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Asus reveals designs for new tablets, laptops, monitors at Computex

Asus today signalled a major move toward cloud computing and an increasingly tablet-filled world with its press conference at the Computex 2012 trade show here. In the ATT 4 FUN Show Booth in central Taipei, company chairman Jonney Shih introduced a number of new systems designed to further fuse laptop and tablet designs, including one laptop with two screens: one on each side of its lid.

That would be the Asus Taichi, which is indeed primarily defined by those two IPS/FHD displays. Both are LED-backlit and 1080p in resolution, and operate completely independently of each other; this makes it possible for two people to create and consume content on the system at the same time. The outer display is also a multitouch-enabled touch screen, which makes it possible for the Taichi to serve as a regular tablet when the laptop's lid is closed. Each screen even has its own camera associated with it. The Taichi will be available in 11.6in and 13.3in screen sizes; will utilise Intel's third-generation Core (aka "Ivy Bridge") processors, solid-state drives (SSDs) and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi to achieve the fastest speeds; and is otherwise as light and thin as Asus' Zenbook ultrabook.

"Every screen will serve as a portal to access our digital world in a real time, real place, and in real, personalised ways", Shih said in opening his presentation. Like the Taichi, the other devices he introduced also furthered this idea of "ubiquitous cloud computing". All were designed to take advantage of the Asus Open Cloud Computing architecture, which balances technological capabilities with a variety of operating systems, hardware and software packages for making the most of the public and private cloud networks in your life.

If the Taichi garnered the most oohs and ahhs at the press conference, the clear runner-up was the Asus Transformer AiO. As its name suggests, it's part tablet and part all-in-one PC, with dual-operating system capability. The display on the Transformer AiO is an 18.4in, LED-backlit multitouch design that can be easily removed from its base station. This lets it function as a wireless display for the system, and makes it possible to start work at your desk and finish it anywhere else in your home. If you don't want to use Windows 8, you can switch over to the Android OS with just a touch of a button.

A convertible laptop - something Asus claims is the world's first - was also on the docket in the form of the Transformer Book. According to Shih, it's "the world's thinnest and lightest Intel Core i7 tablet". By detaching the screen from the system, the user can instantly switch between laptop and tablet modes. It's based on Ivy Bridge processors and discrete video, and supports hard drive and SSD storage as well as 4GB of DDR3 RAM and USB 3.0. Also present in the Transformer Book is Asus' SonicMaster technology for improved audio playback.

In contrast, the Asus Tablet 810 and Tablet 600 are intended as mobile devices that can become ultraportables when attached to their included mobile docks (which come complete with full keyboards, touchpads, additional USB ports, and a secondary battery for extended off-plug usage). The Tablet 810 was designed for use with Windows 8 and features the newest Atom processors as well as 2GB of RAM and a 64GB eMMC for storage; its multitouch-enabled touch screen is 11.6in in size and has a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels; and it's been engineered with a unique type of hidden hinge. On the other hand, the Tablet 600 runs on an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 12-core GPU, with 2GB of RAM and 32GB eMMC supplementing its 10.1in (1,366 x 768) display.

Last but not least, for those who want a revamped display, Asus unveiled two new Designo monitors: the MX279H and MX239. Both were designed to be nearly bezel-free, but still have LED backlighting and wide 178-degree viewing angles. The 27in MX279H and the 23in MX239H both sport dual HDMI inputs and SonicMaster technology.