Asus' Windows 8 tablets follow familiar Transformer theme


— 5:54 AM on June 4, 2012

Computex—The dual-screen Taichi wasn't the only notebook/tablet hybrid Asus showed off at its pre-Computex press conference in Taipei, Taiwan this afternoon. We caught glimpses of several new models based on the Transformer concept that has defined Asus' existing tablets.

The most powerful of these is the Transformer Book, which will come equipped with an Ivy Bridge CPU, discrete graphics from Nvidia, and both solid-state and mechanical storage. Three screen sizes will be offered: 11.6", 13.3", and 14". All of the screens will be detachable, like the existing Transformers, and it looks like a 1080p display resolution is standard across the board. USB 3.0 connectivity is included, of course, and so is 4GB of DDR3 memory.

Although we don't have specifics on thickness or weight, Asus claimed the Transformer Book will be the world's thinnest and lightest Core i7 tablet—that's without the accompanying keyboard dock, of course. The dock appears to include LED backlighting for the keyboard and a decent-sized touchpad. If current Transformers are any indication, it'll pack an auxiliary battery, too.

The Transformer Book is destined to run Windows 8, as is the Asus Tablet 810, which might as well be called a Transformer, too. This puppy features a next-gen Atom CPU and an 11.6" SuperIPS+ display with extra backlight power for outdoor viewing. The resolution is only 1366x768, but the screen is infused with Wacom stylus support in addition to the usual multi-touch goodness.

Asus says the Tablet 810 is 8.7 mm thick, which isn't quite as skinny as the 8.35-mm Tablet 600. That system weighs just 1.1 lbs and is anchored by an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC. Rather than Android, the Tablet 600 will run Windows RT, the ARM version of Win8.

Despite measuring just 10.1", the Tablet 600's SuperIPS+ panel still serves up 1366x768 pixels. Stylus support doesn't seem to be in the cards for this model. However, both it and the Tablet 810 have optional keyboard docks that offer auxiliary batteries and additional USB connectivity. USB 3.0 isn't mentioned specifically, so we're probably looking at second-gen ports.

We're on location in Taipei all week. Stay tuned for more updates from the show.

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