Asus launched the Taichi 31 dual-screen notebook this week. But despite the press release, it’s not actually available for purchased in the US yet.
While retailers don’t yet have the 13 inch dual-display ultrabook in stock, Sams’s Club is showing a starting price of $1099 for the Asus Taichi 31, while PCRush is charging $1357 and up… which is closer to the $1399 price I’d been expecting.
Amazon has a page where you can sign up for more information on the laptop’s availability, but no word on the eventual price.
With the lid open, the Asus Taichi 31 looks like a normal Windows 8 ultrabook with a 13.3 inch screen. It has an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB or 256GB solid state disk.
The screen that faces the keyboard is a 1920 x 1080 pixel display. Sometimes a display is just a display. There’s no touch panel on this one.
But if you close the lid you’ll find another 13.3 inch full HD screen. And this one is a touchscreen. So with the lid closed, you can effectively use the Taichi 31 as a Windows 8 tablet.
You can also use both screens at the same time. For example you can open the lid so the touchscreen is pointing at someone sitting across the table from you. They can watch a video while you compose an email message. Or you can play a game together.
At 3.4 pounds, the Taichi 31 is pretty light for a notebook, but kind of heavy for a tablet.
Asus also offers a model with dual 11.6 inch displays called the Taichi 21. That version nweighs 2.7 pounds and has been available for a few months for around $1099 and up.