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Asus Taichi is a laptop/tablet with a screen on the lid

The Asus Taichi is a laptop that doubles as a tablet, thanks to the screen on the lid.

Is it a laptop, or is it a tablet? Actually the Asus Taichi is both. When open it works just like a laptop, with a full backlit Qwerty keyboard and trackpad, but close it and it doubles as a tablet, thanks to the screen on the lid.

It's an interesting twist on the tablet-cum-laptop idea, eschewing the detachable keyboard feature usually found on such devices -- though Asus has some new models of those too.

The second screen isn't just a token effort either. It's the same 11.6-inch IPS panel as the laptop display, so there's been no scrimping going on. To activate the second screen, just close the lid, press the Windows button, and you're off in tablet mode. It'll support a stylus too, so you can get sketching works of arts, or just doodling clouds if you like.

You can even use both screens at once, so you and a friend can work or play at the same time. With a person using a screen on either side, it'll be like a digital version of Battleships.

It runs Windows 8 in both modes, which will give us an insight into how the OS works across both tablets and laptops.

Inside are Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processors, 4GB RAM, and SSD storage. It'll come in the aforementioned 11.6-inch size, but a 13.3-incher will also be available.

With all this extra functionality, it's pleasantly surprising and definitely impressive to see that the Taichi will be as slim and light as the Zenbook range.

If you prefer the detachable keyboard, meanwhile, Asus has also announced the Transformer Books range, which will double as a tablet by being freed from its Qwerty. Basically, it's a Windows 8 version of the Transformer Prime. It'll come in 11.6-, 13- and 14-inch varieties, with 4GB RAM, and Intel Core i7 processors.

Confusingly, Asus also announced the Asus Tablet 600, which is a laptop-cum-tablet with detachable Qwerty that runs Windows RT, meaning it can run Windows 8. The Tablet 600 features a 10.1-inch 1,366x768-pixel touchscreen, as well as a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and a more meaty 8-megapixel snapper on the back.

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