Once upon a time (earlier this year) Asus announced its Transformer Book Trio; a Windows PC with an Android tablet hiding inside. Now with the Transformer Book Duet, Asus is pushing its “more is more” approach one step further by adding “Windows 8.1 tablet” to the repertoire.
Just like the Transformer Book Trio, the Duet operates on the same basic principle: you've got a screen you can detach, that works as a tablet, and a keyboard dock you can set it into that turns it into a laptop and houses bonus features like USB ports and up to 1 TB of storage.
Except this time around, there's only one processor -- a 4th gen Intel Core i7 -- that lives behind the screen and does all the heavy lifting whether your using it as a Windows tablet, an Android tablet, a Windows laptop, or a Windows desktop. And you can switch between operating systems at the push of a button. Asus Chairman Johnny Shih stressed the speed of the “4 second OS switch” and that for the Transformer Book Duet, it’s “Neither Android on top of Windows nor Windows on top of Android. No emulation overhead. Genuine Dual OSes.”
With its 13-inch detachable screen and full Windows 8.1-plus-Android-4.2.2 install, the only thing the Transformer Book Duet can't do is run iOS apps. And with Intel pushing in and trying to get a piece of the Android pie, you can expect these sort of hybrid monster machines to start popping up a lot more often.
In the meantime, if you're looking for a gadget that just voltrons together everything it can get its hands on, the Transformer Book Duet is for you. The Asus Transformer Book Duet starts at $US600. Stay tuned for Australian details.