Tablet v PC - Asus straddles the fuzzy divide

The Transformer AiO is a desktop PC that doubles as a tablet

In the face of a slump in PC sales and industry debate over whether the smartphone or tablet is now the preferred tool for a large segment of domestic and even small business users, Asus continues to release a number of combined and flexible devices that try to play on both sides of the dividing lines.

The most recent, announced in New Zealand are the FonePad, a large-format smartphone -- or small tablet -- with a seven-inch touch screen and an "all-in-one" desktop doubling as a tablet, the Transformer AoI.

The Transformer AiO (All-in-One) has an 18.4-inch detachable display, which runs as a stand-alone tablet, albeit a rather cumbersome one. Based on an Intel Core processor, it runs either Windows 8 or Android operating systems.

The Transformer AiO's base station is a fully functional desktop in itself independent of the tablet-style screen and can be used through a separate monitor.

Also confirmed for launch in New Zealand is the Transformer Book convertible notebook. Hung says 80 percent of Asus's market is through the retail stores such as Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming in NZ, but channels established to target the business user are expanding.

She says the lines of division between the full-format laptop, the notebook with touch-screen, the tablet and the smartphone are blurred now and are not likely to get any more well-defined. It is the end-user who will decide which machine fits into which role, she says.

Dean Williams, Asus's product marketing manager for notebooks, testifies that his job is becoming harder as tablets move into the market segment traditionally handled by notebooks.

Among other recent Asus releases is the TaiChi (pictured), which features a double-sided screen combining notebook and tablet formats. In notebook mode, the same image can be displayed on both sides of the screen, allowing a user to work on the notebook screen while demonstrating to a small audience.

Perhaps less believably -- purely from a social-dynamics point of view -- it is suggested that a home-office worker can run office applications on the machine's notebook screen while their children play a game on the other side.

Read more: Synnex adds new tough product as part of exclusive partnership

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemslaptopstabletsAsustek Computer

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Bell

Computerworld New Zealand

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?