updated 09:11 pm EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
All-in-one PC switches between form factors and operating systems
At Computex this week, Asus is showing off its new Transformer AiO, an all-in-one desktop PC that turns into a tablet upon undocking. The AiO is the latest in a line of dual-use devices and novel form factors from the Taiwanese manufacturer. The new PC doesn't just change form factors, though: when undocked, it switches from Windows 8 to Android 4.0.
The Transformer AiO has an 18.4-inch 10-finger multitouch display and is powered by an Intel Ivy Bridge processor. The protean all-in-one uses a remote desktop interface to communicate with its dock, and Asus claims it will be able to transition between operating systems seamlessly: Windows 8 when docked, Android 4.0 when in tablet mode.
Interestingly, the processing load appears to be handled within the AiO's dock, which requires a constant power supply. The company hasn't given details on whether or not the AiO will be able to to run Windows 8's tablet-friendly interface when undocked.
The device on display is said to be an early prototype, and Asus has yet to reveal any details on specs or battery life, which is sure to be an issue considering the large display. Asus also has yet to release any information with regard to pricing or release date.
With some of the technology the company has been showing off, Asus appears to be hedging its bets on the future of computing. The dual-use nature of the Transformer AiO mirrors that seen in the previously revealed Taichi, a dual-screen notebook that turns into a Windows 8 tablet when the lid is closed, and the Transformer Tablet 810, an Ultrabook-sized offering that detaches from its keyboard to become a Windows 8 tablet.