Asus unveils dual-screen notebook/tablet hybrid

Computex—We’re rarely surprised at trade shows these days, but Asus CEO Johnny Shih saved something special for the end of his press conference today. After discussing everything from cloud storage to all-in-ones to notebooks and tablets, he pulled out one more thing: the Taichi. It looked like any other notebook, and Shih took great pleasure in showing off the "beautiful black mirror finish" on the top panel. I couldn’t help but shake my head and sigh; the glossy finish was covered in fingerprints and smudges.

And then it wasn’t. In an instant, the fingerprints disappeared, overpowered by the backlight of a secondary display in the notebook’s lid. This full-sized touchscreen offers both multi-touch and stylus input, and like the primary display, it uses an IPS panel with a 1080p resolution. The screens are fully independent, so different things can be displayed on each one simultaneously.

We don’t have many details on the system, but Asus says it’ll be available in 11.6" and 13.3" flavors. The notebook/tablet hybrid will purportedly be as thin and light as Asus’ current Zenbook ultrabooks. Under the hood, you’ll find an Ivy Bridge CPU, solid-state storage, and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. Naturally, the Taichi will run Windows 8.

I’ve seen a lot of convertible tablets over the years, and the Taichi is easily the most impressive. It’ll probably be expensive, too, but there’s no word yet on pricing or availability.

Comments closed
    • demani
    • 7 years ago

    In theory that’s great, and it will be interesting to see the execution (ie Win8 does some odd things with multiple screens, and having one you can’t see directly could be odd). What I would love though is for an e-ink display to be embedded in the back- let my itinerary, tickets, or my ebooks be available on that screen so I can wait and not kill my battery, but still have access to some important and handy info (or books) while on the train or at the airport.

    • Ryhadar
    • 7 years ago

    “I’m not looking at porn, honey, what on earth would make you think that?…”

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Ryhadar wrote:
      [quote<]"I'm not looking at porn, honey, what on earth would make you think that?…"[/quote<] article: [quote<]The screens are fully independent, so different things can be displayed on each one simultaneously.[/quote<] Finishing the sentence: "…what on earth would make you think that?…just because YOU are doesn't mean I am. And stop jabbing the screen, I'm trying to file the taxes."

        • Alchemist07
        • 7 years ago

        hmmmm, I wonder, if two people could actually use this laptop at same time, one typing, the other using metro checking facebook etc…

        I mean, could W8 handle one person using the mouse on a desktop screen, and another using Metro at the same time? In W7 you cant interact with two windows at the same time (only one window can be in focus at once, right?).

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Make the fing screen swivel you fruits. It’s been around forever.

    Over engineered, more then likely over priced, and looks stupid.

      • link626
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t think this would sell well either. Waste of R&D

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    is there a practical use for using 2 sides of a screen……. besides playing battleship of course ?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Assuming allot about the quality of this build and its software/hardware integration but this could be amazing… and equally horrible. I’m holding onto hope though.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    That will make one hell of a computer for playing Battleship.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      I suddenly feel much less critical of the design!

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    They have a zombie playing with tablets, and the big news is that they have 2 screens? Crazy ass Taiwan!

    • A_Pickle
    • 7 years ago

    Dear manufacturers: Give me a Trinity, not an Ivy Bridge. I know that you think everyone and their dog cares about battery life more than anything ever (including their first-born), but I really want decent graphics performance in a Transformer-like tablet.

      • SPOOFE
      • 7 years ago

      I’d trade slightly-less-unbearable graphics for the significantly-less-unbearable processing power.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        The thing is that both CPUs have bearable computing power, unless you’re planning on encoding video or something.

      • DavidC1
      • 7 years ago

      I doubt they can fit the full 35W Trinity in there, or even a 25W one. It’s very likely that when folded into Tablet mode, it might have to resort using Ivy Bridge’s Configurable TDP to go down to 14W.

      17W would make sense, but most of the advantage of Trinity might not exist at all, plus ending up with a single module CPU.

      • Alchemist07
      • 7 years ago

      Haha, actually Trinity has better battery life than Ivy bridge, OK? 🙂

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    While I’m fearful of all the things that could go wrong with such a design I reserve some hope it will exceed expectations and deliver on the true design potential at a reasonable price tag. Heres to hoping.

    • tay
    • 7 years ago

    This looks utterly useless to me. Add the cost & weight of a screen for what purpose? And like all other Asus transformers before it, it looks like it will flip over if opened 3/4 of the way (over 120 degrees).

      • DavidC1
      • 7 years ago

      Asus is saying its thin and light as their Zenbook, so I don’t see a problem with it. Rather than putting a screen on one side and supporting panel on the other, they put screen on two sides with probably very thin seperation panel.

      • DarkUltra
      • 7 years ago

      If you could use it as a tablet, but open it whenever you needed to type in an email or a comment that would be great. But the opening transition must be seamless, maybe Asus should work with microsoft to make it truly useful.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      I’m with you. Too top-heavy as a notebook, too power hungry as a dual-display device, and too all-heavy (and thick) as a tablet.

      This here emits scents of tradeshow gimcrackery.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    The 11.6″ one looks awesome. A “tablet” with a keyboard = holy grail.

    Now, put in a Haswell, and we’ve got a deal.

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    I find this Asus prototype even more interesting!:

    [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/04/asus-transformer-aio/[/url<]

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    Now *THAT’S* what I’m talkin’ ’bout! This looks *kewl*!!

      • DavidC1
      • 7 years ago

      Hells yea!

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 7 years ago

    I would be lying if I said this didn’t interest me. Mostly because of the 1080p screen.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I assume these have independent lighting for each screen, otherwise they would both have to be on all the time.

    This is going to really hurt a super-slim ultrabook battery.

      • mutarasector
      • 7 years ago

      As long as they can keep it up to at least 6 hours battery life on my coast to coast flights, I’d be real happy.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    This design has the great advantage of eliminating the flimsy ‘two-axis rotation’ hinges that plague devices like the Dell convertible (not that we’ve actually had any problems with ours, but they always feel flimsy).

    I can see it being a hit with sales people who do PowerPoint presentations to small groups.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    this looks sexy as me.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Countdown till triple and quad screen notebook/table has begun!

    They will first make the keyboard a tablet then they will add another screen on the back of it.

      • EtherealN
      • 7 years ago

      What I want is a notebook that can work either like a traditional one, OR… fold out to triple-screen OMGWTF-surroundgaming!

      …well, not really, but neat concept. Seems very niche. I could see the use of, say, watching movies with it placed on a desk and thus not needing to have the keyboard in front, but enough so to pay for an extra screen? I doubt it.

      But knowing ASUS, they’ll be coming out with some sort of transformer-gismo where you can purchase a snap-on screen to attach to an otherwise normal laptop. Then just give it good wireless transmission of image data and it could be a pretty sweet standalone product for use with any laptop.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      A quad-core screen?

        • EtherealN
        • 7 years ago

        He said “quad screen”, not “quad-core screen”…

        Single = 1.
        Dual = 2.
        Triple = 3.
        Quad = 4.

        Think “Quad damage” in Quake = pick it up and you inflict 4x the damage,

        Doesn’t have to mean “cores” in a processor. It’s just another way of saying “4” in this case.

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