ASUS Transformer Book Trio 3-in-1 ultraportable hybrid (preview)

ASUS has come up with a product that can be used as a laptop, a tablet, and as a desktop PC

ASUS has come up with a hybrid Ultraportable computer that it touts as being a 3-in-1 device, rather than a standard 2-in-1. The Transformer Book Trio, as it's called, is essentially an Android tablet that can sit in a keyboard base (which then makes it a laptop), but that base also has its own CPU in it, which makes it a stand-alone desktop PC. These scenarios account for the three devices in one unit.

The Transformer Book Trio's concept isn't a new one. It's something that we saw earlier in the year with the Transformer AiO all in one PC, which has an 18.4in screen that's an Android tablet, and a large base with a CPU in it. That product left us scratching our heads a little as to who might use something like that, mainly because it means you have to cart around an 18in tablet. However, the same concept on the Transformer Book Trio seems to be more useful.

You can use the Transformer Book Trio as a conventional notebook when the tablet screen is docked to the keyboard base. This will allow it to run Windows 8 or (with the press of a button) Android 4.2. When you remove the tablet screen from the keyboard base, you can use it simply as an Android device, and the base you've left behind can be used by another person as a separate Windows 8 computer (as long as a monitor is plugged in to its Mini DisplayPort or Micro-HDMI ports).

The tablet has an 11.6in size, and it comes with a Full HD resolution and IPS panel. It's also multi-touch. It has its own CPU and memory built in, which are in the form of an Intel Atom Z2560 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM. Storage space is 16GB. Around the edges it has Micro-USB, microSD, and a combination headphone and microphone jack. There are both front and rear cameras (the rear has five megapixels), and wireless connectivity is taken care of by 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0.

On the keyboard base, which ASUS calls the "PC Station", you get more power: an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Its edges feature two USB 3.0 ports, a combination headphone/microphone port, Mini DisplayPort, and Micro-HDMI. The wireless features in the PC Station are better than what you get with the tablet, with the Wi-Fi being of the 802.11ac variety, and the Bluetooth module being version 4.0.

Battery life should be good with this unit, mainly because both the tablet and the PC Station each have their own battery. The tablet features a 19 Watt-hour lithium polymer battery, while the PC Station features a 33 Watt-hour lithium polymer battery. ASUS claims that the Trio can last for up to 13 hours when used in Android mode, and five hours when used in Windows 8 mode.

The Transformer Book Trio should become available to buy in November with a price of around $1599. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.

ASUS Transformer Book Trio specifications

Tablet specifications

CPU: Intel Atom Z2560 (1.6GHz)
Memory: 2GB LP DDR2 (1066MHz)
Storage: 16GB
Display: 11.6in, Full HD (1920x1080), IPS, capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multitouch
Cameras: Rear 5-megapixel with autofocus and 1080p Full HD video recording; Front 720p HD camera
Connectivity: Micro-USB 2.0, microSD card slot, combination headphone/microphone port
Wireless: 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0
Audio: Stereo speakers
Battery: 19 Watt-hour lithium polymer
Dimensions: 304.9 x 193.8 x 9.7mm
Weight: 700g Sensors: Accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, e-compass

PC Station specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5
Memory: 4GB DDR3 (1600MHz)
Storage: 500GB hard drive
Connectivity: 2 x USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, Micro-HDMI 1.4, combination headphone/microphone port
Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Audio: Stereo speakers
Battery: 33 Watt-hour lithium polymer
Dimensions: 304.9 x 193.8 x 13.4mm
Weight: 1kg

ASUS Transformer Book Trio photos

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The Transformer Book Trio should become available to buy in November with a price of around $1599. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.

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