The first day of Computex 2012--Taiwan's huge tech showcase--provided a sneak peek at the future of PCs. We found an Ultrabook with Nvidia graphics inside and an 18.4-inch all-in-one that switches between Windows 8 and Android 4.0. But the show really belongs to tablet-laptop combos like the back-flipping Acer Iconia W510 and the ASUS Taichi, which sports two screens. Here are the highlights from a very exciting (and surprising) Day 1 from Computex.
ASUS Taichi: Hands-on the Dual-Screen Notebook
It's the first two-faced notebook. At first glance, the ASUS Taichi opens up to reveal an internal display like any other clamshell on the market, but this Windows 8 notebook boldly houses a secondary display that shines out from the back of the lid. What's more, that alternative screen packs a 1920 x 1080 resolution and can mirror or extend the internal screen, giving users a vibrant option for making presentations to clients.
Acer Iconia W510: Windows 8 Tablet Hands On
Acer's new designs are tailor made for Windows 8's versatility. The company's new W510 and W700 tablets can connect to keyboard docks much like the Android-based ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime. The only difference is that Acer's new slates work in a third mode too: you can leave the keyboard attached to the dock and simply flip the screen all the way back for use as a tablet.
Gigabyte U2442: Nvidia Graphics Comes to the Ultrabook
If you've been waiting for an Ultrabook with gaming-level graphics, Gigabyte just delivered. The company's new 3.5-pound U2442 series comes in three new configurations. The most capable model rocks a 2.5-GHz Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor, 1600 x 900 -pixel display, and an Nvidia GT640M graphics chip for playing a little more Diablo III and a lot less solitaire.
ASUS Transformer AiO: First Desktop/Tablet Combo
It's not enough to build the world's only 18.4-inch desktop all-in-one / tablet hybrid. ASUS had to build the super-slate with both Windows 8 and an Android operating system inside. When docked in its base station the Transformer AiO runs Windows 8. Unplugged, the LED-backlit slate turns into the largest Android tablet you've ever held.
ASUS Debuts Three Transforming Windows 8 Tablet-Laptop Hybrids
Not to be left behind on Windows 8, ASUS showed off three next-generation tablets that connect to dockable keyboards and run Microsoft's upcoming operating system. The entry-level device is the ASUS Tablet 810 and it packs a low 1366 x 768. 12-inch screen powered by an Intel Atom processor. Skipping up to the high-end we have the Transformer Book, a device available in 11.6, 13, and 14 inch form factors, powered by an Core i7 Sandy Bridge CPU, and packing a 1080p IPS display.
Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook Hands-on: Super Thin, HD Screens
Acer's first Ultrabook failed to impress with a lackluster screen resolution of just 1366 x 768 pixels. The Aspire S7 avoids that pitfall with a max HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The high-quality--and touch-enabled--screens come available in 11.6 and 13.3-inch flavors.
Gigabit X11: The Lightest 11-inch Ultrabook?
Thanks to a light-weight frame built entirely of carbon fiber, the Gigabyte X11 weighs just 2.14 pounds, a hair less than the 2.38-pound Apple MacBook Air of the same screen size. In terms of measurements, the X11 tapers in at .11 inches on its thinnest point. That slender build is a selling point, but it also costs the unit the thickness needed to pack an Ethernet port. Good thing, it's still well equipped. .
Viewsonic VCD22 Android Smart Display
Android is popular on mobile devices, so why not install it on desktops, too? That could explain the thinking behind Viewsonic's 22-inch all-in-one desktop, the VCD22 Android Smart Display. This behemoth is is an all-in-one that runs Android 4.0 on a 1920 x 1080-pixel screen. It includes three USB ports, Bluetooth support,802.11n Wi-Fi, and two-finger capacitive touch support for steering the beast. That's important--the VCD22 does not work with or include a keyboard or mouse.