Asus’ long awaited Transformer All-in-One is now available for purchase in the US. The split personality machine starts at $1,299 which includes an installation of Windows 8 when in desktop mode and Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1 when used as a (massive) tablet.
The Transformer is a full-fledged Windows 8 PC when plugged into the base unit. On tap is a third generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3.1GHz, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce 730M graphics with 2GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive spinning at 7,200 RPM, a DVD drive, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out and Bluetooth 4.0.
Remove the display from the base unit and you’ve got an 18.4-inch Android tablet powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 3 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, a 1-megapixel front facing camera, a microSD card slot and a 7,600mAh battery good for around five hours. The display itself uses IPS technology and operates at 1,920 x 1,080 with 120 pixels per inch.
Opinions on the all-in-one are likely to vary greatly, mostly due to the size of the display and the weight. This certainly isn’t going to be something that you can easily stuff inside a backpack or a purse and at 5.28 pounds, you aren’t going to want to use it for very long without resting it on your lap or against something.
As I discovered during my review of Lenovo’s Yoga 13 hybrid, using a large screen tablet is an enjoyable experience but even that system weighed nearly two pounds less than Asus’ offering. Only time will tell if this is a hit among consumers or not.