Asus Transformer Book hybrid packs Windows 8, Ivy Bridge and discrete Nvidia graphics

By on June 4, 2012, 10:01 AM

Asus has revealed a number of new tablets and hybrid devices running Windows 8 at Computex 2012, chief among which is a range of notebooks with detachable touchscreen displays. The Transformer Book builds upon the same concept as the firm’s moderately popular Android tablets, the Transformer and Transformer Prime, except it runs a full blown version of Windows 8 powered by an x86 Intel Core i processor.

The device itself looks almost as thin and light as one of Asus’ Zenbook ultrabooks and comes in 11.6, 13 and 14-inch sizes.  All three models will have an IPS display with a native 1920×1080 resolution. Inside the tablet portion is a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 “Ivy Bridge” processors and up to 4GB of RAM, while in notebook mode you also get the power of discrete graphics with an unspecified Nvidia chip.

Storage is provided by a combination of solid-state (SSD) and hard disk (HDD) drives, while ports are limited to a single micro-HDMI socket on the tablet, and a USB socket on the keyboard/dock. There are also front and rear-facing cameras available as well as wireless connectivity.

Asus made no mention of battery life but we don’t expect the Transformer Book to outclass ARM-based tablets in this front — at least not when working in tablet mode. There’s also no word on pricing or availability, unsurprisingly, since Windows 8 is not expected to launch until the fourth quarter of 2012.

User Comments: 9

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Guest said:

I have an original Transformer that's only about a year old (as well as the keyboard), would I be able to reformat from the Android OS to Windows 8? I love the device, and Adroid...but I would prefer Windows 8 integration with the full keyboard/mouse pad.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I really would consider getting one of these. Hopefully I'll like Windows 8. I don't really mind battery life, half the time I have my transformer plugged in anyway. Windows + transformer really could be cool.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

That thing sounds rad. I hope it's a GT640m Nvidia chip in there at least!

mosu said:

I still wonder why is no AMD chip option from Asus, because tablets are all about graphics and Trinity rocks!

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I think I may ask the job to get me one of these to play with... hmmm.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

<p>I still wonder why is no AMD chip option from Asus, because tablets are all about graphics and Trinity rocks!</p>

There's often quite a bit of backroom politics in some of those decisions... Partnerships, exclusives, etc. And often it comes down to who has deeper pockets and who can get actual engineering samples to an integrator for development of the product prior to launch of the processor/chipset/etc. Intel has always excelled at that part of the business.

Plus, with AMD publicly floundering a bit recently (Bulldozer and such), you can't blame ASUS for just choosing to bet on their pick for the winning horse in the x86 race. Whether they spread the betting to the other horse in the future is probably going to depend on how well AMD's products (like Trinity) do in the marketplace.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Cool idea, and from Asus on top of that. Putting the graphics chip in the keyboard gives quite a bit of flexibility in what they will use, and besides, who really enjoys playing games with a touch screen. Almost like trying to open a pickle jar with a pair of heavy oven mitts on, its just not happening. The integrated GPU will be fine for just a tablet, connect the base and now you have a real laptop that could potentially play real games. Seriously going to consider this when it makes it way to market at the end of the year.

Guest said:

coolest thing I've seen in a while

Guest said:

"comes in 11.6, 13 and 14-inch sizes. All three models will have an IPS display with a native 1920-1080 resolution"

Meanwile, Intel and OEMs like Asus are scratching their heads, wondering why their "cheap", underspec'd ultrabooks and portables hobbled with useless, crap looking 1366x768 TN panels aren't selling.

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