Asus launches Windows 8 devices and cloud-computing solution

Asus opened its pre-Computex press conference with a unified cloud-computing solution, but it was the slew of Windows 8 devices — ranging from a twist on the AIO form factor to a convertible notebook — that drew the most interest from the media.

Asus Open Cloud Computing (AOCC) was described as a "total solution for the ubiquitous cloud-computing era". From what little we could see during the presentation, it looks like the company is trying to integrate some of its existing cloud solutions, such as Asus WebStorage, into a more cohesive product.

The Asus Taichi has dual, full-HD panels — we hate to think how much that's going to cost.
(Credit: Vincent Chang/CNET)

First up, one of the more interesting devices unveiled by Asus is the Taichi hybrid notebook/tablet, which was hinted at by the company in a teaser video last week. This device is in a notebook form factor and comes with full-HD screens on both sides of the lid. The one on the outside is touch-capable, and also supports a stylus.

Asus told us that the two screens work independently, and that both can be used for different applications at the same time. This opens up possibilities, such as having someone play a Metro-style app while another person types away at the keyboard. Obviously, Windows 8 is required for this to work.

The Taichi will come with both 11.6- and 13.3-inch screen sizes, and Asus claims that it will be as light as its Zenbook ultrabooks. Powering this device will be the latest Intel Core-i processors, along with SSD storage and Asus' SonicMaster audio technology.

The Asus Transformer AIO brings the tablet concept to the AIO form factor — we're just not too sure if it's practical.
(Credit: Vincent Chang/CNET)

A new Asus device that may leave consumers scratching their heads slightly is the Transformer AIO. Most of this is due to its large, 18.4-inch multi-touch display that can be removed from the dock, becoming a "wireless display for the AIO PC". This implies that the chunky dock for this device contains the PC innards used to power it. The interesting thing is that it runs dual operating systems, with just a single button to toggle between the two.

The Asus Transformer Book is still in its early prototype phase — the demo unit didn't even have connectors, such as USB or HDMI.
(Credit: Vincent Chang/CNET)

For those who prefer a fully fledged notebook experience, the Asus Transformer Book is the company's answer. It's a convertible notebook, with a detachable screen that has multi-touch support.

More importantly, it is powered by a Core i7 processor, though it will have Core i3 and i5 options when it's available. Discrete graphics is another option (Asus told us it hasn't decided whether it will use AMD or Nvidia graphics). The Book will also have SSD or HDD storage, along with 4GB of RAM and USB 3.0 ports.

Asus also launched a number of Transformer-like tablets with keyboard docks. They support Asus SonicMaster audio and have NFC sensors on-board. The difference between these two tablets lies in the version of Windows 8 that's installed. The Asus Tablet 810 runs on the x86 version of Windows 8, while Tablet 600 uses the ARM-compatible Windows RT.

The 11.6-inch 810 uses an Intel Atom processor (Clover Trail class), with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The screen has a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, and the display is said to use Super IPS+ technology, making it more readable outdoors. It also supports a Wacom digitiser stylus.

The smaller, 10.1-inch Tablet 600 features a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip with 2GB of RAM. There's only 32GB of storage, but the screen resolution and technology is identical to the 810.

While they come with keyboard docks, these won't work with current Asus Transformer products, though they still add USB ports and extend the battery life.

Asus also launched a couple of monitors: the Designo MX279H and the MX239H. Both feature sharp, matte IPS panels with a sleek design and up to 178-degree viewing angles. Audio is also integrated, and, predictably, it uses Asus' SonicMaster technology. We also saw a new Asus router, the RT-AC66U, which supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, and claims to offer Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1.75Gbps.

The company has yet to reveal the price and availability of these products, but as the majority of them are Windows 8 devices, you should expect them later this year, when Microsoft's OS hits the market.

Via CNET Asia

Check out more stories from Computex 2012.

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