Over the past year we’ve seen plenty of notebooks that can function as tablets, and even a few that can work as desktop computers. The Asus Transformer Book Trio might be the first computer designed to work as a tablet, notebook, or desktop PC.
It does that thanks to 2 separate processors, 2 operating systems, and a set of docks or “stations” that change the computer’s functionality.
What’s in the slate?
The tablet portion of the Transformer Book Trio features a 2 GHz Intel Atom Z2580 Clover Trail+ dual core processor, up to 64GB of storage, and an 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display. There’s a 19.5Whr battery
It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which means you can use the slate portion of the Transformer Book Trio as a standalone device to run Android apps.
But it can also function as the display for your Windows PC when you connect it to a keyboard dock, which Asus calls the PC Station dock.
Asus also offers software that lets you sync data between the tablet and PC Station.
What’s in the PC Station dock?
While the display has the guts of an Android tablet, under the keyboard are the guts of a decent Windows notebook with an Intel Haswell processor.
The Transformer Book Trio’s PC Station Dock has an Intel Core i7-4500U processor, up to 1TB of storage, and a 33Whr battery.
Plug in the tablet and you’ve got yourself a Windows 8 notebook.
What do you mean, the Trio is also a desktop?
Since the Haswell chip, hard drive, and Windows operating system are all in the keyboard dock, you don’t actually need the tablet/screen to use the Transformer Book Trio as a Windows computer.
Detach the 11.6 inch display, plug in a monitor, and you’ve basically got a Windows 8 desktop on your hands.
Sure, you can plug pretty much any notebook into a monitor and call it a “desktop” if you want. But you have to figure out what to do with that pesky built-in display. Since the Trio’s screen is detachable, it doesn’t get in the way, and the PC Station acts like a PC-and-keyboard combo.
Meanwhile, you can hand the tablet off to a colleague or family member to get their Angry Birds fix while you use the Trio in desktop mode.