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New Asus Device Runs Both Windows and Android

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the double-the-vendor-lockin dept.

Android 126

taz346 writes "Asus has unveiled a new 11.6-inch tablet/laptop that runs both Windows 8 and Android Jelly Bean side by side, the BBC reports. The firm said 'users would be able to synchronise data between the platforms in order to enjoy a "smooth transition" between each mode.' Hmmm, I'm guessing one could also create another partition and install a full Linux distro as well, though there's no telling how UEFI might come into play."

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android on a computer? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902691)

i don't understand anybody that wants android on a pc, hell i barely understand why i have it on my phone.

Re:android on a computer? (5, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43902763)

I guess the key would be familiarity with the platform, like how Windows has managed to stay on top for so long. If you can get people to accept Android on their computer, you might just have a way to break the monopoly. You're right that Android doesn't seem very suited as a general purpose computing platform, but that could change.

Re:android on a computer? (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43903043)

It is as more suited than the Windows 8 "Metro" interface, and would fulfil the requirements of most basic users. Unlike iOS, it gives you full control over the user filesystem you can easily exchange data between any applications with ease. The multitasking is very usable. It's at least *very* close to a good general purpose OS.

Re:android on a computer? (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43903113)

Usability should come naturally with feedback I would presume, and if we're lucky Android won't blow up into a million different incompatible distros run by enormous egos with no regard for their end users, always chasing the hottest new fad (I know this is not always the case, but standing outside looking in at the community around GNU/Linux, that is what it looks like to an every day user).

I'm really hoping Android can take off as an alternative to Windows, iOS and GNU/Linux. Both Windows and GNU/Linux suffer from the "keys to the kingdom or bust" security model, while Android manages to be the sensible middle ground. Educating everyday users about security is tedious, and much of that comes from the fact that you can't really secure your device without a lot of technical knowledge about it.

The Android way of attaching permissions to parts of the system to an app at install time takes much of the magic hand waving out of it That way it becomes a very clear question of "does this farmville app really need GPS tracking data and access to the phone id?", instead of "for an unknown reason this app needs full admin rights!". To me that is a win for the end user.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903185)

With Android other than stuff like Cornerstone that Google hates there is no way to run even 2 apps at the same time.

Metro at least can do that.

I have not really given Metro much of a chance but the reason is adware. I could try out some apps but the only way I would do it is if I could properly test the full app for a bit first. (I want stuff that has a minimum amount of functionality).

Android doesn't have any really high quality apps other than niche stuff. iOS has some.

I would prefer the KDE Touch or E17 touch interface to Android.

Re:android on a computer? (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43903191)

Android doesn't have any really high quality apps other than niche stuff. iOS has some.

Like what? Just wondering not arguing as I've never used iOS.

Re:android on a computer? (3, Interesting)

quarterbuck (1268694) | about a year ago | (#43903483)

My experience is the opposite, iOS has high quality niche stuff while android has none.
There are a lot of aviation apps for iOS - iPad specifically - stuff meant to be used by a General Aviation Pilot who has old vacuum gauges in his little Cessna, but wants a GPS map and flight planner. For Android similar apps are limited or when available are designed for the phone.
It has gotten so common that FAA recently approved an iPad as a certified cockpit accessory for commercial airline pilots - They don't need an iPad to look up a map, but they can use it to look up landing charts, checklists and other paperwork that they need to look up. For them it is a couple of less binders they need to carry around.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43907961)

I think that AC ((#43903185) was saying 'Android doesn't have any high quality apps' - 'other than niche stuff'.
That's all.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43904229)

I switched from an iPhone 3G last year to an android, and have yet to find a fuel and auto maintenance scheduling app that comes anywhere near Road Trip. I'm not a heavy app user, but nothing even approached the usefulness of Road Trip. I'd love to see it ported.

Re:android on a computer? (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43903249)

Multi-tasking and multi-window are two separate things. I don't think the current version of Metro lets you multi-window either.

Re:android on a computer? (2)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#43903269)

Multi-tasking and multi-window are two separate things. I don't think the current version of Metro lets you multi-window either.

It does in a limited way, you can do a 80/20% split of the screen.

Re:android on a computer? (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#43903737)

Woo.That sucks ass. Every day I find more reasons to be more glad I have Linux Mint and not Windows on my laptop.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43906537)

They're adding the ability to have a 50-50 split, too, but I know that's not the point.

You're comparing apples (Mint's desktop interface) and oranges (Window's Metro interface). It's not as though Microsoft removed the desktop UI from Windows, so yes - you still have the ability to have as many windows open as you want, sized and located to your wildest wishes, same as every other desktop OS.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43903295)

With Android other than stuff like Cornerstone that Google hates there is no way to run even 2 apps at the same time.

True, but there are technical reasons for this decision. Namely battery life and screen real estate. The meme with Android is to not waste battery life on something the user can't see, and secure a fast start/stop cycle for apps instead. This is of course not very usable on a desktop or laptop (might not even be for a tablet, I don't know since I don't use a tablet), and would be one of the things that needs to be addressed, should Android move towards more general computing. As I said, Android isn't quite suited for general purpose computing yet, but it could be.

Android doesn't have any really high quality apps other than niche stuff. iOS has some.

That might be true, I don't know enough about the iOS ecosystem to be the judge of that. The value of Android is not what the platform supports right now, it is the design philosophy behind it. Finally an OS shop is trying to rethink security without tacking it on after or making it an opt-in that gets ignored.

Screen real estate? BS. (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905081)

True, but there are technical reasons for this decision. Namely battery life and screen real estate.

Screen real estate? BS. My Nexus 7 tablet's screen is bigger than the screens of two smartphones put together. A 10" tablet is even bigger. The only reason that an Android tablet can't run two phone applications side-by-side is some a short-sighted design decision made early on by Google to allow applications to assume that the screen size never changes after installation [slashdot.org] .

Re:android on a computer? (2)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#43903773)

Incorrect, at least for my Samsung Galaxy S3.
If you launch an app then hit the home button, that app stays running in the background.
Also the latest firmware update gives you a split screen option to run 2 apps on the same screen at the same time.

Jarring to switch between maximized programs (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905123)

If you launch an app then hit the home button, that app stays running in the background.

If a task involves two applications, each with its own user interface, it's still more jarring for the user to have to switch back and forth between two maximized windows [notalwaysworking.com] than to split it down the middle. It gives the user doorway amnesia [cracked.com] .

Also the latest firmware update [for the Samsung Galaxy S3] gives you a split screen option to run 2 apps on the same screen at the same time.

I'm told very few applications support this, other than those few applications supplied by Samsung, because variable window size is not a standard feature of Android. See my reply to Cenan [slashdot.org] .

Re:Jarring to switch between maximized programs (1)

snadrus (930168) | about a year ago | (#43906413)

Effectively true & unfortunate. It is a tech demo to show what's possible. It wasn't hard to make the apps do this, just non-standard.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903529)

blow up into a million different incompatible distros run by enormous egos with no regard for their end users, always chasing the hottest new fad (I know this is not always the case, but standing outside looking in at the community around GNU/Linux, that is what it looks like to an every day user).

Are you saying that my fork of the Linux Mint Julip TinyTime build is not a legitimate OS?!?!? I'll have you know that we have dozens of users now!

Re:android on a computer? (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43904131)

I'd say the opposite. The Android "permissions at install" system is fundamentally broken. At the point of install you don't necessarily know the details of what an app does, nor why it might want to access certain resources. The right way to do it is to ask at the time the app first asks for a resource. That way you have context. You know what you asked the app to do, or the app can explain why it wants the permission.

Of course whatever way permissions are granted, there also needs to be a way to withdraw them from apps as well.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43905009)

I'd say the opposite. The Android "permissions at install" system is fundamentally broken.

Oh yes, there are a lot of ways to improve the system. I don't agree that it is fundamentally broken though, and the rest of your post says you don't either.

The right way to do it is to ask at the time the app first asks for a resource. That way you have context. You know what you asked the app to do, or the app can explain why it wants the permission.

I don't think putting any faith in what a developer has to say about "why" the app needs the permissions is the way to go, from experience we know that good devs will tell the truth and malicious devs will tell the lie to resemble the truth. So that has no value, unless you add some kind of static analysis to the report prior to presenting the request to the user (a list of imported functions perhaps).

I am all for making the system as transparent as possible, but I don't think "just-in-time" assignment of privilege adds much in terms of fusing usability with security. And it would not scale very well for a device with alot of diverse privileged equipment attached, you'd bombard the user with requests in the middle of a workflow - encouraging the dreaded "click through" mentality.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43905157)

I don't think putting any faith in what a developer has to say about "why" the app needs the permissions is the way to go, from experience we know that good devs will tell the truth and malicious devs will tell the lie to resemble the truth.

I didn't suggest putting faith in it. But the alternative is not having any information on what the app needs the resource for. It's like you are guardian of a real world key safe. Do you want people who ask you for keys to tell you why they want it. Or to not be allowed to tell you anything - you just have to guess.

As to the user bing "bombarded" with resource requests, obviously if that happened it would be wrong. But it's something from your imagination, not a real problem. If a system did that, then somebody designed it badly - the granularity of the permissions in the OS, the app that tries to do everything at once without regard to bombarding the user with questions, or both.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43906249)

I am all for making the system as transparent as possible, but I don't think "just-in-time" assignment of privilege adds much in terms of fusing usability with security. And it would not scale very well for a device with alot of diverse privileged equipment attached, you'd bombard the user with requests in the middle of a workflow - encouraging the dreaded "click through" mentality.

iOS handles this very well. If an app wants a resource that a user might not want to provide, like location data or contacts, it asks once. From there, the preference is stored and the app never asks again, but will let you know if you are trying to do something that absolutely requires it and allow you to re-enable it.

Similarly, if an app wants to access your pictures, it has exactly one API to use, and that lets the user pick which picture(s) to give the app access to at runtime.

The Android model is to ask once, at install time, then give the app full access to everything it wants, or you can't run it.

I run Skype occasionally on my iPhone but would never want it to access my contacts, since I don't want MS to have that information. I have no problem managing my Skype contacts in the app itself. There is currently no way to satisfy this use case on Android, but the iOS security model handles it perfectly.

Permission rationales in the description (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905103)

At the point of install you don't necessarily know the details of what an app does, nor why it might want to access certain resources.

While browsing Google Play Store on my Nexus 7 tablet, I've seen more and more applications that explain in the description exactly what they do with each permission.

Of course whatever way permissions are granted, there also needs to be a way to withdraw them from apps as well.

A way for whom to withdraw them? The user or the operating system publisher?

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903299)

Yes, that could change. In the same way you could transform a tank into a highly efficient dragster.
Although, the analogy of android being a tank is a stretch, it was necessary to fulfill the car analogy.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43904035)

Windows monopoly? What is this, the 2000s?

Windows has supermajority of multiwindow PCs (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905305)

Consider the major personal computing operating systems that allow showing more than one application's window on the screen at a time. The ones I can think of are Windows, Windows RT, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux, and among these four, Windows has such a supermajority of usage share that it arguably has market power [wikipedia.org] . Let me know when the iPad can run an iPhone app in a floating or tiled window or when the usage share of Mac OS X rises from its current 7% (source: Wikipedia citing Net Applications [wikipedia.org] ) to even 20%.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | about a year ago | (#43904465)

In my case, I was completely unfamiliar with Android, but installed BlueStacks to run it on my Win7 laptop. I found I prefer the Google Voice droid app over the web interface, G+, Yahoo mail, and some others. It eliminated some tabs I used to keep open in Firefox.

Why? Because too often designers provide unneeded functionality that impedes core usability. The nature of mobile applications and perceived (albeit nonexistent) limitations diminishes that. I can basically update a spreadsheet in less time with the Drive app than via docs.google.com. However when I need greater functionality obviously...

But the majority of the time I use basic functions. It's like back in the day when applications would have their core functions up front and center, and if you wanted to do rare special things you would access a deeper UI (later to become menus) to implement such things.

So my answer is it's convenient and life enhancing. :-)

Re:android on a computer? (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43905075)

So my answer is it's convenient and life enhancing. :-)

Straight and to the point UI design tends to have that kind of impact on people, I guess I need to look into BlueStacks.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43905019)

Funny this would come up. Ive spent most of my night looking at the Android x86 scene. Progress is coming along quite nicely and I think we will start to see wonderful things in that dept soon. Personally I think that if done correctly the Android PC experience could be very positive. I for one am sick of the whole Windows/Mac/Linux debacle and would welcome a new contender (Even if Android is technically a *NIX).

Re:android on a computer? (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43902981)

It seems rather convoluted. The only reason I don't use a real OS on my tablet is the lack of hardware support.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43903101)

i don't understand anybody that wants android on a pc, hell i barely understand why i have it on my phone.

Because it makes it easier to dial numbers and use the camera than old fashioned numeric-pad-plus-up-down-left-right phones?

You could try rooting your phone and installing a free command shell. After that you can type things like "sudo rm -rf /". You'll feel right at home.

Re:android on a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903127)

You could try rooting your phone and installing a free command shell. After that you can type things like "sudo rm -rf /". You'll feel right at home.

I think you meant: sudo rm -me /.

Re:android on a computer? (2)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#43903703)

Personally, I dont understand why anybody wants windows, especially 8, on a PC.

Re:android on a computer? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905197)

Personally, I dont understand why anybody wants windows [...] on a PC

Please see my reply to h4rr4r [slashdot.org] .

Re:android on a computer? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#43905641)

You reply doesn't really address my point as I said "wants to" not "has to".

Until someone solves "has to" (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905795)

Ultimately, until someone solves "has to", there's little point in arguing "wants to".

Re:android on a computer? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43904199)

You misspelled "Windows 8".

Really though, I can't figure out why running Android on a PC would be superior to just preloading Ubuntu or something along those lines. And Windows 8 for the desktop is nonsense that should be rejected as Windows ME and Vista were. We're in the process of upgrading a bunch of systems at work and we're not even considering anything that comes with Win8.

It's the apps, stupid (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905207)

I can't figure out why running Android on a PC would be superior to just preloading Ubuntu or something along those lines.

Because Android has more applications that end users want than Ubuntu has.

Re:It's the apps, stupid (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43907007)

For now. Make a system that does what the Google Play store and the App Store do, and you'll have publishers, I assure you.

Windows Store and Ubuntu Software Center (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43908419)

Make a system that does what the Google Play store and the App Store do, and you'll have publishers, I assure you.

That's what the Windows Store and the paid apps that Ubuntu Software Center added in 12.04 were supposed to be. Have they caught on yet? If not, what are they missing compared to Google Play Store and Apple's App Store?

Re:Windows Store and Ubuntu Software Center (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43908459)

A user base.

Everything started with no user base (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43908643)

When iOS 2 was released, the App Store had no user base. When Android 1.0 was released, Android Market had no user base. How did these manage to gain a user base while Ubuntu Software Center and Windows Store have failed?

Re:Everything started with no user base (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#43908755)

I see where you're going with this, but the markets are too fundamentally different for your direction to be correct. What impresses people about a phone will just disappoint most the laptop market. Especially as far as "apps" go, which are mostly a far cry from the programs people have become accustomed to.

UEFI? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902693)

I'm guessing one could also create another partition and install a full Linux distro as well, though there's no telling how UEFI might come into play."

There's no telling whether this thing will shit ice-cream either, but like the issue of UEFI we do have a pretty good idea about it. Firstly it is SecureBoot that would affect installation of other operating systems and secondly since it is Windows 8 it has the option to turn SecureBoot off, for fuck sake even Microsoft's own device, the Surface Pro, allows SecureBoot to be turned off and Linux to be installed on it so do we really need all the continued scaremongering?

Re:UEFI? (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43902803)

You can't turn off SecureBoot on ARM-based surfaces, only on Intel-based ones (eg. Surface Pro).

Ref: http://www.howtogeek.com/149254/if-i-buy-a-computer-with-windows-8-and-secure-boot-can-i-still-install-linux/ [howtogeek.com]

Re:UEFI? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43902867)

I guess Secure Boot can lock you into Android as well then.

Re:UEFI? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43903045)

It is not *dictated* as a requirement though. It's sad when an OS manufacturer has to try to force you to keep their OS on a device.

Re:UEFI? (2)

ko7 (1990064) | about a year ago | (#43903103)

But this has been modus operandi for MS since the 1980's...
Nothing new here... just move along...

Re:UEFI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903145)

i've been running linux and windows on machines for decades.

Try reading before posting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903319)

He said "try to force you" not "has successfully forced you".

Re:Try reading before posting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904535)

He said "try to force you" not "has successfully forced you".

They made you pay for it. Who cares if you use it. Most people will simply use what's on their machine.

Re:UEFI? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43903105)

The OEMs have to make an effort to put it on there. I'm sure Microsoft twists their arms but blame them for giving in...

Re:UEFI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903109)

The android/tablet portion of this device runs on an Atom.

Just saying as it lookes like people are confused.

Or I am.

Re:UEFI? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43903237)

yeah it's atom.

so it's double x86. not sure if the tablet portion is missing something that windows would need to run on it.

Re:UEFI? (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43902815)

since it is Windows 8 it has the option to turn SecureBoot off, for fuck sake even Microsoft's own device, the Surface Pro, allows SecureBoot to be turned off

We don't know if it's an ARM system [slashdot.org] , which (unlike intel ones, like the Surface Pro--buyers, look carefully for that "Pro") do have the Restricted Boot bug [arstechnica.com] .

but like the issue of UEFI we do have a pretty good idea about it

Given the above, and that Microsoft can even dictate which archs can turn off Secure Boot and which cannot in the first place...no we don't. Have they signed a contract to not change their mind? (Remember, IE10 Metro went from plugin-free--"yay, no more Flash!", said many--to one of the browsers with its own Adobe Flash--"wha!?", the many wondered.)

Re:UEFI? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43902991)

Microsoft can even dictate which archs can turn off Secure Boot and which cannot in the first place..

No they can't.

The accurate statement is that Microsoft can dictate which devices are certified by them and which are not.

But lets not let facts get in the way of the extreme fear and hate you have...

Re:UEFI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903189)

Yep but you cannot distribute WinRT at all without fulfilling their conditions.

I don't really get what they lose by letting people build their own desktop apps for WinRT.

On a device like that Metro would be more useful most of the time.

Windows 8 includes "modern UI" (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905435)

On a device like that Metro would be more useful most of the time.

Which is why the Surface Pro and other Windows 8 (x86 or x86-64) devices also include the environment formerly known as Metro.

Re:UEFI? (3, Funny)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#43903023)

Every article submitted to Slashdot must end with an inflammatory, baseless statement. It's the rules.

Bonus points if the statement is about weaponisation or privacy concerns.

Re:UEFI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903169)

There's no telling whether this thing will shit ice-cream either

Why would you want Ice Cream when it's already got Jelly Bean on it?

Re:UEFI? (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year ago | (#43905251)

Secure Boot isn't a requirement for a Windows 8 install; it's a requirement for a device to be Windows 8 certified. So an OEM can sell a device with Windows 8 on it, and not have Secure Boot; but in doing so they can't put the Windows 8 certified logo on the box. Given that nobody looks for that logo, I don't see it being that big of a deal.

Both computers can be used simultaneously (5, Interesting)

Zouden (232738) | about a year ago | (#43902699)

One of the more interesting aspects about this device is that the keyboard-dock can be connected to an external monitor and used as a PC at the same time that tablet part is being used. It's essentially two independent computers that can be linked together to share peripherals and storage. I think that's quite an engineering feat.

Re:Both computers can be used simultaneously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902719)

The smoothness of this transition is yet to be seen. I hope it lives up to my unrealistic expectations.

Re:Both computers can be used simultaneously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903083)

You can share peripherals and storage from two independent computers for a long time now. The monitor is the only component that doesn't work all that well in a shared environment and that's because of the perpetuation of sending the entire image instead of just the data required to render it on the monitor's host machine. I like to blame remote desktop for that bizarre wasteful method.

Re:Both computers can be used simultaneously (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905463)

sending the entire image instead of just the data required to render it on the monitor's host machine.

In the case of video, sending "just the data required to render it" would essentially mean DLNA: transcoding it to a codec that the monitor supports, which will likely be a lossy operation. Good luck if you're trying to play multiple videos at once or play games at all.

Re: Both computers can be used simultaneously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43906769)

In the case of video, it's probably already compressed, and local displays probably use hardware-accelerated decoding so that the full, uncompressed image stream lives entirely within the GPU.

So the answer is not to decode, re-encode, and stream over DLNA -- the answer is to have a network-transparent protocol* for hardware-accelerated video decoding, and stream the original video (possibly packing it into a different container stream than it is on disk, but not decoding it) over whatever network link to the display-hosting PC, where it gets shuffled off to the GPU for decoding and display.

Yes, in the exotic case where you have uncompressed, or compressed-with-a-codec-the-display-host-doesn't-speak, video streams, you might have to go to real-time encoding with resultant lossiness, but that's not worse than the current blit-everything-over-the-network approach for those edge cases, and the 90% cases will work far better.

*And where do we hear about network-transparent protocols being awesome? Oh, yeah, the X11 fanboys who cheerily neglect that practically all the work done by a modern X server is in fact not practically network-transparent, either because it flat-out requires a non-network-transparent extension, or it is dog-slow without one (e.g. continually modifying client-side pixmaps and (absent a non-network-transparent shared-memory extension) sending them to the server). I'm not quite a fan of the Wayland stuff myself, but I'm struck by the irony, the sense of "would it kill these guys to clean their own house first?". (And yeah, I know that's not a fair perspective, as the people mouthing about it on the internet may not have the skills and definitely don't have the position to steer X towards more network-transparency, and even the guys who are in the best positions are ultimately at the mercy of the pixmap-hungry toolkits that application developers choose.)

Compressed with an unsupported codec (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43908353)

Good luck if you're trying to play multiple videos at once

In the case of video, it's probably already compressed, and local displays probably use hardware-accelerated decoding

Can these hypothetical displays use hardware-accelerated decoding for multiple video streams at the same time?

Yes, in the exotic case where you have uncompressed, or compressed-with-a-codec-the-display-host-doesn't-speak, video streams, you might have to go to real-time encoding with resultant lossiness

I disagree that the case of "compressed-with-a-codec-the-display-host-doesn't-speak" is as "exotic" as you claim. In such a case, how many displays would support anything other than H.264? For example, how many would support MPEG-2 (DVD), H.263 (FLV), MPEG-4 ASP (DivX), VC-1 (some HD-DVD and early BD), etc.? Each non-free codec introduces an additional patent royalty. How many would support Theora or VP8, and how many would support VP9 once it becomes final two weeks from tomorrow?

Re:Both computers can be used simultaneously (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | about a year ago | (#43904797)

That does raise some interesting power-user possibilities, now you point it out. Tablet as remote display, media remote control, presentation remote control; debugging Android development on a second monitor, regardless of how the tablet is connected (I enjoy debug and test deployment to my Nexus with adb over TCP).

This is before even considering the possibility of using Linux as the x86/base laptop host or dual-boot OS, though I'm wondering just what hurdles would be to making the tablet/screen recognize the host? Anyone have more technical specs on this that can elaborate whether it's just a DVI or HDMI connection with a special pin short to tell the tablet to sleep the Android system and connect the display to the output, or if it has some more complicated or proprietary mechanism for switching modes?

I was already considering this as a machine to request from work for my next laptop, partly to eliminate the clutter in my bag (currently a Win8-running bulky Acer Iconia Tab W500, Lenovo SL400, Nexus 7 in case, iPad Mini in covers, and a hotspot) and partly for its utility -- switch to Android tablet for running Wifi-analyzer or Fing, back to WIndows to configure settings over the network with touchpad/keyboard.

Strange bedfellows, indeed, but quite the interesting marriage of good technology. Especially given the quality of the hardware.

Because that will happen sometime soon... (1)

jakiao (2940051) | about a year ago | (#43902707)

Sources say it will be available sometime in the next two years as demand is sure to be hot! Take a look at the Transformer Book timeline for more details. //end-sarcasm

Desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902709)

This seems very cool. However, why are they touting the device as a laptop, tablet and a DESKTOP. It seems a little underpowered for desktop use.

it is good to see AMD as the processor choice. I have enjoyed my A8-3200m powered laptop. fast enough for developement and such while clocked at 1.5ghz.

Nobody wants that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902737)

Is it Intel or ARM?
If it's Intel, it won't run any Android native apps, and if it's Arm it won't run most Windows apps.

Adding Android to a Windows device doesn't make up for Windows apps lack of touch friendliness, nobody will seek out the Android version of a Windows app, just to sync it to the Windows side.

As an Android tablet, its very very expensive, low res, and heavy. The tradeoffs to run Windows negatively impact the Android experience.

Really ASUS already make a compromised device, the Asus Infinity. It has a touch pad which nobody uses on Android because you can simply tap the screen. It has a laptop form factor, with a hinge that flexes as you tap the screen. Meanwhile Samsung make full on tablets and are taking all the market.

ASUS need to think again, these Padfone , Windows/Android, Android Laptop format, devices they're all very confused.

Re:Nobody wants that (3, Informative)

sosume (680416) | about a year ago | (#43902989)

The keyboard contains an Intel laptop board. The dispay contains an Android board. Connect the keyboard to the tablet, and the tablet displays the output from the "keyboard pc". Disconnect, and it switches to its internal processor to become an android tablet. Meanwhile, you can connect the docking station to a regular displa and continue using the pc as well.

Re:Nobody wants that (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43904467)

I personally don't care but, with the changes in society and whatnot, I'm curious about the power usage as it seems plausible that both CPUs will be running concurrently.

Screen uses over two-thirds of a tablet's power (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905515)

On my Nexus 7 tablet, when I look at what applications are using the battery, "Screen" consistently takes 66 to 80 percent of the energy since last charge. So I imagine that even if Android applications continue to run, it won't drain that much more power than a typical laptop's screen alone.

Re:Screen uses over two-thirds of a tablet's power (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43907727)

Good point. I'd noticed that too but didn't think of it. Thanks. It also appears that both CPUs won't be running at the same time if the people posting later in the thread are correct.

Re:Nobody wants that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903509)

The keyboard part contains an i7 for running Windows 8, and the Tablet/Screen part contains a dual-core Atom processor (can't remember the specifics) for running Android. You can find this info if you look elsewhere, the linked article must be the shittest source they could find to actually discuss this product.

Re:Nobody wants that (1)

bBarou (834305) | about a year ago | (#43905611)

Is it Intel or ARM? If it's Intel, it won't run any Android native apps, and if it's Arm it won't run most Windows apps.

That's statement not true. There are x86 android devices , The new Galaxy Tab for a exemple. A friend of mige got he Motorala Razr i with an atom inside: http://www.slashgear.com/motorola-razr-i-official-2ghz-intel-android-smartphone-18248009/ [slashgear.com] It runs most android apps, some won't run however.

Perfect for Windows Admin/Engineer Toolkit (1, Interesting)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about a year ago | (#43902793)

Too many possibilities to list, but frankly I would love to use one of these as my mobile machine. Load it up with all the Windows and Android programs I currently find most useful and use them on a single device with a keyboard/mouse anywhere... I'll keep the large desktop setup of course, and while most of the servers are in datacenters elsewhere so I'm fairly sedentary this would be great for the local datacenter/lab setup instead of rolling the crash cart around. Ok I want it because it sounds like an all in one toolbox that I'll probably use far less than I'm thinking right now but damn it, I want one. - HEX

No mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902863)

"Too many possibilities to list, but frankly I would love to use one of these as my mobile machine."

Not mobile, seems to be an Atom based Android screen, which acts like a tablet, and a Windows based keyboard dock with 1TB hard drive and a faster i7 processor that acts like a desktop PC but can't be used unless you plug in the screen!

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7017/the-asus-transformer-book-trio-atom-haswell-android-windows-8

Which means you won't be able to run the same software when plugged in and unplugged into the keyboard dock. And for that you get a lot of tradeoffs, like having two CPUs, an Android device based on Intel not Arm, if the hard drive is in the dock, Android tablet mode can't access it (so no video playback of movies on the harddrive).

I think they haven't thought it through.

Re:No mobile (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43903051)

How about picking the hard drive data up through a Samba share of something, assuming you could leave it up and running with the tablet removed?

Looks promising (1)

madwheel (1617723) | about a year ago | (#43902805)

It sounds like a great idea because there's less to carry around. As always we'll see how the device performs, how they're going to manage memory (how much memory?), and how much it will cost. Until then, bring on the innovation.

Asus already has one (1)

ZDroid (2938715) | about a year ago | (#43902817)

Transformer AiO [asus.com] also runs both Windows and Android... so, it's easy to make and small version (Transformer Book Trio) from biggy one (Transformer AiO). :)

Asus Androdi in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43902825)

The presentation of this device running on Android : Asus Android [youtube.com]

Side-by-side, or dual boot? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43902939)

All the BBC article says is:

Its key feature is that it can run both the Jelly Bean version of Google's Android OS and Windows 8.

It doesn't say it can do both at the same time.

Re:Side-by-side, or dual boot? (1)

jaseuk (217780) | about a year ago | (#43903049)

Dell tried a very similar thing with a "Linux button" on it's windows consumer laptops. The idea was that a very fast booting Linux distribution designed as a media player could be used, instead of completing a full windows boot.

I don't think it was very successful. There are parallels to Metro.

Jason.

Re:Side-by-side, or dual boot? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year ago | (#43905697)

Dell tried a very similar thing with a "Linux button" on it's windows consumer laptops. The idea was that a very fast booting Linux distribution designed as a media player could be used, instead of completing a full windows boot.

I don't think it was very successful. There are parallels to Metro.

Jason.

It was fucking terrible.
99% of the time you booted into it was by accident, and 60% of the time you would get stuck in that mode. I don't remember the exact procedure to force a regular boot, but it was nearly impossible to relay to someone over the phone. "Press and hold the power button." "No, the other power button." "Yes, you have two power buttons, that's how you got into that piece of shit media player and web browser mode."

They could in theory... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#43903217)

have 2 running at the same time off a hypervisor but it seems a bit overkill for this class of device and potentially confusing for the user if they hit the "switch" button by mistake.

Re:They could in theory... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#43903941)

I think they need to have a Mini ARM computer inside the laptop for running Android/Linux, and you switch back and forth with a KVM switch. Files could be shared between the two computers using a samba share, or some similar mechanism. Remove the optical drive and you could make room for the Android computer, its own battery, and all the switching hardware. Would actually be really nice to do Android development this way.

Re:Side-by-side, or dual boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903545)

It can run both at the same time if they are separate and the base is connected to an external monitor, I don't know if it would let you leave both running when they are connected together.

Asus EEE PC T101MT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903035)

I've been running Windows and Android dual boot on my Asus T101MT (multi-touch touchscreen) for a couple of years now. Currently it's just ICS and Win 8, but I even have ARM emulation with Android so it runs most apps. TFA doesn't particularly state if it runs simultaneously, but if not, then it doesn't seem to be innovative.

TFA rather short on details... (5, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43903069)

I thought it was running Window 8 and/or Android on same system; nope.
Detachable screen is in fact an andoid tablet; when you plug it into the 'docking station' that's actually a full-spec Win PC sitting in the keyboard / chassis.
If your use cases including running both a tablet and an ultra-PC, could be temping I guess, but hardling a tech breakthrough.

Try these for more info:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/03/asus-announces-the-transformer-book-trio-likens-it-to-a-laptop/ [engadget.com]

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/157253-asus-unveils-dual-os-dual-cpu-jekyll-hyde-transformer-book-trio [extremetech.com]

That's nice (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43903271)

But more importantly, can it run Linux? If so, then this would be a truly great device!

Linux (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43903313)

Hmmm, I'm guessing one could also create another partition and install a full Linux distro as well, though there's no telling how UEFI might come into play.

What the hell? Android is a Linux distro.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903355)

And a unicycle is a mode of cross country transportation. Do you realize how infantile your thought process is now? Wtf is it with fanbois?

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43905863)

and GNU/Linux is poorly suited to mobile and desktop (some people will use it anyway). android/Linux is poorly suited for server and workstation(some people will use it anyway)

Android fills in an important niche for the opensource OS world. With Microsoft blowing it's own feet off once every year, this is an important thing to have for those who don't want to get involved in Apple's brand of koolaid.

Android != GNU/Linux (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43905669)

By "a full Linux distro" they mean GNU/Linux. Now we're starting to see why RMS would always insist on the distinction [gnu.org] . Debian is GNU/Linux. Fedora is GNU/Linux. Android is not; it uses Bionic instead of glibc, and it uses a different fundamental set of userspace CLI applications instead of Bash and Coreutils.

Poor editorial standards (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about a year ago | (#43904991)

While the summary mentions the Linux-running potential of the device, it fails to address the imagination of a Beowulf cluster of these. I expect better, /.

Windows 8 should have been? (1)

YalithKBK (2886373) | about a year ago | (#43905537)

Maybe this is what Windows 8 should have been. Two OSs on the same machine that can communicate back and forth, but have two different environments for operation/interaction. You have the traditional "desktop" version for when your tablet is docked, but then you can separate the pieces and change it to the "metro" style.

I'll pass on the Android half... (1)

elabs (2539572) | about a year ago | (#43907345)

...but the Windows half sounds compelling. If I want to run an Android app (which so far has never happened) then I'd just run Bluestacks on Windows.
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