Asus Transformer Book Trio combines Android tablet with Windows notebook and desktop
Dual operating systems let you switch the Transformer Book Trio between tablet, notebook and desktop instantly
Asus has launched the Transformer Book Trio, a hybrid device that can switch between an Android-powered tablet, Windows 8 notebook and powerful desktop PC thanks to twin Intel processors.
Taking to the stage at his company's Computex press conference, chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated the device, which uses an Intel 4th Generation Core i7-4500U processor in Windows mode and a 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580 when running Android - a setup which Asus claims lets you switch between operating systems almost instantly. A physical hotkey performs the switch, but it will only work when the tablet is latched into the keyboard dock - by itself, the tablet will only run Android.
The other benefit of twin processors is battery life - when in Android tablet mode, the Transformer Book Trio should be able to last 15 hours on a single charge when used with the battery dock.
You also get the benefits of extra storage when using the dock - there's a 1TB hard disk below the keyboard, which is massively more capacious than the 64GB of internal memory inside the tablet.
The switch lock mechanism used to secure tablet to dock should feel familiar to anyone that's ever used a Transformer product, and should keep both devices securely fastened in place when on the move. It folds shut like a laptop, with the unmistakeable Asus concentric circle design emblazoned over the back of the tablet.
The 11.6in Full HD display uses an IPS panel, which creates fantastic viewing angles and bright, vivid colours. The 1,920x1,080 resolution made the Windows desktop look pin-sharp from behind the glass cage Asus had imprisoned the device in, although naturally we'll withhold judgement until we've actually used it.
Journalists couldn't be trusted with the Transformer Book Trio, which was entrusted to these models instead
It wasn't available for photos on the show floor, but the PC Station will let you connect the tablet to an external monitor, so you can work like you would on any PC. Asus Chairman Shih mentioned being able to continue working on the desktop but pass the tablet on to your child - quite how this works remains to be seen, and hopefully we'll learn more when the show floor opens tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly, Asus has yet to confirm a price or availability for the Transformer Book Trio - like many of its flagship product announcements at Computex in years past, we won't hold our breath to see this much before Christmas, if in 2013 at all.