The gigantic tablet-desktops we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show are heading to stores, beginning with the Asus Transformer All-in-One that wowed us in Las Vegas. Asus just announced that the tablet-desktop hybrid will be heading to North America some time between April and June, so it’ll be ready for dorm rooms and back-to-school season.
As we mentioned in our hands-on coverage, the Transformer AiO is basically two computers in one. The 18.4-inch IPS tablet-display is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, while the base of the desktop dock has a built-in third-generation Intel core chip with Nvidia GeForce GT 730M discrete graphics that turns the slate into a serious machine.
When you detach the tablet from its base, the screen becomes a table-sized slate that you can either run Windows 8 or Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). You can either take advantage of its 178-degree wide viewing angle and 10-point multi-touch display by playing Fruit Ninja with friends, or enjoy editing your Excel spreadsheet on an 18.4-inch touchscreen via Asus’ wireless Remote Desktop technology. The slate’s 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution means you won’t be staring at pixelated HD movies but YouTube is another matter. At 0.7-inch thick and 5.3-lbs, the Transformer has about the same heft as a standard laptop but we don’t expect you to travel with this bad boy. Asus claims this Transformer tablet can last 5 hours before it needs to be plugged in, but we’ll have to put it to the test in a more thorough review.
Slide the tablet into the “PC Station” dock and the tablet becomes an all-in-one desktop with a touchscreen. The Transformer AiO comes with a keyboard and mouse along with the computer dock and tablet, so the machine is ready for any way you’d like to use this convertible device. Not only is the base embedded with an Intel processor and discrete graphics, it also offers four USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI-out port, in case you want to set up multiple monitors.
Starting at $1300 for configuration with the third-gen Core i5 CPU, the Transformer AiO from Asus won’t come cheap, but might be worth the costs if you need to flexibility and space efficiencies of a detachable tablet-display running two different OSes.