I have said it before, but I feel it has to be said again: ASUS never fails to deliver some impressive product at CES. 2014’s CES is no different, and while we’re going to be talking about a lot of what the company unveiled at the show over the week, the Transformer Book Duet TD300 has to be the first product we talk about.
ASUS calls the TD300 the “World’s First” quad-mode dual-OS convertible. That’s to say that it runs both Android and Windows 8.1 in both tablet or notebook mode. What this all means is, the CPU has to be housed in the tablet portion itself, but as it’s a Core i7, I’m baffled as to how that’s possible, but if the CPU was stored in the dock, the tablet wouldn’t be detachable. Oh, the brain pain.
The TD300’s design in general is impressive, but there’s a major fact here that’s easy to overlook: ASUS has Android running on an Intel desktop chip here – there’s no ARM SoC under the hood, as with older Transformer dual-OS offerings. I can’t state it for certain, but I believe this to be the first consumer product that has pulled that off. This might also be the reason an older version of Android is being used, 4.2.2 (suggesting the code has been tweaked for some time).
That aside, the TD300 includes a 13.3-inch IPS 1080p display, packs 4GB of DDR3L-1600 memory, up to 128GB of SSD storage in the tablet portion, up to 1TB of hard drive storage in the dock, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+EDR, and a 38WHr battery.
On the ports front, the tablet includes a microSD card slot, a headphone jack, and a power port. The keyboard dock features 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 10/100Mbps LAN, HDMI 1.4, in/out audio jacks, and a power port.
ASUS hasn’t disclosed pricing information nor shipping dates at this point. I hope those can come soon, because this is without question an impressive offering.