Best known for its notebooks, Asus is now stretching deep into new PC forms – the newly launched hybrid 3-in 1, upgrade to 2-in-1 Transformer (T100), tablets and Ultrabooks

The 3-in-1 PC market has increased almost 30% globally, although starting from a small base says Jackson Hsaio, Asus Product Manager, in an interview with CN.

Asus Product Manager admits the 3-in-1 Transformer Book Trio is an Android tablet, laptop and Windows 8 desktop in 1, running dual OS’s and dual CPU’s is “niche”.

“It won’t be a mass market device… it’s a “new concept”, a unique solution for ‘power users’ and business types.
“We’re banking it will be successful but it’s niche”. 

The new device unveiled this month, has a dual CPU and dual OS – Android and Windows –  “means users can get the best out of two OS’s”. RRP at $1599 means it’s not a bad price for its capabilities. 

It’s got a powerful Intel Core i5, and i7 will come later “if there’s demand” and Intel Atom Z2560 (1.6GHz) on the tablet, Intel HD graphics, stereo speakers and plenty of separate storage. 

The Transformer Trio is targeted at business users, with its ability to morph into a “fully fledged Windows PC”, but kids and other family members can use it, he points out. It offers “a lot of options” if users are on the move.
However, Asus have received good feedback from specialised resellers and channel partners. Retailers believe it will sell, but will take time, he says.  

A couple of retailers have put in orders “not in huge quantities” but the challenge is to demo it, he says. It is in JB HiFi and Harvey Norman but not in all stores – stocked at the majors only.


Hybrids ” huge potential” 

Unlike the fledging 3-in-1, “there is huge potential in the 2-in-1 market” says Hsaio, citing “huge growth” Asus experienced since last year.

The new Asus Hybrid 2-in-1, Asus T100 will be a consumer device, targeted at all segments – business, education and consumer. 

Asus previously had the hybrid market to themselves, launching the first ever device in 2010, although Hsaio points out others are catching on including HP and Acer.

The tablet market is still growing and hybrids open up a market for some who want both tab and a notebook. 

Retailers believe the new Transformer will be popular with small businesses who can use it for demoing products to customers. 

Microsoft and Intel are betting on the T100 for Christmas and back to school demand with MS Home & Office 2013 preloaded, he says. T100 can be used for everything but also has the productivity element “something that Microsoft do well”. 

An upgrade to Windows 8 Pro can meet the “majority” of business needs and its portability will also be a plus, he says. 
Keenly priced at $599 should suit consumers’ pockets too.  
“We are targeting education resellers,” Jackson told CN, and already has signed several deals.
He admits tablets are eating into notebook demand, pointing out Microsoft are doing “everything they can” to transition to a different form factor.
2014 expects more small form factor PC running Windows including more 8 inch tablet devices.  

“MS put a lot of effort into growing its market” and not letting Apple and Google take the lions share of the mobile PC market.

“We are doing really well on tablets” says Asus Product Manager, with several different devices, starting at a price friendly $199.
“The good price point attracts the younger user,” 

But despite Asus’ move to hybrids on Windows, it doesn’t plan to ditch Androids any time soon.

“We will continue with Transformer Pad on Android.. it’s become our legacy”. 
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