First look: Asus Taichi

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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

Asus' latest experiment packs a bunch of sex appeal, grafting a Windows slate onto the lid of a normal laptop. But will it sell?

The Taichi presents a different take on the now expected "pull the screen out of a laptop to turn it into a tablet" trick. When you close the lid, a screen under the glass lights up, presenting a full HD, (In-Plane Switching) IPS touchscreen. The form factor is impressively narrow, although we weren't able to ascertain how much it weighs or whether it's comfortable to use in this mode.

We suspect Windows is treating the second screen as it would a second monitor, with some extra Asus software thrown into the mix, as we saw both screens run simultaneously as well. Mirroring your display on the back could have fascinating applications — an easy way to broadcast your screen to the world.

Paired with a third generation Intel Core processor and dual-band Wi-Fi, we can't see this being cheap, and running both screens at once will absolutely be a significant drain on the battery. But the most important question is — would you buy one?

Check out more stories from Computex 2012.

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MotorMouth posted a comment   

Yes! This is the most exciting development I've seen in ages and for me is the perfect form factor. Having a separate touch-screen that allows me to keep the laptop screen pristine makes excellent sense to me. As a graphic artist I am pretty fussy about keeping my screen clean.

To me this is the complete opposite of tablets like the iPad. To me those things are the worst of all possible worlds - none of the convenience of a smartphone and none of the power of a laptop. OTOH, this is the best of both worlds - all the convenience of a touchscreen device with the full power of a modern laptop ready and waiting. I'll be trading in my UX21 Zenbook for one of these the day they hit the stores.

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