Asus Transformer All-in-One Desktop Hands On: Android and Windows 8 on Your Giant Removable Tablet

By Kyle Wagner on at

We've known about the Asus Transformer AIO since back at Computex, but the mutant hybrid wasn't in working order until now. The verdict? ...Kind of cool, actually.

Here's the Transformer's story: It's an 18.5-inch IPS-display all-in-one computer that runs both Windows 8 (with a Core i3 to i7 processor), as well as Android, with a quad core Tegra 3. And then, the 18.5-inch display pops out to become an enormous tablet, which apparently everyone is doing now.

This particular one works by just lifting it out of its holder by its back handle, which you can see in the video above. You can then stand it up on its kickstand to operate on its own. The Windows 8 portion of the computer is housed in that stand, but can continue to send the information to the display even after it's disconnected. The Android portion is housed in the tablet portion. It weighs just over 2kg and gets a claimed five hours of battery life when disconnected from its stand.

It's got 16GB of storage on the Android side, and starts at a terabyte for the Windows 8 side. And of all the "tabletop PCs" we've seen at CES, this makes maybe a little more sense than the others, since it leaves part of its bulk behind. We haven't used it for an extended period of time, so there's a chance that this could drastically affect performance after a while, but it was just fine when we saw it. Toggling between Android and Windows 8 was smooth, too, just taking the press of a button on the side, and not taking more than a second or two to make the switch.

It looks like tabletop desktops are going to be the next rabbit hole that PC makers fling their naive little hearts down, which is fine and kind of exciting, actually. But still, it's nice to see some differentiation between them, even this early, when they could easily all just be shapeless feints of ideas. Between this Android mashup and Lenovo's HEY-GUYS-WE'RE-MAKING-A -TABLE mission, it seems like these shouldn't be boring, at least.