Multi-Screen ASUS TAICHI Ultrabook Offers a Dual Personality [Hands-on]

We’ve seen plenty of upcoming Windows 8 hybrid PC-tablets in the past year in the run-up to the Windows 8 release this week, but none of them have been quite like the Asus Taichi. The Taichi made waves at its Computex debut by sporting two HD screens that could be used simultaneously.

Instead of going the detachable keyboard route or using the 360 degree hinge method, Asus opted to give the Taichi two back-to-back 11.6” HD displays. When the Taichi is opened, you can use it as an ultrabook. Close it, and you can use it as a tablet. It’s a clever way to get around the problem of having an exposed keyboard for those hybrids with 360 degree hinges, and it also open up the possibility of two people using the device at once, since both displays can be used independently when the Taichi is open. Both displays can also show the same thing, which makes it great for presentations.

In case you were worried about the dual-screen set-up making things a little too hefty, the device remains impressively light, at 1.25 kg (2.76 pounds). Both displays are IPS, and in full HD. Inside, you’ll have your choice of 3rd generation Intel core processors up to the i7, along with 4 GB of RAM and Intel HD 4000 graphics. For storage, you’ll be able to get 128 GB or 256 GB solid state drives. You’ll also see two USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band Wi-Fi.

This is also a rare ultrabook with a rear-facing camera – a 5 MP camera, capable of taking full HD 1080p video. There’s also a 720p front-facing camera. Battery life is being estimated at 5 hours.

Configurations based on processor and storage capacity range from $1,300 to $1,600. It’s hard to know what to expect from the Taichi, since it’s such a radically different take on the hybrid idea, but it’s not too highly priced and might be worth a look if you want to try something different. You’ll be able to get your hands on it sometime in November.

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