Asus delays Taichi dual-screen ultrabooks

Asustek has delayed U.S. shipments for its dual-screen Taichi ultrabooks, which were available for order from retail sites like Amazon, Newegg and TigerDirect.

The Taichi tablet-laptop hybrid has an innovative design with two screens, one on the front and one on the back of a display panel. At first glance, it looks like a laptop with an 11.6-inch touchscreen, but closing the laptop activates another 11.6-inch touchscreen on the back of the panel for the device to become a tablet.

Taichi was an attention grabber when first announced at the Computex trade show in June this year. The Taichi models were originally expected to ship in November, shortly after Windows 8 became available in PCs and tablets in late October. An Asus spokeswoman said via email that U.S. shipments will likely start in December, but could be delayed to even later than that. She did not provide specific reasons for the delay and did not provide information about worldwide shipping status for the Taichi.

The tablet-laptop Windows 8 hybrid device is being sold in two models. The Taichi 21 DH51 has an Intel Core i5 processor and 128GB solid-state drive storage, and was originally priced at $1299 on Amazon.com, Newegg and TigerDirect.

A Taichi 21 DH71 is faster with an Intel Core i7 processor and 256GB SSD storage. It was priced at $1299 on Amazon.com (price has now been withdrawn) and at $1599 on Newegg and TigerDirect.

The retail sites have stopped taking orders and listed the Taichi models as either being out of stock or discontinued.

The Taichi models have high-resolution, 1920-by-1080-pixel screens, weigh 1.2 kilograms, and have 4GB of RAM. Additional features include a 5-megapixel webcam, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and two USB 3.0 ports.

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