You can almost hear this device screaming "Who am I?!?!?!?!"
The concept of a laptop/tablet/phone is fine, but stick to one OS.
ASUS has launched something entirely new – and odd – at Computex. The Transformer Book V is a Windows laptop that, should you choose to detach the keyboard, becomes a Windows tablet. There's something odd at the back of the tablet: a broad groove that houses a five inch Android phone. When the phone is in the slot the tablet …
"All it needs is Mac OS and all 15 versions of Linux and - hey presto! A machine to satisfy most of The Reg's Commentardiat..."
Nah, if it's still got Windows on it, the usual
Google shillssuspects will still be howling and ranting against it like some kind of hate preacher...
..., but stick to one OS."
I quite agree and, personally, I would only ever use this with Android but considering the history of PCs you can understand the reluctance of ASUS to release a laptop without Windows installed. It is a shame that Microsoft still has such an iron grip on the PC manufacturers, even with a product that is so clearly designed to run Android. You still have to pay your Microsoft tax, I suppose.
(Edit) Reading more into this, I realise that getting one of these and only ever user Android would mean having a phone with a very expensive external screen. I think I'll give this a miss.
The whole idea of having a dedicated dock for my phone on the back of my keyboard is stupid - but if they could bolt in the functionality you get over a regular USB connection, I'd be sold.
I already plug in my phone to my laptop docking station to charge it - and having my phone screen lurking as a window on my desktop sounds quite handy. Get the audio and network properly synced and I'd be over the moon.
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Gone are the days of having to trawl through hundreds of warez and pron sites looking for malware compatible with your machine. This amazing LapTabFone can run them all !
* Apple, Linux desktop, and Winphone malware support are not included in the base model but will be featured in the, soon to be released, Asus Malware Magnet Plus.
to freak out my missus. While she is working in windows mode, and slips out to make a cup of coffee, slip in the phone (which is behind the screen and therefore not visible), tap the screen, and sit back to observe the ensuing panic. As my wife panics whenever a button or menu is shifted in software she demanded me to install, I cannot imagine the degree of panic caused by an "inexplicable" change in OS.
Tempting, very tempting
Okay, its cool and all, but real world time... Outside of a development enviornment, I cant see too many punters seeing much of a need to swap between 3+ OSes in a mobile enviornment on the fly, especially when for one they need to have another device running one of those OSes anyway.
Seems to be a "because we could" product rather than a "Here's a problem we're trying to solve" product.
I have an ASUS Transformer (TF100) and the really handy thing of the keyboard dock is that it packs an additional battery. This means you get twice the battery life on a charge. I was really tempted by the PadPhones I and II, because these were Android phones that docked into a tablet form (with battery) that docked into a keyboard (with battery) so giving lots of battery life to the phone (and a way to recharge away from mains whilst also providing added functionality).
This device then is an excellent idea and hopefully provides the same sorts of benefits. Of course, this time there is a processor in the "tablet" part which will chew battery faster because it's running a power hungry OS. (Having said that, from my experience the same can be leveled at Android [on my old HTC] when compared with iOS [on a wifi only iPad] and Windows Phone [my other half's work phone] and certainly compared with Symbian S60 et. al.)
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A windows laptop I would avoid but using the Android brain, that is pushing technology. And if windows is involved it won't be nice, windows doesn't like other OS's.
Looking at Android, do you have to use that phone or is it always in? I mean what actually happens with the brain. If I plug in phone and use a word editor does the phone run the word editor or does the computer run the word editor (with more ram and CPU I guess)?
If so, should I pull the phone out where is the data? Win 8 won't know where that data is as it can't play with other OS's by design (what is the file format on the hard drive? ext4? NTFS?. So can Windows 8 see the data now, or can the phone see it? Or is it now sat on a partition no one can access until that phone is plugged back in.
What if I lose that phone, do I lose all that data.
Does the phone come as part of the bundle, or not? Is the phone the 4g aspect or does the laptop have it's own, if so do you need two sim cards? If so when the phone is plugged into the laptop which is he primary contract for the 4g, you could be paying twice and draining battery on two devices.
Looks to be a massive mess just waiting to happen?
I might be interested but I bet it has a price tag Apple would be jealous of.
You're docked and the phone rings?
I don't think I'm a target user here. I've dual-booted my PC before for gaming vs everything else, and found it a right PITA, plus docking the phone I guess means you're fixed to an individual model of phone? Perhaps if the offloading of work was done wirelessly this could be a viable platform - but we're a long way from there!
Have you ever heard of bluetooth headsets? Alternatively they could always include a stylus like the one for the original PadFone (I thought this was a really funky concept, even if you look a total eejit when using it to take a call). Take a look at https://www.asus.com/uk/Tablet_Mobile_Accessories/PadFone_Stylus_Headset/
Sounds like the next evolution of the Surface, only this time it's not M$ doing this. Let's just try to offer bloody everything in one device (or device combo) and be mediocre in all disciplines.
Also, can you still make a call with the phone? Or do you have to hold the whole laptop/tablet/whatever-it-is into your face?
I have (had) a Padfone 2 and thought the idea of having a phone convert to a tablet using the same brain and retaining it's mobile data and calling ability was brilliant. The only thing missing for me was the keyboard dock as per the Padfone1.
This looks perfect for me, my only hope is they give this a little more support in the UK than they have all of the previous Padfones. I don't even think the Infinity ever made it here in any official capacity and the Infinity 2 definitely did not. If this is released in the UK chalk me up as a buyer