Asus this week launched its latest Transformer device, the Transformer Book Trio last seen at Computex in June. The Trio is a convertible laptop/tablet device whose base configuration will be available for a starting price of $1599 from late November in Asus’ premium “giftbox style” packaging.
The Trio combines Android and Windows 8 in device, packing an 11.6 inch IPS Full HD display with separate specs for the PC running under the keyboard (a Core i5 CPU with 4 GB of RAM) and the Android tablet running behind the screen (an Intel Atom CPU with 2 GB RAM).
As the name implies – you’ve three modes of operation for the device. You can use it as a Windows 8 laptop, an Android tablet (or laptop), or you can use the Android tablet and Windows 8 laptop side-by-side with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. This means you could (for example) let your kids play games on the Android tablet while you continue to work on the PC.
We spent a bit of time with the device at the launch event and found the Android tablet quite responsive, light, and easy to hold despite the larger-than-most 11.6 inch size. The frame features what can only be described as a reasonably large bezel, and Asus has packed stereo speakers into the frame although – as with many phones and tablets – they’re on the back of the device and they face away from you. Power and volume buttons are similarly located on the rear of the screen/tablet, and the camera is in what can only be described as an “odd” place – bottom left of the tablet when connected to the dock.
Despite Asus’ experience with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, the Trio packs a customised user interface that hews more towards Asus’ own UI customisations seen on the MeMO Pad line than an AOSP-based Google “stock” Android. Some of these customisations are geared towards providing interoperability between the Android and Windows devices on offer.
We’re looking forward to putting the Trio through its paces closer to its Australian release. If you can’t wait though, preorder pages should start to pop up in the coming weeks – Scorptec seems first off the mark.
Does the Transformer Book Trio tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comments!