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Product snapshot: ASUS Transformer AiO PC blends Windows 8 and Android

Elias Plastiras | April 12, 2013
It is a desktop PC or is it an Android tablet? Actually, it's both and the tablet can be used as a monitor

Because the tablet can't run Windows 8 natively, ASUS has installed a 'mode' app that allows you to connect to the desktop PC wirelessly so that you can control it remotely. What you'll see on the screen is a stream of your desktop and you'll be able to use Windows 8 as if it were installed on the tablet (it will be good for most things, including accessing documents and media files, or browsing the Web).

Here's the 18.4in tablet in action. You can see that through the Android app, the Windows 8 desktop doesn't respond to portrait orientation.
Here's the 18.4in tablet in action. You can see that through the Android app, the Windows 8 desktop doesn't respond to portrait orientation.

For the most part though, you can use the tablet's Android operating system for Web browsing, streaming video and anything else you might normally use Android for (as long as there is a tablet app for what you want to do). When you dock the tablet back to the desktop, there is a little blue button on the tablet that you'll need to press in order to get it back in to plain monitor mode.

The hardware design seems to be good. The base with the Core i5 CPU in it sits on the table heavily and its stand allows for some tilting when the tablet is docked. The tablet screen can be easily lifted out of it with one hand (there is a flap handle on the rear) and it's just as easy to place it back into the dock once you're done.

At 18-inches, the screen is large and it feels substantial to carry around or sit in your lap. Luckily, it has a stand on it similar to a photo frame, so you can just plonk it on a table in an upright position if you want to view photos or videos. It has a typical, 10-finger capacitive touch interface, so if the tablet is resting on your lap you can type easily with both hands on the touchscreen.

In a nutshell, the Transformer All-in-one is an all-in-one desktop PC that uses an Android tablet as its monitor. You can use it as a regular desktop computer (it has four USB ports, three of which are USB 3.0, as well as a built-in optical drive, SD card slot, audio ports and HDMI) or you can rip off its monitor and use that as a stand-alone, 18.4in tablet.

The right side of the PC has an optical drive and a USB 2.0 port.
The right side of the PC has an optical drive and a USB 2.0 port.

 

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