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ASUS TAICHI Lands at Abt: Great Gadget or Gaudy Gimmick?

ASUS TAICHI dual-screen convertible laptop offers a radical new tablet/laptop combination.

The touchscreen display revolutionized the personal computing industry by giving people a new way to interact with their devices and leading to products like the tablet and smartphone. In the rapidly evolving world of computing, people are always waiting for The Next Big Thing, and with the Consumer Electronics Show currently underway, we’re getting plenty of contenders. ASUS has thrown its hat into the ring with its upgrade to the touchscreen: an ultrabook that features two touch-sensitive displays. Dubbed the ASUS TAICHI, this futuristic device combines the power of an Ultrabook with the portability and versatility of a tablet.


The ASUS TAICHI in tablet form.

If you were to find an ASUS TAICHI sitting on a table in its closed state, you might mistake it for a slightly thick Windows 8 tablet. Closer inspection will reveal that the tablet screen you’re looking at is actually integrated into the backside of a standard Ultrabook screen. ASUS managed to fit a fully-functional tablet onto the outside of an ultrabook, and keep the entire package slimmer than most notebooks available today.


The ASUS TAICHI in mirror mode.

The tablet display is a beautiful Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Display with 10-finger touch compatibility. On the inside, the laptop gets a display of the same size and resolution, but lacking touch sensitivity. Both screens feature integrated cameras capable of stills and HD video. Under the gorgeous brushed-aluminum shell is either an Intel Core i7 or i5, with 4GB of on-board RAM. A SATA III SSD helps keep the package svelte, and provides a decent amount of storage. There is, of course, no optical drive.

Some may dismiss the TAICHI as pure gimmick, but the dual-screen design has plenty of great uses. Have you ever huddled around a tiny laptop with a dozen other people, trying to view photos or read an email? With mirror mode activated on the TAICHI, both LCDs will display the same information, letting users view from both sides of the machine. Designers, architects and similar professions are bound to find interesting uses for this function; it could be an invaluable tool at business meetings with no access to an external monitor or projector. Dual Screen Mode lets both sides function independently, allowing the user to see one thing and the outside viewers another.


ASUS TAICHI in standard laptop mode.

Of course, the ASUS TAICHI also functions fantastically as just a tablet or just a laptop, which leads to the most obvious user base: those who want/need both a laptop and a tablet, but not the hassle of carrying two devices. There are other solutions to this problem, but none as elegant or well-built as the TAICHI. ASUS fits a very comfortable chiclet-style keyboard into a very sturdy body, without the compromises that swivel-screen or detachable-keyboard style laptops have to make. ┬áThe only drawback worth mentioning is that the glossy screen of the outside tablet is a magnet for fingerprints, and can get a little unsightly after being used. Overall, we here at Abt think it’s a great device, one of our favorite new items in the Connect Store. Stop or click on by to take a look or order one yourself.

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