Windows 8 and Android. Not things that you'd traditionally put together in the same sentence, in fact you could argue – quite easily thanks to the Surface from Microsoft – that the two platforms are in direct competition with each other. Microsoft's latest version of Windows has been made over to better work with touchscreens and has a more familiar tablet-type interface no matter where you use it. The Modern UI as Microsoft are calling it, has caused quite a stir among traditional Windows users. ASUS are trying something new with their Transformer AiO which brings Windows 8 and Android together in one machine, that's really two machines.
On the face of it, the Transformer AiO is basically an 18.4-inch all-in-one PC running Windows 8 – for spec fiends there's a Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of Storage, Bluetooth 3.0, a DVD drive and a slew of ports including 4 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-out port and 1 USB 2.0 port. Seems like just a relatively compact all-in-one computer that would be good for a home office or something like that, right? Well, there's more to the Transformer AiO than that, as the name suggests it's got hidden talent in that the display of the PC can be removed and used as an Android tablet.
Albeit a massive 18.4-inch 1920 x 1080 Android tablet. There's a quad-core Tegra 3, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage – with an SD Card slot – under the hood and if you're worried that such a sizable tablet would be quite heavy, you'd be right because it weighs in at a massive 5.3 pounds. Thankfully, ASUS has included a handle on the tablet and a sturdy kickstand to keep things stable when in use. Jelly Bean is listed as the Android version of choice, and it's most likely Android 4.1. You can use Android whenever you like through the push of a button, which means you could output to another display for Windows 8 and have Android right in your face.
I can't say I'd use something like this but, it doesn't seem all that crazy when you think about it. After all, all-in-one PCs have grown in popularity and this comes in at a decent size with the ability to take the display elsewhere around the house. I can see this being good for kids that want to watch a movie in bed or play games or draw things away from the desk or their room. Having said that, that's a hefty tablet for any child to carry around. You've got to hand to ASUS here though, it's a pretty cool concept, if not inevitably flawed.
The Transformer AiO is said to be available come April 12th – yeah, I was thinking maybe April 1st myself – and it'll run for $1,299. There are some upgrades you could do to get that price higher if you like, like storage and an upgrade to an i7. If you're looking for something a little more stylish for your home office but want something a little different, then this is definitely different.