If you’ve taken a stroll in a high street electrical retailer recently, you’ll have noticed that the latest craze is the marriage of laptop and tablet, courtesy of Microsoft’s Windows 8. The new OS has spurned a new generation of devices that have touchscreens as well as laptop keyboards, and some are pretty exciting – in our opinion none is more exciting than the ASUS Taichi.
Announced earlier in the year, the Taichi has caught the attention of many for its slim and sleek laptop nature and two screens. ASUS’ habit for making transforming gadgets has continued in Windows 8, and the Taichi is billed as being “the incredible fusion of Notebook and Tablet”. We got some hands on time with it at this weekend’s Gadget Show Live event in London.
There were plenty of ultrabooks and dual-purpose gadgets on the Windows 8 stand, but the Taichi seemed to stand out because of its design and build quality. Several premium elements have been thrown into the mix, including Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers, which sounded very impressive for such a thin device.
Windows 8 has been designed for touch, and as such the Taichi has a tablet-like multi-touch 11.6-inch 16:9 screen on the reverse of the lid. This isn’t just a gimmicky screen and is in fact a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution display that is pretty great when displaying movies and photos. From our time with the device we noted that the screen offered great quality and was smooth, but was a massive fingerprint magnet.
On the other side of the touchscreen is a regular 11.6-inch laptop display that allows the Taichi to be used as a regular notebook PC. It’s non-touch but is again Full HD with the 1920 x 1080 resolution, and ASUS has finished it with a slick matte finish which looks gorgeous and practically eliminates glare, which we saw to be working well on the show floor.
The Taichi was fast and smooth thanks to its powerful Intel Core i7 processor, and has a trademark ASUS finish with brushed aluminium and a premium feel all over. It’s not the thinnest Ultrabook around but it’s still pretty thin and lightweight, though we felt that when using the touchscreen element it would be better to use the device sat on a desktop rather than holding and carrying it around due to the extra weight – It’s around twice the weight of an iPad.
ASUS and Microsoft reps at the show informed us that the ASUS Taichi will be available in the UK late January 2013, with a price tag of around £1500.
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