ASUS today confirmed that its Taichi 21 hybrid Ultrabook is expected to be in Australian stores by 21 January. It has been a long time coming for this 11.6in hybrid product, which we initially reviewed back in November 2012, and it's sure to get a fair bit of interest from consumers due to its innovative design.
The Taichi 21 features a two-screen design on a single hinge and it weighs almost 1.3kg. It can be used either as a conventional notebook or as a tablet simply by opening and closing the lid; no rotating, flipping or sliding is necessary. An ASUS-specific software utility controls the two screens and some extra functionality is included: it allows the second screen to be used as a duplicate of the main laptop screen, or as a second screen for presenting different information than what can be seen on the main screen. Both screens in the Taichi 21 are IPS panels with wide viewing angles and both have a native resolution of 1920x1080.
Retail stores will be stocked with the Intel Core i5-3317U version of the Taichi 21, which is a CPU that runs at 1.7GHz and two cores plus Hyper-Threading. The configuration also includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state drive. There are two USB 3.0 ports, micro-HDMI, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WiDi support. Ethernet and VGA ports are supplied as dongles.
The Taichi 21 will be in stores at Bing Lee, BSR, Costco, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB HiFi, Radio Rentals, Retravision and RT Edwards, and the starting price for the Core i5 model will be $1599. A Core i7 model will be sold for $1899 through ASUS' authorised channel partners.
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