Win8-powered Asus hybrid, notebook available for pre-order

Microsoft must have lifted some sort of Windows 8 pre-order embargo today. In addition to being able to reserve a copy of the OS, folks can now pre-order several different Asus systems designed for Win8. My favorite of the bunch is easily the Taichi 21, an 11.6″ hybrid with two 1080p IPS displays: one in the usual place and a second one on the system’s lid. Anyone up for a game of Battleship?

In addition to supporting 10-finger touch, the screens work with an included stylus that offers 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. Impressively, the dual-screen config hasn’t ballooned the Taichi’s proportions. The chassis measures just under 0.7″ thick, according to Asus, and it weighs 2.75 lbs with the included 6-cell battery.

There are two Taichi 21 configurations available for pre-order right now. The Taichi21-DH51 is the more affordable of the two, with a $1300 asking price. That config gets you a dual-core Core i5-3317U processor running at 1.7GHz with a 2.6GHz Turbo peak, Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, 128GB of solid-state storage, and 4GB of RAM. Dropping another $200 on the Taichi21-DH71 upgrades the CPU to a Core i7-3517U, which runs at 1.9-3.0GHz, and also bumps the SSD to 256GB. 

Source: Amazon

If you’re not persuaded by the Taichi’s hybrid nature, the VivoBook X202 is more of a traditional notebook. This 11.6-incher is quite a bit more affordable, at $600, but it’s a little bit thicker and heavier than the Taichi. While the screen still supports multi-touch input, the display resolution is only 1366×768, and there’s no mention of IPS panel technology. VivoBook pre-orders seem to be limited to one configuration, the X202E-DH31T, which includes a Core i3-3217U CPU, 500GB of 5,400-RPM mechanical storage, and 4GB of RAM.

As one might expect, all these systems have USB 3.0 ports, built-in Bluetooth, and support for 802.11n Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, none of them offers Gigabit Ethernet. Wired networking seems to be restricted to Fast Ethernet connections, which top out at a mere 100Mbps. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Auril4
    • 7 years ago

    Remember when a new release of Windows was a big deal?
    Now might be a good time to say, “That’s so 2001!!”

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    The Taichi is cool as an ultrabook for group and instructional settings. But it fails as a tablet, it’s too weighty at twice the iPad’s mass. Its best use cases may be industrial, the cheaper model would be killer for kiosk point-of-sales and other customer-facing use cases once it is setup for dual screen operation.

    For certain things this may do uniquely well. I wonder if other personal use cases other than instructional settings would be found for the Taichi.

    • Sunburn74
    • 7 years ago

    Asus just make a laptop that has a decent SSD, decent IPS screen, and with decent quality control on manufacturer and it will sell like hotcakes.

    • xii
    • 7 years ago

    What is the point of reserving a digital download (of Win 8)? Are they running out of bits?

    Even in regard to hardware — how many actually pre-order a laptop, especially considering the crap-shoot these devices tend to be, or how the release/delivery dates tend to shift?

    It looks like an interesting device, if they can get the keyboard feel right in such a thin body. I feel though as if there’s some irony in a laptop popping up with not even just one but two hi-res IPS screens.

    • mutarasector
    • 7 years ago

    11.6″? Where’s the 13.3″er?

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    But the real question is are people really going to spend an extra $300+ on a laptop just because it is more conducive to a new Windows GUI that most aren’t thrilled about in the first place?

    What does a touchscreen on a fully fledged PC with a perfectly good input navigation device (desktop or laptop) actually get you?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      yes. it does for a lot of people. they expect touch, and when they can’t they don’t like it. they’ll buy these things in droves.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        Just who are these people confusing tablets with laptops?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          why are you creating an artificial barrier between the two? there is nothing besides job’s “people don’t like to touch laptops” that suggests it’s a bad idea. intel’s research suggests people love it.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        Why bother with some touch screens, when you can touch yourself at night?

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      There may be a weak uptake in this product generation but wait another five years and touch-interfacing will be dominant. I was reading an article this week — and I can’t remember where — indicating that touchscreen mobile devices are starting to replace conventional computers in larger school districts. There are entire classes of children in the 5-8yo age group, right now, who know how to use the Internet but have little or no experience with a conventional mouse.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        That’s all well and good, but you’ll never get the precision you have with a mouse/decent track pad with your finger (especially if you have larger ones). If you don’t believe me, load up a TR comment page on a high DPI smartphone and try clicking on individual responses without zooming in.You could argue that the answer, then, is stylus, but, at least for a laptop, a stylus is just one more thing to worry about loosing (whereas you can’t loose a touch pad).

        There are a lot of things touch screens are awesome for, but until we get tech as shown in the Minority Report where we can manipulate on screen items in 3D space, away from the screen, I fail to see how a touchscreen is better than a good ol’ mouse or decent track pad for the majority of desktop/laptop applications – unless of course you’re just opening applications off of the desktop and using simple programs like media players and some light web browsing…

        Besides, who wants to be constantly wiping smudges off of your laptop screen? wiping a smartphone or tablet on your shirt is easy enough, but with a laptop, it starts to get just a little cumbersome.

        Just because something is new and being pushed by a big corporation like Microsoft, doesn’t mean it’s the cat’s pajamas.

        Old man out. 😉

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    Maybe the UX21A announced in May will finally show up sometime soon. I want that computer so bad.

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