The ASUS Transformer Book Duet isn’t your average hybrid laptop. The Duet, which debuted this week at CES International, lets users not only switch between laptop and tablet form factor, but also between the Windows and Android operating systems. It offers the best of both worlds for business users, combining the productivity power of a Windows 8.1 desktop PC with the ease of use and huge app selection of Android.
Switching between operating systems is as easy as tapping an icon located on the app dock in the Android interface, or on the taskbar in the Windows interface. The keyboard also sports a dedicated dual-boot button; just press it to change from Windows to Android and back. The transition between the two takes just a few seconds, so business users can easily multi-task between the Windows and Android apps. That’s a plus for mobile business users who want to use Android’s more robust selection of productivity, note-taking or scheduling apps, but also use Microsoft office as part of their work rotation.
Physically, the Duet resembles a lot of other hybrid laptops. The display detaches from the keyboard dock with the press of a button, allowing users to hold it like a tablet – perfect for casual content consumption. When it’s time to get back to work, snap the keyboard back on for a productivity boost. The Duet’s 13-inch display stands out in a field of 10- and 12-inch hybrids, hitting that near-perfect balance between portability and productivity. It’s a bit heftier and chunkier than the average Ultrabook when docked with the keyboard, however.
Under the hood the Duet more closely resembles a PC than a tablet with an Intel Core processor and up to 1TB of onboard storage when docked to the keyboard. The dock houses almost every port a business user could ask for, including USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, HDMI and Ethernet ports, plus a full-size SD card slot for expanded storage. The hybrid device is relatively affordable, too, starting at $599. ASUS hasn’t yet announced when it will ship but expect the Transformer Book Duet to hit store shelves soon.