In the immortal words first uttered in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, “For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius.”
Begone, hybrid devices. ASUS has come out with a device that has inhaled almost all other mobile devices.
The Transformer Book V (pronounced as “five”) offers a tablet/laptop hybrid, with a 12.5-inch HD IPS screen and Windows 8.1. But there’s also an Android 4.4 phone, a 5-inch Zenfone-type device.
When the phone is connected to the tablet, the Android interface is shown on the screen — either within Windows 8, or full screen. Attach the keyboard, and you can have an Android laptop. Or press a button to switch between the two OSs.
The phone is no also-ran. It is the first five-inch LTE phone using Intel’s 64-bit quad-core Atom/Moorefield processor.
If you’re counting, those are six variations: Windows tablet or laptop, Android tablet or laptop, Android phone, and whatever you call it when the Android phone is married to and viewed from the hybrid screen.
Specs for the tablet are 4GB of memory, a battery with up to ten hours of web surfing, flash storage up to 128 GB, and up to a terabyte storage inside the keyboard. The phone: 2 GB memory, up to 64 GB of storage, an eight megapixel camera on the back and a two megapixel one on the front. No word yet on pricing or delivery.
In March, ASUS was reportedly forced by Google to cancel its tablet/laptop hybrid Transformer Book Duet TD300, which had been shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The device could dual boot Android and Windows 8, so one could readily switch in a few seconds between the two OSes. Some reports say that Microsoft also nixed the model. It’s not yet clear if this new version has already been blessed by either Redmond or Mountain View.
Of course, there is the issue of interoperability between Android and Windows. One expects a user would have to maintain both an Android life and a Windows life.
Now, if ASUS can just figure out how to strap part of this new product to your wrist as a smartwatch, you can leave everything else at home when you step out with the Transformer Book V.