More than Meets the Eye – The Asus Transformer AiO

At home, I use a Windows 7 laptop. At work, I use a Windows 7 desktop PC. In between (and by "in between" I mean when traveling, commuting, or hanging out elsewhere), I have my Android smartphone. You can say that wherever I set camp somewhere, I have a computer with me. No, I’m not a gadget freak; it’s just that my profession as writer just calls for it. So even if I don’t like it, I need to have a computer with me most of the time.

It would probably be better if I have an all-in-one device, right? It would have to be one that was like Optimus Prime or Bumble Bee, transforming itself into a tablet or a PC and switching between 2 operating systems when needed.

Well, this is what Asus obviously had in mind when it came up with the Transformer AiO. And the mere mention of "transformer" has made the writer (and the techie) in me quite interested.

More than Meets the Eye

The Asus Transformer AiO P1801 pretty much lives up to its name, as it transform from PC to a tablet when needed. And did I mention that AiO actually means "All-in-One"? That’s pretty smart branding and selling strategy, if you ask me, because of the strong recall. But more importantly, the Transformer AiO is indeed a transformer, switching from Windows 8 to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in just a single click. So what this means for a user like me is that as a PC, the Transformer AiO will run on Windows 8, allowing me to work just as I would at home or at the office. But as a tablet, the Transformer AiO will run on Android OS, allowing me to use and enjoy the apps that I like.

Transformer AiO as a PC

As a desktop PC, the Transformer AiO is mounted on a PC station, complete with Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Bluetooth-powered, meaning no annoying and bothersome wires. In desktop mode, the Transformer AiO is a Windows 8 PC boasting of an 18.4-inch full HD screen. Specs-wise, it’s designed to impress with a beastly set of insides like the third generation Intel Core i5-3350P quad core processor, the 8GB DDR-1600 RAM, the 1TB hard drive, and the 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M graphics. It’s also got a DVD-RW optical drive, 4 USB 3.0 ports, an audio jack, built-in speakers, and a 1MP front-facing camera. For connectivity, it’s got Bluetooth 4.0/3.0, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet.

Transformer AiO as a Tablet

In tablet mode, the Asus Transformer AiO turns into an 18.4-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet that boasts of an LED (1920 x 1080) backlit display equipped with 10-point touch feature. What this means is that I can use all ten of my fingers at the same time when navigating the screen. Cool, right? It then powers up its other set of beastly insides, namely the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, the 2GB DDR3 RAM, and its 32GB internal storage. As a tablet, the Asus Transformer AiO has a built-in microphone, a micro SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port, as well as a 33W charging port.

Not the Average Mobile Device

Concept-wise, the Asus Transformer AiO P1801 is not your average mobile device. It’s a do-all and be-all kind of gadget, bringing the virtual office anywhere. But because of its all-in-one capability, it’s not surprising that it’s not your average device either when it comes to weight and price. The Asus Transformer AiO P1801 is heavy (about 5.28 pounds) and the bundled set costs around $1299.

Is it a great investment? I would think so, given my professional needs. But would I bring it with me ALL THE TIME? I don’t think so, because there’s my "in between"– the place between work and home. And during those times when I’d be traveling or commuting, I’d still prefer bringing my handy, pocket-sized Android phone with me.

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