Asus is certainly no stranger to the quirkier side of the tech industry, and today the company looked to carry on this reputation by formally introducing the Transformer AiO. The all-in-one device – hence the name “AiO” – was first showcased at Computex last summer, but Asus is just now taking the wraps off for good.
As its name suggests, the Transformer AiO is a hybrid device that can be used as a desktop PC as well as a fairly enormous tablet. Plugging the Transformer into its accompanying PC Station dock turns the machine into a full Windows 8 all-in-one PC – complete with an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, a dedicated 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 730M graphics card, up to 2TB of storage, an HDMI out port, a USB 2.0 port and four USB 3.0 ports, dual-band Wi-Fi, a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, and up to 8GB of RAM. Naturally, as a Windows 8 device, the AiO’s 18.4-inch, 1080p IPS display also has 10-point multi-touch capabilities.
When the Transformer AiO is taken out of its dock, though, is when its quirkiness starts to kick in. Then it becomes a 5-pound tablet – one that runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is powered by its own Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Asus says that the AiO gets about 5 hours of battery life when in tablet mode. The company notes that the device utilizes remote desktop tech to let users control Windows 8 away from the PC Station dock, but on its own the AiO is running a completely separate OS.
That likely means that there’ll be some disconnect between the device’s two separate modes, since traditional Windows desktop apps won’t be compatible with the Android tablet. On the other hand, those that rely on cloud-based apps for productivity, entertainment and the like shouldn’t be too out of step.
Either way, the Transformer AiO looks to be a pretty unique machine. Whether or not that’s a good thing will have to wait until TG gets its hands on it, but fortunately Asus has announced that the Transformer AiO will go on sale in North America sometime this spring. It’ll start at $1299, which will give users the basic Core i3/4GB RAM/1TB storage PC and Tegra 3/2GB RAM/32GB storage tablet configuration.