Despite being shown off briefly at CES this year, ASUS’ Android- and Windows 8-powered Transformer has kept to itself. We’d been wondering when it finally see the light of day, and apparently, so did ASUS. Officially announced this week, the new all-in-one is a different breed from most of the Windows-powered touchscreens we’ve seen lately.
When sitting on its dock, looking for all the world like your average Windows 8 all-in-one, the Transformer P1801 gives you a fully-fledged desktop experience. There’s your choice of Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 CPUs, up to 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, up to 2TB of hard drive space, and an NVIDIA GT730M GPU with 2GB of memory. Not too shabby for a reasonably petit desktop machine. The screen is 18.4 inches diagonally, with a FullHD, 1920×1080 resolution. It’s an IPS panel, so you won’t have to worry about viewing angles, and it fully supports 10-finger multitouch.
The real trickery comes in the other set of specifications, however – there’s a reason this puppy got the Transformer branding. Pull the display off of its stand and you’ve got a completely separate device. It’s not like Lenovo’s IdeaCentre Horizon that we played with a couple of months ago – instead, the Transformer runs Android in this mode, powered by a wholly separate quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset.
It comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-installed, but I wouldn’t hold my breath to see it get much more in the way of updates. Given it’s primary usage scenarios, that’s likely just fine; you won’t be puttering around with this thing and taking pictures; instead, you’ll be using it to browse the web on the couch. There’s no mention of expected battery life, but it should do substantially better than the 2 hours that Lenovo promises for the Horizon (after all, that Lenovo is not really a tablet PC).
It’ll be out sometime in Q2, starting at $1,299.