We’ve heard from most of the familiar manufacturers thus far, but now Asus is getting in on the Windows 8 fun, introducing us to a line of all-in-one desktop computers, as well as a few interesting notebooks.
For the release of Windows 8, Asus has gone back and redesigned both types of machines, bringing the touchscreen to practically every machine in the range, thanks to Windows 8 really needing it for the new LiveTile interface.
First up is the desktop range, and Asus thinks you should throw out that tower and move to a machine that makes better use of your desk space, with all-in-one machines that like an iMac, throw all the grunt behind a spacious touchscreen monitor.
Available in three sizes, the new ET range of all-in-one computers from Asus start at $999 and offer a variety of Intel processors, Full HD 1080p screens, USB 3.0, DVD drives, WiFi, at least 500GB of storage, and both HDMI in and out ports.
The ET2200 starts it off with a choice of Pentium or Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, and up to 1TB of storage behind the 21.5 inch touchscreen.
From $1599, the ET2300 moves up to a 23 inch IPS screen with 1920×1080, better viewing angles, a choice between more graphics power with either Intel HD or Nvidia GeForce GT630M, and even Intel’s wireless display technology, known as WiDi.
Or there’s the big daddy, with the Asus ET2701, featuring a 27 inch Full HD screen, 8GB RAM, 2TB of storage, Blu-ray combo drive, DVBT hybrid tuner, and a subwoofer for $2199.
Then there are the laptops, which will see Asus releasing quite a few of.
Three touch friendly notebook brands have been unveiled for release in Australia, with the company’s “ZenBook” Ultrabook brand being updated for the new touch-capable technology.
Taking after the lower end of the spectrum is the VivoBook range of computers, starting from $499 and offering touchscreen technology for the budget price point.
Designs look to echo the Transformer tablets and ZenBook computers, and Asus is utilising conventional hard drives, 11.6 and 14 inch screens, and a range of chips for these machines, which use as low as an Intel Celeron and as high as the Intel Core i7 chipset.
Moving on, the VivoTab range will aim to serve the tablet market, introducing two Windows RT tablets, one of which hits retail now, while the other will arrive later this year.
Now available in stores, the VivoTab RT TF600 follows on from the design and technology that made great tablets like the Android-equipped Transformer Prime and Infinity, packing in the same switch that allows you to detach the screen from the keyboard, and taking advantage of a 10.1 inch Super IPS+ screen covered in Corning’s scratch-resistant glass, with the HD-ready 1366×768 resolution.
No Intel chips are here yet, with Asus using the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core chip it was using previously in the Transformer series, but paired instead with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, microHDMI port, microSD card slot, GPS, Near-Field Communication and a battery built into the keyboard dock that will offer seven more hours than the nine-hour expected life of the main tablet.
In fact, for all intents and purposes, the $749 Asus VivoTab RT seems to be the Windows 8 equivalent of the Asus Transformer Infinity.
Later on, however, Asus will evolve the brand a little, with the VivoTab TF810, an Intel Atom equipped model that also throws in a Wacom stylus.
And then there’s something completely different, with the Asus Taichi, a dual-screen Ultrabook computer that astonishingly features two Full HD screens, with one in the inside where a regular screen would sit, and one on the outside, so that the machine acts as both notebook when opened and tablet when closed.
Drawing on the Windows 8 platform, Asus has engineered the Taichi to allow both 11.6 inch screens to work with each other, echoing what each does, or to work independently, so that you can display two different things on each screen.
You could, for instance, be working away on the inside screen, while your kids watch a movie on the outside screen.
Interestingly, the exterior chassis screen is the only one with any touch connectivity, so you’ll be using Windows 8 in the laptop mode with the mouse only and keyboard only, with touchscreen control missing until you play with the screen on the other side.
The Asus Taichi is more than just a neat gimmick, and Asus hopes to attract people with dual-band WiFi, Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, between 128 and 256GB solid-state drives, Bang & Olufsen sound, and 11.6 inch screens that both run at Full HD 1080p, higher than other 11.6 inch screens used on other Asus laptops.
Taichi will be hitting stores in mid-November from $1599, so look for it then.