Asus slims down laptops to take the fight to Apple’s Air

Apple’s MacBook Air may have represented the pinnacle of ultra-light computing for a while, but Asus plans to show that it knows a thing or two about the area, as the company unveils its Chi range of slim portables.

The new machines sport a name that is very similar to Apple’s own “Air” — because “chi” (or “qi” where it likely originates) translates roughly to “air” — isn’t set to be a part of the Asus Zen series, which is generally the range Asus calls the high-end, sporting metal bodies and very thin sizes.

Rather, it will flesh out the company’s new Transformer Book range, with the Transformer Book Chi computers providing thin tablet hybrids that connect to keyboard docks, offering 12.5 inches of goodness in the T300, 10.1 inches in the T100, and 8.9 inches in the T90, making machines for all manner of users.

The 12.5 inch Asus Transformer Book Chi T300

The Chi range is designed to be fast enough for most things, relying on Intel’s Core M processors, also known as Broadwell, with Windows 8 running on the machines, and supporting bodies that from a tablet point of view deliver thicknesses (or thinnesses) that break Windows-based benchmarks, with a 10.1 inch T100 delivering a thickness of 7.2mm and an 8.9 inch model pushed down to 7.5mm.

Screen resolutions will support as high as 2560×1440 on the 12 inch T300, and we suspect we’re going to see HD and Full HD resolutions on the 8.9 inch T90 and 10.1 inch T100 respectively, though Asus hasn’t confirmed that for us yet.

Beyond the innards, though, there’s an aluminium body, magnetic hinges, Bluetooth used for the keyboard, and even USB 3.0 connectivity, as well as solid-state drives.

Pricing isn’t here, and neither is availability, but we’ll let you know when Asus lets us know more.

A slightly smaller 10.1 inch T100 above, while the top-most image in the story shows off the very small 8.9 inch Windows tablet, the T90.