back to article ASUS launches 5-in-1 Android Windows Phone laptop tablet (breathe)

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 …


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  1. Phil W

    Identity Crisis

    You can almost hear this device screaming "Who am I?!?!?!?!"

    The concept of a laptop/tablet/phone is fine, but stick to one OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Identity Crisis

      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...

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Identity Crisis

        Only if it's £35.

        1. GregC

          Re: Only if it's £35.

          Harsh. I'd pay £50.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Only if it's £35.

            That's £50 more than some people on here.

            1. hplasm

              Re: Only if it's £35.

              "That's £50 more than some people on here."

              It does have Win8.x on it.

      2. Admiral Grace Hopper

        Re: Identity Crisis

        That all depends - what screen resolution are we talking? *narrows eyes* *fingers safety catch*

      3. RyokuMas

        Re: Identity Crisis

        "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...

      4. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Identity Crisis

        all 15 versions of Linux

        Errm, there's over 300 distributions… and that was 10 years ago. Who knows how many now?

        1. Vector

          Re: Identity Crisis

          I'm surprised they're trying this again. They already killed the Trio, the Duet and the p180x series due to pressure from Microsoft and Google. Neither company wants dual-boot systems out there.

      5. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        Re: Identity Crisis

        It needs to emit the smell of bacon butties and coffee and dispense beer on Fridays too.

    2. thomas k.

      Re: Identity Crisis

      It's a breath mint! It's a candy mint!

    3. Joseph Haig

      Re: Identity Crisis

      ..., 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.

    4. Crisp

      Re: "Who am I?!?!?!?!"

      Johnny the tackling alzheimer's patient?

      1. Neoc

        Re: "Who am I?!?!?!?!"

        "I'm Jean Valjean!"

    5. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Identity Crisis

      Exactly Phil, if it was Windows + Windows Phone, it might be a winner, or if it was Android + Android. But Windows + Android?

    6. goldcd

      I disagree


      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.

    7. David 66

      Re: Identity Crisis

      This is actually exactly what I want.

      I can trade up my 1600x900 17" lappie, my ageing S2 Android phone and my wonderful ASUS TF201 tablet w/ keyboard into this machine.

  2. silent_count


    The new Asus Malware Magnet. This revolutionary new device is fully capable of running machine crippling malware from whichever dodgy site you choose to download it from.

    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.

  3. Aslan

    The headline runs past it's bounds in Chrome. You need a space after each slash to get it to break right.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      I wonder what the web would look like if it weren't designed around the eccentricities of Page Rank and Chrome.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Something like this, I imagine, but covered in popups and malware as everything crawled through your IE6 ActiveX controls to steal your credit cards and violate your family.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "glorify your distinguished professionalism and taste.”

    I want that on a T-shirt.

  5. SW10
    Paris Hilton

    It's not genuine unless...

    ...there's a photo of someone using it in a dual environment.

    Like, lying on a beach with feet in the sea maybe.

    1. P0l0nium

      Re: It's not genuine unless...

      Looks genuine to me :-)

  6. Lionel Baden

    I need an unpopular puffin meme

    I like it :(

    I really want more information on it !!

  7. The BigYin

    Nice idea

    Seems like a hardware version of Canonical's Ubuntu-on-Android convergence idea.

    Shame about the Windows infection though.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Nice idea

      Sounds more like hardware designed for their converged kernel concept - where everything runs the same packages and kernel, but changes UI to suit the hardware/display in use.

      FAO Canonical - buy some of these, test more.

  8. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    That device is perfect ...

    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

  9. sabroni Silver badge

    But what we ALL want to know is...

    Can I wipe them both and put two PROPER linuxes on there!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But what we ALL want to know is...

      ASUS has got a good track record on this, so the answer is very likely yes.

  10. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Entirely new?

    This thing has been out for quite a few years now, even though the company is now only "licensing" the idea... perhaps to Asus?

  11. pear

    How long till they make the tablet android and put a Windows phone in the dock?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expensive comment on market dominance

    I guess it means ASUS think that Windows will remain dominant in PCs, and Android is in the same position when it comes to phones.

    I call it expensive because that was pretty obvious to start with, no need to engineer a product to demonstrate...

  13. Robert E A Harvey

    Does it make toast?

    I want it to make toast. And possibly love.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it make toast?

      How about a muffin?

      1. BDC

        Re: Does it make toast?

        The question is this: Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite... would you like a toasted teacake?

  14. Chad H.

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It looks more what happen if you set up a user focus group to design a product...

    2. sorry, what?
      Thumb Up

      Evolution of the PadPhone - Batteries with Benefits

      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.)

  15. Chika

    Expect the worst

    I wonder how much spares are for that point where one part is lost or busted?

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Asus do deserve marks for trying

      I've become quite fond of the company here. I'll have wait until I can see some more on it but as designed it's perfect. The ONLY time I would ever need to make a call would be an emergency. Now flipping between Windows & Android? Majorly kewl.

  17. Jah

    Minority of one?

    I would like one...feels very uncomfortable to say this with all the negative vibes above. Honest, I could see Vodafone/O2 offering this on a monthly contract at £50 per month.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a pantsuit!

    go on, please somebody...

  19. Avatar of They

    Don't get it, Windows only or android only.

    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.

  20. Big_Ted
    Thumb Up

    Come on people

    It all depends on price....

    If this is anwhere near the price of a Galaxy S5 or an LG G3 then I like many others will concider this as a great alternative to chucking £500 at just a phone.

    Lets see what it costs before writing it off.

  21. Hellcat

    What happens when...

    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!

    1. sorry, what?

      Re: What happens when...

      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

  22. Clive Galway

    Patent troll's wet dream?

    There's got to be something in that device that pisses off just about anybody!

    And just about EVERYTHING in it pisses off Apple.

  23. Nathan 6

    Atom based huh?

    I bet Intel's cash funded most, if not all of this project. That's the only reason they would chose using an atom CPU for phone rather than Arm.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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?

  25. G R Goslin


    It looks a nice piece of kit Shame about the MS operating system. If I ask nicely, do you think they'd put a proper OS on the thing?

  26. John Savard

    Not so weird

    Right. A Windows netbook that can switch into being a monitor and keyboard for your Android phone. Oh, and the keyboard is removable for portability.

    The question isn't that this is weird. The question is why everyone else hasn't been doing it already.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Battery Life?

    I wonder how that battery life works running as a Windows tablet vs an Android tablet?

    1. Jordan Davenport

      Re: Battery Life?

      Given it switches the grunt work to the attached phone as an Android tablet, I'm sure the battery life will be better in Android mode.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    non-Windows version?

    So basically, they weren't allowed to product a non-Windows version?

  29. Dr Insanity

    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

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