The Good The Asus Transformer AIO delivers a fast Windows 8 all-in-one, a giant Android tablet, and an effective platform for using them in tandem.
The Bad Remote desktop technology makes using Windows 8 in tablet mode unreliable, and you might prefer to wait to buy until later this year when the category has matured.
The Bottom Line You'd be smart to wait and see how the market develops, but Asus has used the freedom of the still-forming all-in-one/tablet hybrid category to create a compelling Windows 8/Android device in the Transformer AIO.
The all-in-one/tablet hybrid that's hard not to like
The Transformer AIO, like the Sony Tap 20, shows an effort to offer consumers an intriguing new blend of all-in-one desktop and semiportable tablet. Rather than following Sony's approach of relying on Windows 8's new touch-friendly interface to achieve that mix with a single, seamless piece of hardware, the Transformer AIO essentially gives you two computing devices. One is an Intel Core i5 CPU-equipped base unit that behaves like a standard Windows 8 all-in-one with an 18.4-inch display. Lift the display out of its cradle and the screen switches over to its built-in Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, becoming a giant, 5.6-pound Android tablet.
The design Asus has devised for the Transformer AIO offers a few advantages. The tablet portion weighs half as much as the Vaio Tap 20, making it easier to move from room to room. With two CPUs, the Transformer can also run Windows 8 and Android concurrently, making some clever multiuser scenarios possible once you connect an external monitor to the base station. Android also provides access to a larger library of touch-designed applications than you would have if the Transformer ran Windows 8 exclusively.
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