Hands on with ASUS’ Taichi 21 and Taichi 31 dual-screen hybrid Ultrabooks

Check out our full review of the Asus Taichi 21 hybrid Ultrabook/tablet.

We heard about ASUS’ Taichi back at Computex in June and we’ve patiently waited for the last six months for the unique convertible to be released. The company showed off its final version at CES in both the 11.6-inch (Taichi 21) and 13-inch versions (Taichi 31). The Taichi, which is both an Ultrabook and a tablet, was definitely worth a closer look, so we got some hands-on time with both models.

hands on asus taichi 4

At first glance, the Taichi looks like a normal laptop. You’ve got your full-size QWERTY keyboard (backlit) and your track pad. But it’s more than a standard Ultrabook. When you close the Taichi, it becomes a tablet – no flipping, twisting, or turning required. Different from any other convertible we’ve seen, the Taichi has a two-sided LED-backlit IPS display. 

hands on asus taichi 2

Closing the Ultrabook transforms it into a 10-finger multitouch tablet with stylus support. But the rear display isn’t just for tablet-mode. The Taichi actually has four viewing modes: Notebook, tablet, mirror, and dual-screen.  To switch between different screen modes, users have to use the built-in app, which has a dedicated button on the top row of the  keyboard.

hands on asus taichi 5

You can use the display on the back of the notebook to mirror what you’re seeing in the front, which is convenient for meetings and collaborations. The two screens are actually independent of each other, which means you can have one set of content on one screen, and something entirely different on the other. 

We thought it was a little strange that the screen facing the user didn’t have touch capability. We found ourselves trying to touch the screen more than once because that’s nearly expected with a Windows 8 operating system. It’s also disappointing that you aren’t able to use the touchscreen with the physical keyboard, since to fully use the touchscreen, you need to close the laptop.

The Ultrabook is powered by either Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 or Core i7 processors. It also includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD storage. As for ports, it features one mini VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports, a micro HDMI port, and your standard audio jacks. The 11-inch Taichi has up to five hours of battery life. 

Weighing a little less than three pounds, the Taichi is 3-millimeters thick at its thinnest point. We found both models easy to handle. Though we only had a few minutes of time fondling the Ultrabook, we didn’t notice many fingerprints or smudges on the touchscreen. 

The Taichi 21 will be available for sale in about two weeks, and the 31 will be available in three. Pricing is still not confirmed. We’re excited to finally get some real time with the Taichi, so stay tuned for a full review.  

Product Review

Asus Zephyrus S is a laptop for gamers. Everyone else need not apply

RTX graphics have finally made it to gaming laptops, and the first we've tested is the new Zephyrus S. Now with a 17-inch display and those new graphics inside, the Zephyrus' unique design boasts some additional power.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for February 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

In 2019, laptops are better than ever. Here are the best of the best

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Computing

DLSS is finally arriving in games, but how does Nvidia's super-sampling actually work?

Nvidia's new DLSS technology is exciting, but what is it and how does it work? It's not quite anti-aliasing and it's not quite super sampling. It's a little bit of both and the end results can be impressive.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.