Hands on with the ASUS Transformer Book Duet TD300

ASUS is dropping someone from the band, following up their dual-OS Transformer Book Trio with the Duet, a laptop/tablet hybrid that can run both Windows 8 and Android 4.2.

So, why the name change? Well, this time, the approach is a little different. Last year, trio referred to the fact that the device was, in a sense, a desktop/laptop/tablet hybrid. That’s because the Trio actually had two processors – one in the keyboard, one in the display. When connected, users could swap between Android and Windows 8. When separated, one person could use the display as an Android tablet while another person could use the keyboard with an external monitor like a Windows 8 desktop.

The Duet, on the other hand, only has one processor (in the display) which would knock out the ‘desktop’ functionality that the Trio had. It’ll also probably make the Duet a little more affordable. That processor is a 4th generation Intel Core processor, up to an i7, and is backed up by 4 GB of DDR3L 1600 RAM. You’ll find a 13.3” 1080p IPS display, too, which can be removed from the keyboard and used as a tablet, using either Windows 8.1 or Android 4.2. So, another difference this time is that when removed from the keyboard, the tablet will still be able to run Windows 8.1. The one processor supports both operating systems this time, which can be switched using a button on the display or the keyboard. Switching doesn’t mean rebooting, either – you’ll find yourself right back to where you were when you last left that OS.

On the outside, there will be USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, an ethernet port, and a microSD card slot on the display. While the Duet only has one processor, it still has separate hard drives for the keyboard and the display. The display will have a 128 GB SSD, while the keyboard will have a 1 TB HDD.

We don’t yet know about pricing or availability for the Transformer Book Duet, but it’s a good bet that with just one processor inside, it’ll be a fair amount cheaper than its predecessor.

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