LAS VEGAS—Asus is adding another dual-OS convertible to its stable. The all-new Transformer Book Duet TD300 is a laptop/tablet convertible that can instantly switch between the Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating systems with the push of a button.
The Duet is not a dual-boot device. When you switch operating systems, the first OS goes into a state of hibernation. When you switch back to it, the OS instantly resumes at whatever state you left it in. The Duet is also not a dual-CPU device. The machine will be powered by up to an Intel Core i7 CPU mounted inside the tablet, along with 4GB of low-power DDR3/1600 memory, up to a 128GB SSD, and Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters.
The tablet’s IPS touchscreen has native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The tablet has a microSD slot and a headphone jack, but no USB ports. The keyboard/dock has one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 mb LAN, a headset jack, and HDMI 1.4. The device also has up to 1TB of mechanical storage. The tablet and keyboard weigh just over 4 pounds combined.
Two (or is that four?) beats three
Asus’s earlier notebook/tablet hybrid—the Transformer Book Trio—can also run either the Windows or Android operating systems. But that device had an Intel Atom processor in its tablet, and an Intel Core processor in its keyboard dock. The tablet had to be removed from the dock to run Android, and it had to be paired with the dock to run Windows. Or you could connect the dock to an external display and run Windows independently of the tablet.
But Asus muddies its own marketing message by describing the Duet as a “quad mode” laptop and tablet. The concept they’re trying to get across is that the device can operate as either a Windows or Android tablet, and it can also operate as either a Windows or Android notebook.
Hmm. Perhaps they should have called it the Quartet.
In any case, Asus has not yet announced pricing or availability for the Transformer Book Duet TD300.