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Asus Announces x86 Transformer

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the two-devices-for-the-price-of-three dept.

Windows 203

MrSeb writes with the scoop on Asus's new Transformer tablet/laptop devices: "If you've ever looked at an Asus Transformer and wished that it was slightly bigger, had an x86 processor, and ran Windows, I have good news: At Computex in Taiwan, Asus has unveiled just that. Dubbed the Transformer Book, this isn't some wimpy Atom-powered thing either: This Transformer will ship with a range of Ivy Bridge Core i3/5/7 processors and discrete Nvidia graphics. Like its Android-powered predecessors, the Transformer Book is a touchscreen tablet computer that plugs into keyboard docking station, effectively becoming a laptop (or ultrabook, if you prefer). Rounding out the specs, the Transformer Book will come in a range of models (11.6, 13, and 14 inches), your choice of SSD or HDD, up to 4GB of RAM. All three models will have an IPS display capable of full HD (1920×1080). There's a webcam on the front of the tablet portion of the Transformer, and a 5-megapixel shooter on the back. There's no mention of wireless connectivity, but presumably there's Bluetooth and WiFi; on the wired side, there seems to be only a single micro-HDMI socket (on the tablet), and a USB socket (on the keyboard/dock). On the software side, the Transformer Book will of course run Windows 8. It all sounds great — but Asus kept one tiny tidbit out of its presentation: battery life." Aside from the Nvidia graphics (which, from the looks of it, can be disabled for the on-chip output), perhaps this could be the first "tablet" capable of running fully Free Software? (UEFI evil aside).

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is that a mac book air (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217021)

in the photo? or do apple not enforce copyright or design patents anymore?

Re:is that a mac book air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217321)

Good luck with a functionally wildly different product that might be deriving from ASUS' Seashell as much as anything from Apple.

Yeah, but (0, Flamebait)

sbrown7792 (2027476) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217031)

Can it run Crysis?

Re:Yeah, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217301)

Will it blend ?

Blender 3D (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217805)

Apart from what you're thinking of [wikipedia.org] , I've run Blender 3D software on an Atom netbook. I see no reason why it won't run on this Transformer Book.

11.6” with full HD (4, Informative)

anss123 (985305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217035)

That’s 189 DPI. Not too shabby, and here I was looking at a 1366x768.

This might just be my new laptop.

Re:11.6” with full HD (2, Insightful)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217077)

Now if only it had a Trackpoint and was a ThinkPad :-D

In all seriousness though: If you don't need the tablet part, check out asus's ivy bridge zenbooks... Same resolution without all the uselessness :-P

Re:11.6” with full HD (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217129)

I gave it a quick look. The zenbooks has 4+ hrs of battery life, promising as the transformer may be similar there, but the display is glossy. The review said that the gloss was toned down, but I don't know what lays in that.

I got an iPad2 here, and that display is too glossy for my taste, but less glossy than my laptop.

Also, I would like touch. It's nice for scrolling webpages at least, though I don't know how well Windows pulls it off.

Re:11.6” with full HD (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218097)

Depending on what you want, some resellers offer different screens for laptops. Xoticpc is one such place that despite the silly name does a good job. They are where I got my laptop from. When it is available, they offer multiple screen options for a laptop. The one I ordered (a big Sager laptop) had 4 choices, two matte two glossy.

So if you have a display preference, they can be a place to check out (there are other shops like them). They sell mostly MSI, ASUS, and Sager laptops. Not every laptop has screen options, but quite a few do.

Re:11.6” with full HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218077)

Intel HD Graphics 3000 is the definition of useless. Here's proof [notebookcheck.net] - 250 other graphics chips are faster. A few of those are several years old and can be found in a $300 refurbished laptop, like the x83vm-x1 [cnet.com] . If you need battery life, just buy more batteries ($40 each).

Re:11.6” with full HD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218099)

Pffft, my 10+ year old laptop has a 1600x1200 screen.

LCD's are the only computer related hardware technology I can think of that have gotten worse over time. The main problem is apparently the use of LCD's in TV's which cause manufacturers to focus on crappy low-res TV screens then use the same screens as shitty computer monitors.

Re:11.6” with full HD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218365)

Your math needs work.

1920x1080 = 2073600 pixels
1600x1200.= 1920000 pixels

Re:11.6” with full HD (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218383)

LCD's are the only computer related hardware technology I can think of that have gotten worse over time.

As opposed to computer related software technology, that gets worse as a matter of course.

Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (5, Interesting)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217037)

If it's EFI setup is locked from the user, I wouldn't be surprised. Asus has done so for their later Transformer models, with no functionally equivalent alternative that does not have UEFI unlocked.

For those snarky folks who say "don't buy it", that doesn't work in practice. That requires a like-for-like alternative to exist which does not have the encumbrances of UEFI locks.

Re:Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (3, Insightful)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217053)

For those snarky folks who say "don't buy it", that doesn't work in practice. That requires a like-for-like alternative to exist which does not have the encumbrances of UEFI locks.

To add a snarky comment, *not having one* should always be an alternative.

Re:Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217927)

To add a snarky comment, *not having one* should always be an alternative.

You're talking to the Entitled Generation here. Not having one is not an option. For them, the only option is steal it or buy it. Doing without. Saving until you can afford it. Those are simply not options to the Entitled Generation. The sad fact is, this is all true.

Re:Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218161)

If one chooses not to buy a computer, then how should one read and post to Slashdot? Or what did I misunderstand?

if it only runs windows8 (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217095)

If it only runs windows8, there is plenty of reason not to buy it. I'm fairly certain that if it's not going to be able to do a downgrade to windows7, a lot of people will not want it because of the playskool interface. Asus will probably bring out a bios update to enable other OSes if that happens, so it won't be long before you can run something else on it.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (5, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217175)

Hasn't the history of tablets taught you nothing? It's precisely the use of traditional operating systems grafted onto tablets which are the prime reason for their lackluster performance... at least until the iPad with a tablet-oriented interface.

Point being, the "playskool" interface makes perfect sense on a touch-based device. There's a reason most people believe Windows 8 has a much higher chance of success on tablets instead of on the desktop.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217345)

There's a reason most people believe Windows 8 has a much higher chance of success on tablets instead of on the desktop.

Because the mouth-breathers who want a tablet are the same lusers that have always been the target audience for Windows?

Re:if it only runs windows8 (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217787)

Trying to use a desktop interface on a tablet or vice versa is just painful. Witness Unity or Metro and the amount of angry they both inspired.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (5, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217891)

Metro is inspiring anger not for being a tablet interface but for treating desktop users as second class citizens and for essentially deprecating classic Windows altogether. I think Metro could work pretty well on a desktop if it offered functionality analogous to the start menu but it doesn't. Everything is shoehorned into the flat, linear tile metaphor and collision between the old and new world looks terrible.

They have it the wrong way around (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217959)

So the way it should work is Windows on the desktop runs with a normal desktop, mouse and keyboard UI. However Metro apps can run, and they run in their own window, or fullscreen if the user wants. Basically it adds functionality to your desktop. You can run smartphone and tablet apps, if you find a reason to. Wonderful.

However instead they try to treat your system like it IS a smartphone, despite of course it being operated by KB + M, and just throwing in classical desktop operation as an afterthought. They really seem to think full screen tablet like apps are the future. They aren't, of course, having multiple windows to work with is one of the big points of a modern desktop system.

Worse still? They are doing it on their server OS. Server 2012 has all the same metro-ified UI even though it is clearly of no use there.

This is marketing overriding reality. I'd bet a dollar that MS research has studies that show that Metro is great on touchscreens, not great on KB + M. Microsoft actually does lots of real empirical research on their UIs. However the marketing department probably decided they loved the idea of One UI To Rule Them All and that they could use it to push MS smartphones and tablets and so said "No, Metro is THE UI, make it happen!"

Net result? People will refuse to upgrade to 8. They'll keep running 7. What's worse is it will create a mentality like with XP of not wanting to upgrade. People will decide 7 is the only "good Windows" and won't upgrade. So in 2020 we'll be trying to push people to Windows 10, which ill be a good OS, but they'll be resisting because "7 is the only good one."

I am really just getting sick of this fucking tablet/smartphone obsession UI designers have these days. We get it, the smartphone market is huge. That's wonderful, I love mine, by all means let's have good UIs for them. But stop trying to fucking force that shit on the desktop. It is a different paradigm. Hell you see it with Unity for Linux just as much as Metro for Windows. This "OMG SHINY TABLETZ!!!" attitude of UI development.

Of course in either case the shell can be replaced, I'm not worried personally, I'll upgrade to Windows 8 at work (I'm the Windows admin, I need to know how to use the latest Windows) and I'll just replace the shell with something that gives me a useful desktop, same as the Linux lead has done on his system. However neither of us should have to. These people should be smarter. They should save the tablet UI for tablets and have a good desktop UI for desktops.

Re:They have it the wrong way around (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218157)

You mean it'll be Vista all over again - people will take one look at the horror, then just refuse to upgrade from the predecessor until Microsoft gets their act together. Everyone I know skipped Vista altogether, and kept on using XP until Seven came out.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217981)

Metro should run as an application inside Windows, the same way we can run Android apps on Windows. Instead they put windows inside of this tablet-oriented application. The management team is clearly insane.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218165)

In other words the same thing GNOME did.

The setup suck for multiple monitor use and other normal workstation usage.

Bunch of morons, the whole lot of 'em.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (3, Informative)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218319)

Er no, nothing like GNOME did. First off there is a very loose coupling on Linux between the desktop and the apps that run inside it mostly via protocols developed by freedesktop.org. So if you don't like GNOME3 as your desktop you are free to use any other desktop but with the same apps. You can even have more than one desktop available in the same dist if you want. Secondly, GNOME 3 is first and foremost about the desktop experience, not tablet experience. It is clearly got aspirations to be usable with tablets but it's nowhere close to that yet. Thirdly, GNOME 3 is rather well implemented and pretty elegant. It's certainly not without its faults (Linus went into a valid rant about some of them the other day) but it has well thought out workflows and works well. Fourth if you really hate some particular behaviour and don't want to switch outright you can write an extension to change it. The Mint distribution have customised GNOME 3 so much it more closely resembles GNOME 2 while benefiting from compositing and all the rest.

So no nothing like GNOME.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217191)

Not true.

Windows 7 SP 1 runs with secureBoot and EFI fine. Also every single EFI implementation has an option to disable it since XP is still heavily used and will be used for many years just like OS/2 options are still in many bioses today.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217261)

Except this is one PC that the Windows 8 Metro interface makes perfect sense on.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217303)

A talent agent is sitting in his office.

A family walks in.

Mother:Mr. Talent agent we have this amazing act we would like to show and we would like you to see it.

Talent Agent: Sorry we do not do family acts. They are too cutesy.

Mother:Please sir! If you just give us 3 minutes of your time. I am sure you would love this act.

Talent Agent:Ok fine! You have 3 minutes ...

The family jumps right into it. A son hits play and a boom box as thrilling circus music starts to play! The father dressed like Steve Balmer spins his daughter up into the air and does a full madona while listening to his iPod while he bends over and starts licking her asshole. The mother put on geeky glasses and wig that resembles Bill Gates hair drops balmers pants while he performs anulingus on his daughter while Bill starts blowing Balmer. ... out of the corner dressed as the Pope the older daughter who is very pragnent walks over walking a dog. She then walks to the son who is getting really hard and starts blowing her brother ... who happens to have down syndrome and is retarded.

Meanwhile the youngest Bends over in an amazing u shape and starts lickinng Balmers asshole which is very crusty with stains on her dads underwear. While her shirt that says METRO is hanging down.

The dad dressed as Balmer then gets his big manly hands and FIST FUCKS HIS DAUGHTER in the asshole! The father with a balmer wig is an ex Marine with VERY BIG ARMS loaded with Tatoos. He then moves his bloody fists in the air and in a circular motion starts spinning his daugher through her asshole like a hoola hoop in the air! He then gets his other fist and fist fucks the DOG IN THE ASS. Like Popyee he gets his big manly arms all the way up to his elbow up the dog's asshole and in a circular motion the dog spins like a hoola hop and then the trumpets blast in the circus music! Then Balmer plummets his fists up and both the daugher and the dog fly into the air and land in the other bloody fist covered in shit as he catches.

The the Pope comes and startes blowing the dog. The oldest daugher (dressed as the Pope) sucks hard on the dogs penis and starts moving her around in a circular motion and the dog spins and spins and spins round and round! Bood and Dog Diahara from the strechted GOATSE like asshole from Balmers fist throws bloody shit everywhere all over the talent agents office!

Gates then grabs and blender and sticks Balmers penis inside it and turns it and cuts his dick off! Bloody pulses and squirts of his former manhood emits from his body while the retardes removes from his Mom (dressed as Bill Gates) a glass eyeball and fucks his mom's brains out ... lliterally!

While the retarded son fucks Gates eyesocket he grabs a coat hanger from the rack and sticks it up the Pope's vagina and performs an abortion on the stage.

Dead baby body parts come out of her bleeding pussy while the dog gives out a big moan and cums in her mouth as she gulps it down.

Now with their dicks and titties are flapping around they all form a line and hold hands and say TADA! and take a bow. ... the talent grabs the American flag and wipes off all the cum, bood, penis, body parts, and dog shit with it and takes a seat.

Talent Agent: Hmmm ... that is a very interesting act. What do you guys call yourselves?

The Family: Windows 8!!!

Why isn't parent modded troll? (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217861)

We don't need to stoop so low to insult Microsoft products.

Re:if it only runs windows8 (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217335)

it's a x86 windows machine. NOT A STINKING WINDOWS RT PIECE OF CRAP(which mandates lockdown).

Re:if it only runs windows8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217975)

If it only runs windows8, there is plenty of reason not to buy it. I'm fairly certain that if it's not going to be able to do a upgrade to windows7, a lot of people will not want it because of the playskool interface. Asus will probably bring out a bios update to enable other OSes if that happens, so it won't be long before you can run something else on it.

FTFY

Re:Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217179)

Let it go.

You can easily disable it and considering the BIOS still has OS/2 and Vesa options I highly doubt any manufactorer would do this. Remember Windows XP does not support EFI nor secureBoot and would make many users and corporations who are cheap skates upset.

Windows 7 supports SecureBoot as well if you really hate Windows 8 so much. This is fud

Re:Now comes the test of MS's EFI freedom pledge (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218261)

"For those snarky folks who say "don't buy it", that doesn't work in practice. "

Works fine in MY practice.

It all sounds great. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217049)

On the software side, the Transformer Book will of course run Windows 8. It all sounds great.

No it doesn't!

No, not the first... (4, Informative)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217059)

perhaps this could be the first "tablet" capable of running fully Free Software?

Hardly, for instance... take my tablet, a WeTab. It's a keyboad-less netbook, and has run Fedora 15, 16 and now the just released 17.

And it won't be the first, as if it uses nVidia, then it'll hardly run well with fully free software.

Re:No, not the first... (2)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217493)

As a company, nVidia doesn't play too nice with free and Open Source software. Then again, they don't sue the pants off the software developers either, so you can mod them neutral. But enough reverse engineering has been done to make most (save the latest and greatest) nVidia powered graphic processors run fairly well using non-proprietary drivers [freedesktop.org] .

Non-latest and greatest still for sale? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217829)

But enough reverse engineering has been done to make most (save the latest and greatest) nVidia powered graphic processors run fairly well using non-proprietary drivers

Which doesn't help if everything still sold new has the Nouveau-incompatible "latest and greatest". In such a case, anyone who wants to run free software would have to buy used. Is this the case or not the case?

Re:Non-latest and greatest still for sale? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217993)

I've spent a fair bit of time over the past years talking to manufacturers about supporting open source (FreeBSD specifically, but also in general) and I hear the same thing: they need customers to tell them that they want it to be able to devote any funding to it. This is easy for server stuff, as it's easy to produce customers who are going to say 'we want to buy 10,000 new machines this month that have 10Gig ethernet controllers with in-tree drivers'. It's much harder to find people saying the same thing about mobile hardware. No one refuses to buy an Android handset or tablet because it has blob drivers, for example. It's getting slightly easier with GPUs, because customers buying them for compute clusters want open source drivers so that they can verify correctness in certain code paths.

Blame software patents and the SGI example (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218135)

Some of those SGI people that got badly burnt by patent trolls ended up at Nvidia. I can't see Nvidia opening up their source code while some software patents too obvious to have a right to exist cover just about everything in 3D graphics.

It's actually a pretty good idea (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217109)

At first I thought, who wants a hot Core i7 tablet running Windows when they can get a sleek iPad or Android device with 10 hours of battery? But it makes a lot more sense as a business laptop that can transform into a tablet (rather than the other way around). Many business users have a laptop dock on their desk and at the end of the day they disconnect and carry their laptop home to continue work, perhaps with another dock at home. This is an extension of that idea. When it's set up on the desk it's exactly like a laptop, running full Windows & whatever business software, but then the user can carry it to a meeting and use it like a tablet. I'd dare say it's then more useful than an iPad. The battery life will be the biggest killer though.

Fan? (2)

WillKemp (1338605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217111)

But will it be fanless? For me, that's the main attraction of the Transformer.

Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217201)

Looks to be fanless, but with lots of vents, more troubling is the battery life if it's sucking down 4, or 5 times the juice, are we talking 3 hours instead of 15? Presumably not that bad, but are we talking >8 at least?? Not much good if it can't handle a working day.

From the article, the air-vent comment:
"The tablet is positively riddled with air vents. If we assume that the Transformer Book uses the lowest-power Core i7 CPU, the 3667U (17-watt TDP), we’re still talking about a chip that uses at least 4 or 5 times the power of the A5X ARM SoC in the iPad 3. "

Battery life comment:
"Considering battery life was omitted from Asus’s presentation, I would guess “not a lot.”"

Re:Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (2)

Stolly (1812300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217275)

Depends on the usage.....for office based users looking for something to last a 3 hour meeting before going back to their desks it could be fine.

Re:Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217743)

Wow. What an astute observation. For people that only need three hours of battery, a device with three hours of battery is fine. How does he do it people?

Another over heating nVidia graphics chip? (1)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217289)

I don't know about your success, but even with a fan I've had nothing but trouble with discrete mobile nVidia graphics chips overheating and giving up pretty quick.

A thin device with no fan and an nVidia graphics chip just sounds like a recipe for the same overheating issues they've been plagued with in the past.

Of course, things might have changed with the newer generation chips, but I'm not holding my breath.

To their credit though, I've had less issues on my desktop systems that have more suitable cooling. But I can't say the same for their discrete mobile offerings.

Re:Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217343)

if it's got an nvidia chip worth having, it better have a mini-fan somewhere.. even the air has a fan, it might not be obvious from looking at it though.

Re:Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (1)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218125)

It's obvious as soon as you start MS Office.

Re:Article says no fan, but LOTS of vents (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217347)

The battery is probably just good enough to hold on between switching power outlets. :P

And wished (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217113)

If you've ever looked at an Asus Transformer and wished that it was slightly bigger, had an x86 processor, and ran Windows...

... and then I wished that my boss fired me at work for being an Atheist, and I came home to find my dog run over by a pick-up truck parked in my drive way, and I went in the house to find my wife in bed with the redneck who owns the truck, and the redneck grabs his gun and shoots me in the nuts.

Well, on second thought, all of that would be better than running Windows.

Re:And wished (1)

humanrev (2606607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217617)

It's as if people here are completely disconnected from the reality that a lot of people on a more reasonable site like ArsTechnica are and can't comprehend that something like Windows 7 is a very nice OS.

Re:And wished (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217791)

And people like you can't seem to get it that some other people don't agree. It's called an opinion and yours doesn't secede anyone elses.

Re:And wished (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217813)

Windows 7 might very well be a nice OS.
Windows 8 on the otherhand is a different proposition.
An aussie friend of mine described it as good as a 'possum on a dunny'.

Re:And wished (-1, Flamebait)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217873)

When All you have ever eaten is Cow dung, a new flavor of cow dung is incredibly tasty to you, but real food will taste foreign and scary to you.

You need to taste some real food and stop shoveling that Windows Cow Poop down your throat. Take small bites though, your stomach needs to acclimate.

Re:And wished (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217719)

If you've ever looked at an Asus Transformer and wished that it was slightly bigger, had an x86 processor, and ran Windows...

... and then I wished that my boss fired me at work for being an Atheist, and I came home to find my dog run over by a pick-up truck parked in my drive way, and I went in the house to find my wife in bed with the redneck who owns the truck, and the redneck grabs his gun and shoots me in the nuts.

Well, on second thought, all of that would be better than running Windows.

Or, you could quit being a racist bigot, and go fuck yourself for equating running windows on a tablet with your "perceived" persecution for being an atheist (no capitalization) who doesn't own a truck. /fucking asshole

Re:And wished (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218287)

Nice FUD. Particularly when TFA says:

We donâ(TM)t have the exact dimensions, but the pictures suggest the tablet portion of the Transformer Book will be very similar to the iPad

But then again, that's allowed in /. summaries, because editors, just love speculation and FUD.

Android will be in trouble (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217127)

It's very likely that Android will die in the tablet market if Win8 + x86 transformers take off. It's a no brainer that if the choice is between
1. A single fully functional win8 tablet/laptop hybrid
2. An Android device that can only run toy applications + second laptop to run real applications

most people will choose 1 and save themselves the money and the hassle.

The only real answer to this is that Android needs to stop seeing itself as a toy/mobile OS, and turn itself into a proper desktop OS, by which I mean it should start by introducing a proper office suite, get Photoshop and other popular desktop apps ported onto Android etc. etc., and later consider porting Apache, Nginx etc. etc. to add server capabilities.

Re:Android will be in trouble (0)

engun (1234934) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217147)

Oops, forgot to log-in.

I might add, the writing has been on the wall for sometime now, and Google is still wasting time preparing for an all-cloud future with Chrome OS, although I recall hearing about plans to merge with Android. Still, local storage + processing isn't going away any-time soon, not till internet connections are uniformly 100mbps+ or something. So I don't see the point in preparing for a future cloud-only battle if you lose the current tablet battle and aren't relevant any more for the future.

Of course, Google can still reign in the mobile phone market, because Microsoft isn't going to be able to break into that market any time soon.

Re:Android will be in trouble (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217817)

They didn't mention price. With all that hardware, there's no way that this thing is going to be in the $300-$400 range that is the norm for Android tablets.

Re:Android will be in trouble (5, Insightful)

Mr0bvious (968303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217361)

For me the Android tablets are a big win for two reasons:

1) Good battery performance.
2) I can pick the thing up and use it when ever I want with out the damn "Windows in installing update 1 of 18".. "Windows is restarting to finish applying updates"... "Please don't turn your machine off, windows is applying a critical update"..

This may sound frivolous, and the configuration can probably be changed to avoid this. But my last netbook (with Windows 7) was not used too frequently, but every time I turned that thing on, waited for what felt like 5 minutes for it to boot up then get nagged to apply updates, postpone them, etc, then a java update would pop-up, then some other update... What's worse, if I walked away after turning it on (while it was booting, perhaps to make a coffee or get a beer) I'd return and find I missed the opportunity to postpone the update and find the thing shutting down again to apply an update (without me asking it to) - really not a convenient way for a device like this to behave.

I see tablets and netbooks as a convenience machine not a workhorse, and Windows just sours that experience. Let's hope Windows 8 fixes these short comings.

I know you probably think I'm just a Microsoft basher, but I'm not, despite being a Linux user I find Windows 7 is a perfectly reasonable desktop OS and don't really have much to complain about. I'd suggest it to any non tech savvy user who didn't want a Mac. But on a tablet? Given past experiences, no-thank-you.

So I think the likes of Android is safe.

Re:Android will be in trouble (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217761)

Just turn off the whole updates and it will become an Android (in terms of updates)!

Install updates over lunch break (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218211)

One of the first things I do when I set up a Windows PC for my own use is set it to download updates automatically and let me choose when to install them. Then I can tell it to install updates over a lunch break or other natural stopping point.

Re:Android will be in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217397)

"The only real answer to this is that Android needs to stop seeing itself as a toy/mobile OS, and turn itself into a proper desktop OS, by which I mean it should start by introducing a proper office suite, get Photoshop and other popular desktop apps ported onto Android etc. etc., and later consider porting Apache, Nginx etc. etc. to add server capabilities."

As the Linux and Android Kernels have merged, the next logical step would be to port Linux applications to Android. I believe Libreoffice is in the process of doing this. As Linux has a lot of applications like MPlayer, cdparanoia, lame etc which can perform complex tasks on the terminal, it shouldn't be too hard to build GUI's on top of them to work on Android.

Re:Android will be in trouble (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217911)

Why? Really.. why? There is no reason Android needs to become a desktop OS.

I'm sorry, I don't buy the "everything must converge" theory and, quite frankly, when Win8 comes out it will probably kill the idea off once and for all. There isn't an institution that I can think of that will put Windows 8 on their desktops unless they want to drive their users and support people insane.

However I do believe Linux and Android apps should be ported back and forth... but for other reasons.

Re:Android will be in trouble (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217421)

This made a lot of sense until you started babbling about porting servers to a freaking tablet. Seriously. That's what machine rooms and WiFi are for.

I have the Android version (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217135)

Why would anyone buy such a gimped device with that OS and only 2hrs of battery life? I get 1.5 days of actual use out of my transformer prime battery. I have not missed x86 or virus-magnet winders for a moment. This device has replaced my laptop for all of my mobile computing needs. I still have a fat i7 PC laptop on my desk, but mostly just for PC games TBH. I still have not found a game or app to challenge the Tegra 3 chipset. The availability of good apps for Android is the main downside.

Re:I have the Android version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217281)

Because it's far from "gimped". It may have a shorter battery life, but it's a hell of a lot more powerful and has a vastly larger library of software that people already use and/or want to use.

Try doing some serious work in Blender or try playing Crysis on that Tegra 3. Even if they were available for the Android platform, they would not work well on that hardware. Hell, a single Ivy Bridge i7 core is more powerful than all four cores on your tablet.

Asus A700 due in a week or two (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217161)

Well firstly ASUS make Windows tablets equivalent to MOST of their Android ones, the A numbers are Android, the W numbers Windows, it's not new that they make a Windows tablet, they just don't have much market traction.

So the A500's equivalent was the W500 (which was based on AMD's low power chipset):
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Iconia-W500-BZ467-10-1-Inch-Tablet/dp/B004SBI2PW

I'm waiting on the A700s (one coming from Acer, one from Asus, and maybe a Samsung unit too), which is the Android 1920x1200 screen Quad core Tegra 3. These Windows tablets don't sell, perhaps Windows 8 will help them, but they're really not so useful on touch screens or low power long battery life devices. Both the Asus and Acer ones are due this month. The Samsung one is rumoured but not released (I'm guessing that's because Apple screen is provided by Samsung and Apple probably got an exclusive windows on high res screens from Samsung).

All I want to know is: how much? (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217167)

As for the free software trolling - this isn't the first: Android is Free (Apache licensed) software.

Re:All I want to know is: how much? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217803)

Android is somewhat complicated. The core parts of it are free, yes (Though I understand google tends to be a little slow releasing the source for the latest versions), but in actual use manufacturers typically mix it with propritary extras and then lock it down hard through hardware - so, even though you have access to the source in princible, you can't actually run it on most devices without the manufacturer's secret firmware-signing key, and the user is kept from having administrative access short of hacking the device somehow. I had to do that for my phone and tablet just in order to remove some manufacturer's bundled crapware. It's a very complicated matter, because the OS provider and the hardware manufacturer have to coordinate so closely (This isn't like x86, you can't just install it on any ARM device) and yet are working at cross-purposes, with Google trying to keep it open while the manufacturers are often intent on keeping the device locked down in order to promote tie-in services (ie, crapware), minimise support costs or to meet the terms dictated by mobile network operators.

Re:All I want to know is: how much? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218089)

So it's just like OS X or iOS.

Not quite like Mac OS X or iOS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218243)

Android is definitely not like iOS because it allows use of applications from "Unknown sources" without a recurring fee. And it's not quite like Mac OS X because the GUI parts are part of AOSP. It's just the Google Play Store and specific applications that interact with Google services that are non-free.

Fully free? (2)

GbrDead (702506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217171)

I don't think so. It seems that the Microsoft tax will be mandatory. I don't mind the money wasted as much as being part of Microsoft's statistics. So I don't buy computers with Windows preinstalled.
And the first EEE PC's were so promising...

A convertable? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217185)

It would be nice to make this into a netbook and run Windows 7 on it.

I WANT TO BE ME !! I WANT TO BE FULLY FREE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217241)

Come on, see me, be me, free me !! Because I got to be me, I wanna be free, come and see, me, free !! To do it or die, and then how can I, be fully free, to eat that cherry pie !!

Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217339)

Can it Still run Android?

(I know maybe technically it can of course - but I mean easily/officially. I have tried several different images of Android for x86 both in VMWare and in Virtual Box, with various problems that prevent me from actually using it productively).

Running windows just isn't all that attractive on an ultralight. I know, because I used to have a Sony P type.

Wee! 47 minute battery life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217355)

This is awesome! Take that iPad!

why ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217415)

Whats the point ?
I've got a transformer prime and the very things that make it an excellent device have been removed in the x86 version.
This is similar to buying a set of precision screwdrivers that prove immensely useful. Afterwards, the manufacturer comes back and tries to sell you a sledgehammer with the same screwdrivers glued to the top with the argument: "no loss of precision but now you can do those heavy tasks as well".
As useful as a chocolate teapot.

ARM (5, Insightful)

Meneth (872868) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217465)

Enough with the x86's already. Where's my ARM laptop, dammit?

Re:ARM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217567)

The original Transformer? :)

Also, these things are also coming out with ARM & Windows RT (see anandtech for details).

Ask ARM (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217679)

They don't seem to be able to make a laptop ready CPU. Realize that ARM CPUs cap out right around where the Atom starts. Ok fine, nothing wrong with that there is a MASSIVE low end and embedded market and ARM rules it. However, it does mean that for laptops, it isn't so useful. It is also lacking features in that arena as well. Really 64-bit is what people are after for desktops and laptops today. The new Atoms can do x64 no problem, ARM for all their chatter about it can't.

This is all extremely low end, laptop wise too. As noted this particular product doesn't use an Atom, it uses a real Core i chip which is a good bit more powerful and is what most people are after in their laptop.

So have a chat with ARM about when, or maybe more accurately if, they plan on moving in to the higher end CPU space. Until they have something there, I doubt there'll be much interest in an ARM laptop.

Re:Ask ARM (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217797)

Really 64-bit is what people are after for desktops and laptops today.

That is only relevant if you wish to access more than 2 or 3GB of RAM per process. If you consider that the majority of netbooks being sold only come with about 1GB of RAM, then 64-bit CPUs are essentiallly meaningless. And this even without considering PAE stuff.

CPU registers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218279)

That is only relevant if you wish to access more than 2 or 3GB of RAM per process.

Or if you want more processor registers without having to waste cycles spilling them to the stack all the time. ARM, for example, has fifteen to x86's eight. I don't know much about x86-64, but it also has more registers than x86.

And this even without considering PAE stuff.

Desktop versions of Windows have typically shipped with PAE off because so many device drivers were incompatible with PAE.

Re:ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217687)

A quad core A15 at 1.5GHz or more might do the trick actually.

Re:ARM (2)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217713)

These http://www.genesi-usa.com/products/smartbook [genesi-usa.com] don't look half bad. There are many many more on the market, but they are overshadowed by trendier tablets. Maybe windows 8 arm port will cause this to change.

If you can run a corporate win 8 desktop on arm, why would you want a powerhogging Intel?

Re:ARM (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217819)

I have the TF101 (the original Asus Transformer) with keyboard. It is effectively an ARM-based Android laptop, with touch screen (and Gorilla glass!), but I can turn it into a tablet whenever I want.

I love it. I never bother turning it off unless it needs the occasional reboot. It lasts all day - watch movies on the train, read ebooks, play games, surf the web in bed. Very portable entertainment device with enough screen space and keyboard to do lightweight word processing or presentations if I need it.

I just open it up and start using it - no waiting for boot up or unhibernating.

I don't want a Windows based x86 device.

I have the original TF101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217495)

I have the original TF101 and like it very much. I installed a chroot debian on it and can do all my work with it. Mostly latex/maxima/lisp. Next to that I log in to the university with the citrix client for some other programs.

What I would change, and what would be reason enough for me to buy a new one:
* larger screen, 13 inch
* matte screen
* thinner (i have the original transformer that is pretty thick)

And that's it. They should keep in ARM and android, so that I only have to charge once every couple of days. This way I can be away for a whole weekend and don't even worry about a charger. I would like the screen a bit bigger. Out of the dock I mostly use it to read pdf's and It would be nicer if the fonts where a bit bigger without me having to zoom in.

They need to keep the bootloader unlocked, so that I can install a linux distribution. Though I like debian in a chroot environment with the terminal emulator, it would even be nicer if a _working_ xserver for android existed.

But a x86 transformer. Booo! A windows 8 transformer? Boooo!

Seems I'll have to keep hacking on the original :-)

Yes, but... (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217597)

"If you've ever looked at an Asus Transformer and wished that it was slightly bigger, had an x86 processor, and ran Windows, ..."

I always look look at this sort of equipment and wish that it didn't run Windows...

Re:Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217767)

I wish it was smaller, not bigger - like my old Fujitsu Stylistic LT C-500 that had an 8-inch touch screen. Perfect footprint for portability, but about 4 times too thick. That has been nicely replaced by a Lifebook P1620 convertible with 8.9-inch 1280x768 touch screen (resistive, thank goodness - no twitchy capacitives for me!) , Core2, and very usable keyboard since it does not waste space on a twitchy touchpad, but uses a nice small trackpoint (although that has gotten a bit hard with age for prolonged use...).

Linux runs well on it, especially with drivers I found for the touch screen for the occasional navigational tap and the Onboard on-screen keyboard "app". Battery life is around 4 hours (maybe longer when I use an Extreme SanDisk CompactFlash drive in a disk adapter). At $150 or so on eBay, I think I can pass on this new Asus "monster" until it gets sorted out by time and hacking.

Been there, done that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217601)

Yawn, meanwhile, I've been enjoying my Gigabyte T1125 [gigabyte.com] . Dual boot with Debian and Windows 7 (x64) whilst also using Visual Studio and VMware Workstation fine. Battery lasts a few hours on normal usage (OneNote, Thunderbird, FireFox, Wifi, Bluetooth, 40% brightness).

Seems the article writer is missing something.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217859)

" perhaps this could be the first "tablet" capable of running fully Free Software?"

I have had Linux tablets for the past 10 years. Fujitsu tablets have been running "fully free software" for as long as linux guys have had out hands on them.

Why is it that everyone thinks that tablets are brand new? I have had a tablet for over 20 years, My first ran Windows for Workgroups 3.11, for Pen computing.

If you want a Ubuntu Tablet, go onto ebay and buy a used Fujitsu Stylistic and install Ubuntu. You have a choice from the $100.00 ST5011D to a $500.00 current model. So even the really poor people can have one.

Ivy Bridge Core-i3 is probably most common model. (3, Informative)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218015)

I think for the people who do want decent battery life, the new Transformer running the latest low-power Core i3 CPU, built-in Ivy Bridge graphics, and 4 GB of RAM is all they need. Unlike Intel's past built-in graphics chips, the HD 4000 GPU built into the Ivy Bridge chipset is no slouch at even 3-D graphics, so for most users there is no significant advantage to offering an additional GPU unit.

You pay for using "Free" software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218035)

>Aside from the Nvidia graphics (which, from the looks of it, can be disabled for the on-chip output), perhaps this could be the first "tablet" capable of running fully Free Software?

If switching to new software takes away functionality, it wasn't free.

Re:You pay for using "Free" software (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218095)

There are dozens of no-name tablets which are capable of running fully free software. Many of them already do by shipping with one vanilla version of Android or another.

Can't see this being cheap (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218071)

This thing has the specs of an ultrabook plus a touch screen and breaks apart into two halves. I cannot see this being cheap whether the keyboard is sold separately or not.

Transformer? (1)

Majutsushi (205979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218093)

And here I was hoping they were talking about a PC that could transform into some kind of vehicle ... Oh well, maybe next time.

First (modern) tablet with a noisy fan? (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218137)

Just speculating, but the specs suggest that there will be one... Blergh.

ufaGorz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218387)

lizard - In 0tHer
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