Asus Transformer AIO: Android Windows Hybrid on a Desktop Tablet

Asus just loves their Transformer devices. A laptop that turns into a tablet? Amazing. But right now, the tablet-laptop hybrid is everywhere and it looks like the Microsoft Surface wins the “who’s best in this category” competition with a tablet equipped with a full featured Windows 8 OS.

So what does Asus do? If other manufacturers have decided to join in on the laptop tablet category, why not make another category all its own? What they came up with is just simply ahead of its time.

The Asus Transformer AIO is a desktop computer whose 18.4 inch screen transitions into a tablet.  But that is not even the most astounding part. The mobile world has always been about what OS you prefer. It is either the iOS, Android, Windows phone OS or RT, and to some extent, Blackberry.

What Asus did is offer a product that combines two popular OS to give users the best of two worlds. The first one is the full-featured Windows 8, but surprisingly, its mobile component features an Android operating system.

Half Windows 8, Half Android

To make the Windows 8 and Android hybrid come to fruition, Asus placed two separate CPUs in the Transformer AIO. The first is in the docking station. It is powered by an Intel Core i3 CPU (there will be models powered by i5 or i7) and 4GB or 8GB of RAM. You also have a choice of getting a 1TB or 2 TB hard drive. This supports the Windows 8 OS or the PC component of the device. The second CPU is in the tablet itself. It has a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, 2GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage. This, on the other hand, supports Android or the mobile component of the device. The graphics is not too shabby either with its Nvidia GeForce GT730 GPU. It also has all the ports you need from 4 USB 3.0 ports, to a 3-in-1 memory card, and micro SD card slots. It also has a 1MP camera for video VoIP service calls.

Once docked, users will be able to transition from Windows 8 to Android via a side button. If you need to use the device as a PC for work and use the usual legacy apps that will not run on regular mobile devices, then you can simply shift to the Windows component. If you want to run apps in your Android, especially entertainment apps, you can simply shift back with a touch of a button.

Once removed from dock, it is recommended that you only use Android. Though Windows can still be accessed through the tablet, the Windows component is remotely streamed via Wi-Fi from the dock so there will be a noticeable lag. That, however, is a small price to pay for having the choice between Android and a Windows 8 desktop PC in one device.

Once removed from the dock, users are able to to carry the device around as a tablet. Unfortunately, the 18 inch screen makes this a pretty big and heavy device. So it is not something that you can just carry around everywhere. But in the house or in the office, the removable tablet gives you added versatility.

The device is certainly not for everybody but the practicality it brings is certainly worth a second look.