Notebook manufacturer Asus is said to be readying a new ultrabook style laptop incorporating a swivel design display that enables the device to transform into a tablet. According to DigiTimes, the device will be revealed at the upcoming 2012 Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, and might go on sale around the same time as Microsoft releases its new Windows 8 operating system to the world next September.
The design isn't entirely new as Asus already tried it with its Eee PC T91 netbook (pictured below) in 2009. It never really sold in massive numbers. However, with tablets becoming increasingly popular, the Taiwanese PC maker is apparently trying once again to revive interest in a notebook-tablet hybrid solution, and Windows 8 might just be the most suitable operating system to power this form factor.
In many respects, it would be an ideal companion for Microsoft's upcoming OS. The yet to be named device could give users the best of both worlds -- a fully functional desktop complete with keyboard for productivity, and once the display is swivelled around, a touchscreen tablet taking full advantage of the Metro UI.
Previous designs have been somewhat underpowered, which may be part of the reason for their mixed success, but if the rumours hold true the new models will feature Intel Ivy Bridge processors. The extra performance and efficiency these processors bring will certainly make them more appealing to consumers.
There is no word on pricing, or exact specifications and pictures yet, but it is likely as we get closer to the early June date for Computex more information will filter out.
Asus' new Transformer Prime tablet, the first in the world to feature a quad-core chip as well as a detachable keyboard assembly, is due to launch on December 19. Early reviews appear very positive with many suggesting it is set to become the new king of tablets.