Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer Asus is launching a hybrid laptop-tablet that runs two operating systems—Windows 8.1 and Android 4.1. The Transformer Book Duet (TD300), with a 13.3-inch touchscreen, allows users to switch between Windows and Android within four seconds at the touch of a button, in either laptop or tablet modes, according to Asus. There is no OS virtualization, so users can benefit from the full power of the device’s Intel Core i7 processor using either OS. Pricing details have not yet been released.
This device builds on the dual-OS concept that Asus introduced in an earlier laptop-tablet hybrid, the Transformer Book Trio, launched in June. However, that device lacked the complete freedom to switch between systems that the Duet promises. In any case, OS choice within a device is an innovative and interesting concept that could greatly enlarge users’ range of available apps and also extend functionality and flexibility. The target market is not likely to be large, but within a niche, Asus’ product may prove quite appealing.