Consider this a friendly reminder that the Asus Transformer AiO, a gigantic hybrid PC that runs both Windows 8 and Android, still exists.
Asus says via press release that it’s launching the “all-new” device just now, but we’ve been hearing about the hybrid since last June. As far as I can tell, the only change with Thursday’s announcement is the Transformer AiO’s availability—it arrives April 12, a bit later than Asus had anticipated when it showed off the hybrid at CES in January.
New or not, the Transformer AiO is an interesting concept. When nestled in its docking station, the AiO can run either Windows 8 or Android 4.1 on an 18.4-inch, 1080p multi-touch display. An Intel Core i3 processor and Nvidia GeForce GT 730M graphics card live inside the docking station to handle the Windows side of the device, while an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip built into the display handles the Android side.
Detach the screen from the dock, and the oversized tablet can run for up to five hours on its built-in battery. A button on the side of the device switches between Android and a remote desktop mode for Windows 8.
Although we’ve seen other extra-large Windows 8 desktop-tablet hybrids, including the Sony Tap 20, the Transformer AiO is unique in its ability to run Android 4.1. The secondary OS should help fill in for those times when app selection in the Windows Store falls short.
Also, because the Transformer AiO has two processors, it can even serve as two separate computers. Just plug an external monitor into the docking station’s HDMI output, and you have both a desktop PC and an oversized Android tablet.
Other specs for the docking station include 4GB of RAM, a 1GB hard drive, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, an SD card slot and Bluetooth 4.0. The tablet itself has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and Bluetooth 3.0. On its own, the tablet weighs 5.3 pounds and measures 0.7 inches thick.
Pricing for the Asus Transformer AiO starts at $1299. More expensive configurations can include up to 8GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive and an Intel Core i7 processor.
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Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.
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