Asus Transformer AiO: the Windows 8 all-in-one that transforms into an Android tablet

Asus has used the first day of CES 2013 to demo the Transformer AiO, an 18.4in desktop all-in-one with a detachable screen that doubles as an Android tablet.

The difference between the Transformer and the larger, battery-powered Sony VAIO Tap 20 is that when the Transformer is removed from its base station it switches from running Windows 8 from its Core i3 processor and Nvidia GT 730M GPU to a more traditional tablet running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) from an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

The switch between operating systems is performed via a button on the side of the unit, although users can opt to stay with Windows 8 via a wireless remote desktop connection to the base station.

Asus announces Transformer AiO

The base station includes a full complement of USB ports and a 1TB mechanical hard disk, while the detachable tablet has an integrated carry handle and kickstand to make lugging it from room to room easier, plus 16GB of flash memory for storage and apps.

There’s no word on the weight of the tablet-only portion of the Transformer (described as “king-sized” by Asus) but it’s likely to be heavy compared to standard tablets. The US price of the Transformer will be from $1,500 (around £900): roughly equivalent to Sony’s Intel and Windows-only Tap 20.

The AiO is hardly a vote of confidence in Microsoft’s latest OS. Windows 8’s suitability for tablet computers has been Microsoft’s core marketing message for the new OS, so its reaction to a Windows 8 system that apparently prefers Android in tablet mode may be muted.

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