Asus' latest experiment packs a bunch of sex appeal, grafting a Windows slate onto the lid of a normal laptop. But will it sell?
The Taichi presents a different take on the now expected "pull the screen out of a laptop to turn it into a tablet" trick. When you close the lid, a screen under the glass lights up, presenting a full HD, (In-Plane Switching) IPS touchscreen. The form factor is impressively narrow, although we weren't able to ascertain how much it weighs or whether it's comfortable to use in this mode.
We suspect Windows is treating the second screen as it would a second monitor, with some extra Asus software thrown into the mix, as we saw both screens run simultaneously as well. Mirroring your display on the back could have fascinating applications — an easy way to broadcast your screen to the world.
Paired with a third generation Intel Core processor and dual-band Wi-Fi, we can't see this being cheap, and running both screens at once will absolutely be a significant drain on the battery. But the most important question is — would you buy one?
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The back of the lid looks to be all glass and works as a touchscreen Windows slate. Asus hasn't cheaped out either, it's a 1080p IPS screen.
It can also be used as a normal laptop. The laptop screen also has a 1080p IPS panel — this surely can't be cheap.
It's not limited to Metro; you can run the normal Windows desktop there, as well. We're unsure of the exact relationship between the screens — the press release mentions that closing the lid turns it into tablet mode, but we saw both screens operating simultaneously. We suspect that Windows will treat it as a normal, multi-monitor system.
The most dangerous things are locked away. Here, you can see the backlit keyboard, and how consistent Asus' design language has become. The roots of almost all of its newly announced products can be found in the original Asus Transformer.
Ports are pretty standard for an ultrabook — in fact, it seems to be equipped exactly like the ZenBooks, with two USB ports, an SD card reader and breakout video jack.
Another angle. Beating inside is a third generation Intel Core processor and dual-band Wi-Fi. On other details, Asus is staying mum.
The projector could end up being rendered pointless in many meetings. We can think of a few novel uses for being able to show the world what you're doing, easily.
The Asus Taichi will be available in 11.6- and 13-inch form factors. Given the complete lack of other details, we're going to assume it'll be launched in line with the Windows 8 release.