We're all familiar with convertible tablets—plug your slate into a keyboard dock, turn it into a bizarro laptop. Simple, straightforward, sensible. Well, that wasn't enough for Asus, which has now taken the convertible concept into a strange new direction.
Behold the new Transformer AiO, which was announced by the company yesterday. This system is an iMac-like all-in-one desktop PC with an 18.4", 1920x1080 IPS touch screen... and that touch screen just happens to double as a removable tablet.
The Transformer AiO is really two systems in one. The desktop portion runs Windows 8 and is powered by an Ivy Bridge Core processor (a choice of i3-3220, i5-3350P, and i7-3770 models are on offer), GeForce GT 730M 2GB discrete graphics, and up to 8GB of system memory. Asus also supplies 1-2TB of mechanical storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, and even a slot-loading DVD burner.
The removable tablet, meanwhile, sports Android 4.1 running atop an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of dedicated RAM, and 32GB of solid-state storage. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included, as are a card reader, a "G-Sensor," a mini USB 2.0 port, and a dedicated docking port.
It's an interesting combination to be sure, but I'm not certain I see the utility of a jumbo tablet without a keyboard dock. The Transformer AiO's removable slate weighs a hefty 5.3 lbs and measures 18.3" x 0.7" x 11.6", which is about as big as a full-sized laptop. I'd imagine it would get uncomfortable to hold after a short web surfing session on the couch. As Asus points out, though, the tablet can be propped up on a table using its integrated, Surface-like kickstand, and you can drive the other half of the machine from afar via Remote Desktop. Connect a Bluetooth keyboard, and you could...
Yeah, no. I still don't see it.