Asus’ Windows 8 tablets follow familiar Transformer theme

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 1366×768, 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 1366×768 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.

Comments closed
    • edwpang
    • 8 years ago

    Just to make it clear: it looks there are THREE product mentioned in the article:
    1. Transformer Book: Win8, Ivy Bridge CPU, discrete graphics from Nvidia,11.6/13.3/14″ 1080p display, SSD, and USB 3.0…
    2. Tablet 810: Win8, Atom, 11.6″ 1366×768 SuperIPS+ display
    3. Tablet 600: Win8 RT, Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC, 10″ 1366×768 SuperIPS+ display
    All above have keyboard dock.

    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    1080p touchscreen + I7 chip + Win8 license + dockable keyboard = expensive

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Wow, that’s a lot of bezel.
    I know it’s a tablet, but it just looks stupid on something aping an “ultrabook”

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Make the screen swivel and lay down against the computer. It’s like the late 90s early 00s never happened.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I’m sad to see that ivy bridge isn’t really achieving the mobile revolution we expected. Its still showing huge gains in the desktop space though.

    I was hopeful we’d get a ivybridge transformer like tablet with win 8. Otherwise running x86 I just don’t see why I’d use win 8 without the prospect of desktop applications.

      • DavidC1
      • 8 years ago

      “Its still showing huge gains in the desktop space though.”

      ???

      I think if anything, its the other way around. And your second paragraph. Isn’t the Transformer Book exactly what you are looking for?

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 8 years ago

        Somehow I missed that. Thanks for the heads up. Holding onto my money a little longer than expected, was ready to just buy a transformer prime HD

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Just look at all the “ultrabooks” which will now have a configurable TDP that allows them to roughly match “full power” laptops. In fact, they’re not too far off from dual-core desktops.

      I’ve already seen lower end laptops with the 35w i7 quad-core as a (relatively) inexpensive upgrade option. If you want to go higher power, for quite possibly the first time ever, the quad-cores for desktop replacements will [i<]literally[/i<] replace a desktop CPU. The only real disappointment with mobile Ivy Bridge is that the magic tri-gate isn't so magic, having very little, if any, gain to battery life. However, you do get a faster CPU and significantly more powerful GPU. So no, it didn't improve the status quo. It did open up a few new doors, though.

        • DavidC1
        • 8 years ago

        I think its way too early to dismiss 22nm Tri-Gate. You’ve seen Anandtech’s power measurement tests on the 17W part while gaming? The CPU core part uses 3-4W, the iGPU 8-9W, and the total is 16-17W, meaning differences are in the uncore.

        Since they greatly boosted the iGPU, and bumped up the CPU, there’s no power reduction. Also remember that 32nm on Arrandale CPUs brought minimal over even 45nm Core 2’s. It wasn’t until Sandy Bridge, which is on the same 32nm to bring full power reductions.

        I expect that will be more important in the future. While in the past the semiconductor guys relied heavily on process shrinks to reduce power, future reductions will require significant work in architecture along with process advancements to do the same. In Intel’s case, Haswell should do that.

    • allreadydead
    • 8 years ago

    What do one want from a mobile replacement for his/her x86 based computing life ?

    – backwards compability: Android&iOS are all fine but, the applications you had to leave behind… Not nice. Ok, those are not even intended to be your mobile HQ but a mobile sidekick. For work related things, I still need x86 based compability to keep working on move. I really enjoy making fingerprints on touchscreen but when it comes to get a job done, I have to switch to x86 based keyboard&mouse system….

    – Battery life: Very important factor. Its getting improved bit by bit with every gen of mobile platform. Ivy is actually close to be “good for all day computing” with its dual-core offerings. Extended battery life is possible with docks, ala Transformer keyboard dock.

    – Input: Yes, we need a reasonable sized, backlit, keyboard with good key response. Touchscreens are all fine but at this point omitting keyboard&mouse combo totally just good for looking futuristic and cool it’s not improving usage speed and it’s not flawless enough to accept it as primary input interface yet.

    -GOOD SCREEN: YES, ALL IN CAPS. GIEF 1080p@13″ with matte coating already. We need more pixels and preferably 16:10 screens.

    -Enough Computing Power: I’ve used Atom based systems. They are good at a point but when it comes to multitasking with CPU and/or RAM intensive apps, it’s just painful to work with. We need fast SSD disks, enough computing power onboard. As AMD said with Trinity, we are good with A10&Ivy gen.

    – Reasonable Price: Am I the only one who still remembers promises of lower prices with Ivy ? I could only see inflated prices with Ivy parts so far.

    A $800-900 Transformer with Ivy onboard, SSD, 4 preferable 8 gig of RAM, IPS 13″ 1080p touchscreen that can provide about 4-5 hours of operating time without dock is just fine. Add backlit, extra battery keyboard dock with about 10+ hours of operating time and I’m sold.

      • DarkUltra
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]GOOD SCREEN: YES, ALL IN CAPS. GIEF 1080p@13" with matte coating already. We need more pixels and preferably 16:10 screens.[/quote<] Sir, you might wanto add 120hz to that list. Mouse precision and touch input is improved considerably. [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4[/url<]

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Ivy bridge
    Nvidia graphics
    5mm thick battery

    Battery life when used without [s<]keyboard dock[/s<] battery in disguise?

      • willmore
      • 8 years ago

      Fortunately, Win8 is supposed to boot more quickly than Win7. Maybe it’ll boot fast enough that you’ll have time to do something before it shuts down due to low battery.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 8 years ago

    Okay, I’ve previously turned my nose at these Android-based transformer tablets, but this Transformer Book actually sounds like it might make a decent laptop replacement. Particularly because it doesnt seem to be on anemic hardware and saddled with a poor OS–I’m referring to Android in this case. I’d like TR to review one when they come out.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    Out of the TR community who is actually interested in buying this?

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      Me!

      • Sargent Duck
      • 8 years ago

      *If* I were too buy a laptop today, I would seriously go after this. Of course, I’m not buying a laptop today (or in the near future), but I digress.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 8 years ago

      This is the first ultra mobile computing device I would even consider as an alternative to a PC

      • RenatoPassos
      • 8 years ago

      If I had the spare money, It would be on my short list.

      • Arag0n
      • 8 years ago

      My laptop is having some issues this summer with heating problems, seems my inner fan has gone broken, and I think it’s time to change laptop rather than repair. However, I’m holding my buy because I want a new convertible laptop, so I can use it in bed as tablet when I want to while praying for my laptop to survive another 4 months, setting down the CPU speed to only 800mhz, still, completely usable and almost invisible speed-down from 2.1ghz.

      • xtalentx
      • 8 years ago

      I am very interested. I’ll need to get hands on with it before I commit though.

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