January’s CES introduced many interesting products to the world, but for us, one that topped the list was ASUS’ Transformer AiO. By now, you’re probably aware of what Transformer’s goals are – to “transform” into something else – but the AiO takes things to a different level. It doesn’t transform into a mere notebook, but rather an entire desktop PC – an All-in-One, of course.
That fact alone would make this product a bit more interesting than most others, but that’s just the beginning. We’re talking about a tablet with an 18.4-inch display, and one that will allow users to be able to run either Windows 8 or Android 4.1 on it. AiO is clearly a Transformer that tries to be a jack-of-all-trades.
A major caveat about using the tablet alone is that it needs to be somewhat near the base if using Windows 8 is your intention, as it relies on “Remote Desktop Mode” to make the magic happen. If the tablet itself were to have x86-based hardware inside, I am sure that this wouldn’t have been required, but this design helps keep prices low (just look at how expensive Surface Pro is). For Android, you can use the tablet anywhere – just don’t expect it to fit in your briefcase.
How about some system specs?
| ||PC Station||Tablet|
|Display||18.4-inch (1920×1080) LED-backlit IPS|
10-point Capacitive Multi-touch
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3350P|
Quad-Core (4 Thread)
3.1GHz (Max: 3.3GHz)
|NVIDIA Tegra 3|
Quad-Core (+1 Battery Saver)
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M (2GB)||NVIDIA Tegra 3|
|Memory||8GB DDR3-1600||2GB DDR3|
|Storage||1TB Hard Drive||32GB Flash Storage|
|Operating System||Windows 8||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean|
|Connectivity||802.11a/b/g/n WiFi (Dual-band)|
4x USB 3.0 + 1x USB 2.0
3.5mm Audio In and Out
3-in-1 Memory Card Slot
|802.11a/b/g/n WiFi (Dual-band)|
1x mini-USB 2.0
3.5mm In or Out
Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR
|Size||466 x 162 x 267 mm (WxDxH)||466 x 18 x 294 mm (WxDxH)|
|Weight||9.03 lbs||5.3 lbs|
AiO’s “PC Station” specs are a bit better than what I envisioned, with the nicest component of the entire package (aside from the display) being the CPU, a quad-core Core i5 (which unfortunately lacks HyperThreading). The GPU will be competent enough for most purposes, as well as the RAM. Connectivity-wise, things are also good, with 4x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, wireless and HDMI-out. On the tablet side, it’s NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 that heads-up all of the work. Given the super-slow roll-out of brand-new Android versions, it’s no surprise to see 4.1 being used here, nor is it too much of a surprise to see 32GB of storage being used.
As we discussed before, ASUS allows you to switch between OSes on-the-fly, although because this is essentially two computers in one that operate independently, things like storage, memory and so on will not be shareable between the OSes.
As a 18.4-inch offering, it was expected that the tablet portion of this equation would be a bit weighty – and it is. It comes in at 5.3 lbs, whereas the PC station is 9.03 lbs. Nothing too surprising here.
If all of this sounds right up your alley, set aside $1,299 and sit back and wait for the release to happen in Q2.