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Asus Taichi Review

I was lucky enough to get a few weeks with the Asus Taichi. The Taichi is unique laptop/tablet combo running Windows 8. It features the traditional clam shell construction we all know except, on the ‘back’ of the screen, there is a second display that can be used with the unit closed.

Build

The build of the unit is excellent. I never felt like it was about to break and handling it was a breeze. Its outer casing is a dark brushed aluminum that was visually and structurally outstanding.

As a tablet, the unit was a bit thick and heavy as expected. Its weight is just fine as a laptop, however one handed operation as a tablet is affected due to this weight.

When open, the unit was a pleasure to use. I am a big fan of the keyboard. I was able to use the laptop right away without hitting the wrong keys. Everything felt natural. I also enjoyed how when the laptop was open, with the outer screen off, it was virtually invisible.

Functionality

The usefulness of such a system of course has its questions. In one hand, apart from the obvious use as a tablet, the outside display can work in tandem with the inner screen. For example, it could be used to show a presentation, or any other content while you did other tasks on the other sidae. Maybe the latest pixar movie on the outside for the kids while you hack away at some mobilenorth.ca article?

There is not much negative I can say about the screen at all. It is beautiful and responsive. The question mark for me is whether it is even needed. Would that ‘extra’ money that is spent for the extra screen feature be better spent elsewhere.
Honestly, there are only a few specific situations where I feel this screen is useful. However, if you fall into those categories, then this may be the perfect laptop for you.

Battery Life

Although, online reports found the battery to be lacking, I did not have much issues with moderate daily use. I spent a lot of time browsing the net and playing with the various programs without needing to recharge. However, with two screens I can see that battery life has to be an issue. It only makes sense.

My One Annoyance

If I did have an issue with the combination of two screens, it would be this. The outer screen is a touch screen, while the interior screen is not. There were so many times I would play with the screen on the outside, decide I want the convenience of a standard laptop, open the unit, and find myself trying to touch the screen just as before only to be disappointing. There is a bit of a disconnect in the flow between going from one screen to the next. The little hiccup is just enough to take the fun out of using the unit.
However if you go into it with the mindset that you are carrying a laptop and a tablet that happen to both share the same internals then you should have no problem. What I’m trying to say is that I did not get the feel of one unified system. It was more like two different systems stuck together.

Conclusion

This device is a great proof of concept though I find it hard to understand what sort of person this would be perfect for. Firstly, I definitely could not say it is a bad unit at all. My main concern is the usefulness of the two screens. Most casual buyers will likely be better suited with other offerings. However, buyers interested in a tablet/laptop combination will find this unit is talking their language. It performs well, gets the job done and is easy to use. It looks amazingly good while doing it too!

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