Asus have announced an upgraded addition to their Asus Transformer range of PCs in the Transformer Book Trio. It combines the features of a laptop, desktop, and tablet while also offering both Android and Windows 8.
The newly announced Asus Transformer Book Trio isn’t entirely sure what it is or what it does. The concept of the machine looks good on paper but, in reality, it’s likely to be just too complex for the majority of users and the price tag it’s going to demand means that it may be more convenient to buy two devices.
Two-in-one devices are, according to many analysts, the future. They will overtake the tablet although the size and bulk that is required to combine a laptop and tablet typically means that while it may be underpowered for a laptop it is too heavy to be a tablet; problems that will be ironed out as the technology continues to improve.
When you consider the new Asus device, announced at Computex in Taiwan, also throws the features of a desktop PC in, it muddies the waters even further.
From a spec point of view, the Transformer Book Trio looks and sounds impressive. It has a 1,080p 11.6 inch screen as well as a detachable keyboard. However, from here on in, looking at specifications becomes a little confusing.
As a tablet, the Trio will run Android Jelly Bean 4.2 but if you connect the tablet to the PC dock then it becomes a fully functioning desktop PC with Windows 8. In tablet mode it has a 2GHz Intel Atom processor while in PC mode it has the latest Intel Core i7 Haswell Processor. In tablet, it offers 64GB SSD memory while in PC mode it has 750GB or 1TB of hard drive space.
Allegedly the desktop version of the Transformer offers an impressive 15 hours of battery time although testing may well reveal the real figure to be lower.
It feels like Asus and, ultimately, the Book Trio are having an identity crisis. Am I a laptop? A tablet, then? So, I’m definitely a desktop PC?
The problem is that a tablet and desktop are two very different devices. One is lightweight and portable, the other a powerful and very stationary device. With so many changes required to transform from tablet to desktop it seems a futile and unnecessary effort when you could just put the tablet down and step over to a separate desktop – one that knows it’s a desktop.