Asus is the mash-up kid. PadFone (phone + tablet) struggled, but Transformer (tablet + laptop) worked. Will laptop+tablet+desktop be a formula for success?
● It has two brains
The Trio runs both Windows 8 Pro and Android, thanks to a pair of processors – a Core i7 Intel Haswell chip in the keyboard half, and a 2GHz Atom chip in the detachable tablet-screen. Because the keyboard part has its own brain, this means it can be plugged into a larger monitor at home and used as a proper desktop PC, while the tablet’s off running Android. When you want to use them as a touchscreen laptop, clunk them together and you can switch from OS to OS with a mere press of a key.
● two batteries
Like previous Transformers, the Trio fits in power cells behind the screen and under the keyboard. In the Android-only machines, this has meant battery life that could last a couple of working days. If it allows its two halves to borrow each other’s battery power, we could see similarly plug-defying smarts from the Trio.
● It’s not a compromise
We’ve been very keen on the Android-only Transformers, but they do lack the full-fat desktop software of a proper laptop. Because the Trio packs in a powerful fourth-generation Intel chip, a 750GB hard drive and an 11.6in, 1080p display (in a moviefriendly 16:9 aspect ratio), it will do more photo or video editing and gaming than your current laptop. And while it won’t replace your gaming PC, the Core i7’s HD5000 graphics should give it enough grunt for plenty of desktop entertainment.