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Dual-Boot Android/Windows Tablet Debuts at CES

While a number of partners used this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to launch a new crop of Windows 8 tablets and laptops, those same partners also launched new Android-based devices. But for those who want the best of both worlds, Asus announced at CES the first Intel-based dual-boot convertible laptop-tablet that can run both Android 4.2.2 and Windows 8.1, though not simultaneously.

Asus' new Transformer Book Duet TD 300 lets users switch between Android and Windows within 4 seconds, the company said. It's the first such system based on Intel's new dual-boot system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor. Like many convertible devices, the Transformer Book Duet is a laptop with a detachable display that converts into a tablet.

It remains to be seen whether customers are craving for tablets that can boot both operating systems but Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich Tuesday evening said they do. "There are times you want Windows, there are times you want Android," Krzanich said in his first CES keynote as CEO. Intel's 64-bit SoCs "are the only ones that can offer that capability to seamlessly switch between Oses," he added. "You don't have to make a choice moving forward."

Asus' new Transformer Book Duet TD 300 is loaded with an Intel Core i7 processor with HD graphics, 4 GB of RAM, a 128 GB SSD and is available with a 1 TB hard drive. The company claims it can run twice as fast as tablets with ARM-based processors. Because it doesn't use OS virtualization, Asus said each operating system utilizes the full capacity of the processor. When running Windows, Asus said it will get 5 hours of battery life and 6 hours when running Android.

With a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS touchscreen, Asus claims it exceeds Microsoft's viewing requirements for Windows 8.1, though it doesn't appear likely Redmond was looking for its partners to bring dual-boot systems to market. But if archrivals Microsoft and Google can each benefit from the emergence of dual-boot systems by taking share from Apple, Microsoft could pick up share it otherwise might not have gained from those who want Android devices. However, Google doesn't appear to need help from Microsoft, given the accelerating growth of Android.

The Transformer Book Duet will reportedly start at $599. Do you think there's a broad market for dual-boot Android-Windows convertibles or will this be a niche product?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/08/2014 at 12:37 PM


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