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Transformers galore: Asus shows off an armada of convertible tablet-laptops

This year’s Intel Developer Forum has focused on portability and, in particular, the new company’s new and dramatically re-designed Atom processors. Significantly faster than before, Intel’s Atom Z-series looks a perfect fit for small convertibles, and Asus has jumped on the opportunity.

The highlight is the Transformer Book T100, a 10.1-inch, 2-on-1 tablet PC that has an Atom processor and runs Windows 8.1. Weighing 2.4 pounds overall, and 1.2lbs with keyboard detached, the T100 promises up to 11 hours of battery life.

asustransformert100-2

Amazingly, pricing starts at just $349 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB version. This is impressive for a 2-on-1 which that runs “full” Windows 8 rather than the much-maligned Windows RT. Both versions are otherwise equipped with the same hardware, including an Atom Z3740 quad-core processor and a 1366 x 768 IPS display.

Though already shown at IFA, Asus has used Intel’s conference to remind us of a 13.3-inch version, appropriately called the T300, that will be available with a 1080p touchscreen and up to 256GB of solid state storage. This model is powered by a fourth-gen Intel Core processor, however, which reduces battery life to a still-respectable eight hours. Pricing is not yet available.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Asus also showed off the Transformer Book Trio, a system that first appeared at Computex 2013. This 11.6-inch 2-on-1, like most, has a detachable keyboard. But unlike most, the tablet and keyboard can actually operate as separate devices.

Underneath the keys lurks an Intel Core fourth-gen processor which can power Windows either on the tablet display or on an external monitor, even with the tablet detached. As for the tablet, it runs Android on its own integrated processor (an Atom Z2760) when un-docked. In other words, the Trio is really two computers in one package; the keyboard dock is a traditional Windows PC, while the display is actually an Android tablet.

Other notable specs include a 1080p display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and 4GB of RAM for the dock (2GB for the tablet). Though usable as a desktop, the entire device remains slim when combined, measuring barely more than a half-inch thick and weighing less than four pounds. Pricing and availability for the Trio is to be announced.