Desktop Systems Guide

ASUS Transformer AIO P1801 review

ASUS Transformer AIO - Desktop to Tablet and Back

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Introduction

2 in 1

ASUS has been releasing a range of all-in-one (AIO) machines of late. Surprisingly, most of them were actually showcased at COMPUTEX 2012, but they've only been made available recently. Last year saw the arrival of the ET2411INTI and the ET2300INTI AIO systems. However, their latest AIO, dubbed simply the Transformer, might be its most radical yet.

Why?

Well, as its name suggest, the Transformer AIO is able to 'transform' from a regular AIO desktop into an Android tablet. How it pulls this off is by having a display that doubles as a tablet. You simply detach the display and it turns into a giant size Android tablet. Therefore, it can be said that the ASUS Transformer AIO is really two devices in one, each with its own OS, processor, memory and storage.

The desktop component of the ASUS Transformer AIO, which ASUS calls the 'PC Station' is equipped with a quad-core Intel Core i5-3350P processor, 8GB of DDR3-1600MHz memory, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M discrete graphics and a 1TB hard disk. The tablet is powered by a Tegra 3 processor and has 2GB of memory and 32GB of flash storage. On the OS front, the desktop runs Windows 8, while the tablet is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Here's a table that quickly summarizes the ASUS Transformer AIO's key specifications:

  PC Station Tablet
Display 18.4-inch Full HD IPS display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch
Processor Intel Core i5-3350P (3.1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 3

Memory

8GB DDR3-1666 SO-DIMM 2GB DDR3-1666
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M (2GB GDDR5) NVIDIA Tegra 3
Storage 1TB HDD (mechanical) 32GB Flash

To make the full use of such a configuration, ASUS has also provided a nifty button that lets users switch between OSes on the fly when the tablet is docked. With this, it kind of feels like you are running Android on your computer, and with its large display, such a setup makes it great for playing Android games with the family.

The Transformer is a product unlike any other, as it combines both desktop and tablet devices into a single form factor. And while this sounds good on paper, how does it perform and work in real life? Can you really use an 18.4-inch tablet? Read on find out how the Transformer compares against comparable AIO systems and how the tablet works in real life usage scenarios.