We may have previously pooh-poohed the idea of big-screen tablets, but the ASUS Transformer AiO may be just the device to change our mindset. The system, which was announced for the U.S. market today, brings together an 18.4-inch Android-powered tablet and a Windows 8-powered PC docking base to create an all-in-one that gives users access to the best of both operating systems in one device.
We previously got a glimpse of the Transformer AiO during Computex 2012 in Taiwan when ASUS Chairman Johnny Shih showed off the system during the company's annual press event. On the tablet end of things, the Transformer AiO offers a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Running the show is Google’s Android Jelly Bean OS. I/O ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, miniUSB port, docking port, power connector and microSD Card slot.
When connected to the PC dock, the Transformer AiO switches over to PC mode, giving you full access to Windows 8. Inside the dock is your choice of an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, from 4GB to 8GB of system memory, an Nvidia GeForce GT730M graphics chip with 2GB of RAM and between 1 and 2TB of storage. The PC dock also gives you a USB 2.0 port, four USB 3.0 ports, a 3-in-1 Card reader and microphone and headphone jacks. You also get an HDMI port, Ethernet jack and a TV tuner.
ASUS has even given the Transformer AiO a wireless desktop mode, which allows you to bring the tablet portion of the device with you anywhere in your house while still using Windows 8. To use this mode, you'll just have to ensure that both the tablet and the PC dock are connected to the same Wi-Fi router.
According to PhoneArena, the Transformer AiO will launch in the second quarter of 2013 and cost $1,299.