We spent some time with the new Asus Windows 8 flagship model, the Asus Taichi 21. It’s an 11.6 inch hybrid model. Is it a tablet, or is it a notebook? Would you use it with the lid closed or open? How would you use both displays at once? These were the questions going through our mind as we prepared our first look video segment, below. The Taichi aims to bring the best of Windows 8 computing in one multi-purpose unit, and it’s an interesting concept.
Specwise, it sounds like an Asus Windows 8 Ultrabook, with the choice of Intel’s Core i5 or i7 in the Ultrabook ULV fashion, plus a solid state drive. And with the lid open and the keyboard & screen in front of you, the 1080p display is impressive and clear. The Windows 8 environment can be controlled using a mixture of keyboard shortcuts and keypad swipes, but I must confess that there were a few times when I instinctively reached for the screen.
But this is only half the story, the other half is on the lid, where an equally impressive, second 1080p screen waited for us to stroke and swipe to our heart’s content. This Asus Windows 8 notebook has incorporated a ten point, capacitive, 11.6 inch touch screen to take full advantage of the Windows 8 OS. The Gorilla Glass-protected display looked great with its Full HD screen keeping pixel details from the naked eye, for the most part.
So it’s an Asus Windows 8 notebook, and a Windows 8 tablet rolled into one, then. But as they say in the classics, wait, there’s more. The lid display can be used in two more functions as part of a two-screen setup. The first one is a basic mirror image, where the content you are working on or consuming on the notebook side is duplicated on the lid side. This is particularly good for executives eager to impress their clients with their new presentation delivery. (You’ll still need a compelling presentation of course; the Taichi will only get you so far).
The second two screen mode is “dual screen”, where the lid is an extended monitor or the desktop app. For those of you that use an extended monitor at work or home, you can even move your cursor or file explorer to the lid side, as you would extend your reach from a notebook to an external monitor in this mode.
Using a special Asus software feature, you can drag and drop video files to play on the lid while you continue to work on the notebook side. If you stay within the desktop app, the person on the other side and bring up the start screen and use other apps. A word of warning – if you press the Windows button on the keyboard, you will take the other screen out of its current state and back to the start screen.
Asus have proven themselves to be formidable innovators, with the Transformer lineup and Ultrabooks proving to be great blends of design, technology and practicality. With Windows 8, Asus have taken the opportunity to bring yet another innovative concept to market.
So that’s our first look at the new Asus Windows 8 TaiChi PC. Let us know if you have any questions, and how you would envision using a device like the two screen Taichi, we’re very interested to hear your thoughts.
Until next time!