Computex Taipei is underway, showing off the first pieces of full-on Windows 8 compatible hardware including dual-screen laptops, large screen all-in-one PCs and those inevitable tablets.
The New Wave
Sexy PC hardware has been hard to push throughout the history of the Wintel era, with most vendors trying to pimp overpriced boxes with non-standard "extras" and thinking an extra row of media buttons on the keyboard is a great step forward.
Since the smartphone and tablet era, things have changed dramatically and, finally, we get a confluence of a new, smart, power-friendly Windows operating system and a generation of hardware inspired by sleek consumer design.
At Computex, currently underway in Taipei, we are seeing the first examples of this move, with ASUS showing off the first Windows 8 Transformer Book tablet, and the Taichi a double screen notebook that works as a tablet when closed, as a you-see-me-see notebook when open and many more.
Available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, the Taichi is definitely different
Transforming the Market
The Transformer Book is a more traditional tablet that docks with a keyboard to become a notebook. This model comes with the latest Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors, NVIDIA graphics, 4GB DDR3 RAM, USB 3.0 and SSD drives, allowing it to run the full Windows 8 experience, rather than Windows RT which ASUS's Tablet 600 range is lumbered with.
Tthe Transformer Book will be available in a range of sizes, from 11.6-, 13- or 14-inch full high-def, IPS displays with multi-touch, they will also come with a HD front-facing and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera for video conferencing and recording.
ASUS' AIO model runs both Windows 8 and Android
On the All-in-One front, ASUS unveiled a dual-system computer that runs both Windows 8 and Android. Armed with a touchscreen, the display can detach to become a home-tablet. Specs for these systems aren't yet known but will look impressive on any desktop, although having an 18" tablet might be a bit much for some.
Expect more systems from other companies to be unveiled at the show, with all eyes on an October release date for Windows 8 and an avalanche of these systems going on sale. Price will be key to their success, but none of these exactly have "budget" stamped on them.