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Asus still bets on the Android/Windows 8 hybrid - introduces the TD300 at CES 2014

The creation of Android/Windows 8 hybrid machines is nothing new. I personally wrote an editorial a month ago, entitled "A Tale of Split Personalities: Windows 8-Android Hybrids", that concentrated on the negative effects these machines could have on the Windows 8 ecosystem. 

This year at CES 2014, the trend continues as Asus announced its Transformer Book Duet TD300. The unit itself can be dual-booted between Microsoft's Windows 8 and Google's Android Jelly Bean operating systems. 

The new Asus hybrid does have some quite impressive specs with a crisp 1080p 13 inch multitouch display and Intel's latest Core i7 processor under the hood. The TD300 itself features a 128 GB Solid State Drive and 4 GB of RAM. 

Of course, this is a double hybrid - not only can it run both Windows and Android, but it can also switch between a tablet and a notebook. The detachable keyboard adds on a multitude of ports including an Ethernet jack, USB port, and HDMI out port. In addition, the base can hold a 1 TB hard disk drive for the user to work with.

A super hybrid machine such as this comes at a price, as one would imagine, but it is not the monetary price that makes this unit unappealing - it is the weight. The unit itself weighs in at over 4 pounds and is also thicker than most Ultrabooks at half an inch thick. 

Asus is hoping to sell this device on the assumption that consumers want to jump between two different operating systems and they are trying to make that even easier with their "one touch button" that the company states will allow users to instantly switch between Windows and Android. 

The TD300 will be landing at a price of $599 (not too shabby) and should make the ultimate machine for the Google/Microsoft schizophrenic in your life. 

What do you think of Windows 8/Android hybrid machines?  We'll see if we can get some hands-on time with the new ASUS while at the 2014 CES this week.

Source: ASUS

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Reader comments

Asus still bets on the Android/Windows 8 hybrid - introduces the TD300 at CES 2014

101 Comments

And I like a clean Windows machine without bloatware and without a stupid Google android crap whose only purpose is to suck up all my data and hand it over to Google.

 

People are complaining that the start modern app/screen (aka Metro) and the desktop are already too different, and cumbersome to go back and forth. For those people, I doubt adding another OS is going to help.

You do expand the numbers of games available, but its not worth it to me.

I have to agree with infosage on this, with Win 8 you already have a tablet and PC why confuse it further?  I like clean machines.

What's stupid about choice ?? Imagine a gaming machine that does both Xbox one and PlayStation 4 on the same console would that also be stupid to you?

Thats not a good comparison really. They are equal consoles. Better comparison would be "do you want to play android games from your Xbox and your tv screen". Choise is good when it makes sense. Say Win8 and iOS, switch between these with a press of one button... This I could really see good, even though I wouldnt need it.
To me this Win/Android hybrod feels like a really stupid idea, and if it catches on Im amazed, but again maybe its just me.

EDIT: Oh, I think I got it. The above is supposed to be Win 8 PRO? I thought it was Win RT. If we're talking Win8.1, then yeah... I don't quite get it either.

That would be amazing a ps4 and Xbox1 hybrid. You get the looks and power of the ps4 and the games and UI of the Xbox one.

I'd rather imagine the Xbox One v2, that includes the guts of a 360 and a One. That intermediary OS ought to be able to juggle a third OS.

To me, this only becomes big if one thing is possible: Android apps running in some type of container that allows them to be handled like WIndows 8 apps.  Switching between OSes, even if it is immediate, would not be tolerable.  I am guessing you can't copy and paste between the two.  That along makes it annoying.

If people are already complaining that switching between the Start Screen and the Desktop is jarring, I don't see why people would want to switch between a desktop OS and a mobile OS just to use the apps.

Because android is cool and Windows 8 is the spawn of evil Microsoft. Bank on it, people will praise this while bashing Windows at the same time.

Unfortunately, you are correct. People use Chrome because it's not Internet Explorer. Don't you dare try to convince them that IE 11 is an excellent browser. That would be very uncool of you.

Yeah, my friend's mom got an original Surface RT for Christmas, but they didn't like it and returned it. It was for a multitude of reasons (which I find understandable, the Surface RT was plagued by performance issues, and Windows 8 has a very steep learning curve), but one of the largest was that they couldn't install Chrome on it...

Despite IE 10/11 literally being the only useable browser for touch on Windows 8 (because Google refuses to develop Metro apps, and Mozilla keeps delaying Metro Firefox), they return this thing because they can't get Chrome...

Sigh, while they still have many issues (what tech giant doesn't?), Microsoft hardly resembles the same company that made Vista or some of the infamous early versions of IE. They've really stepped up their game, and I for one can't get enough of IE 11 (Metro only, I don't use the desktop version, so I can't comment there). However, despite as far as Microsoft has come, they've got to ditch their baggage of the past if they want to succeed...

And yet the reason we had Windows 7, and now Windows 8, is because of Vista. (Under the hood all three are version 6.x, with different faces on them.)

ive not had any troubles..i love the freezablityof windows......but in all honestly  i like both....i also think fans of both should shut the hell up...and lets hate the real evil....crapple.

not just that, but if you *need*/want android, why not use BlueStacks (or that hacked blustacks version you can easily find that is supposed to have an updated android version)? it sounds stupid to compare android to windows 8.1, especially when you can get android inside windows without switching to another OS, but you cant get windows apps on android like full photoshop or illustrator or 3dsmax or lightwave or office (unless you remote desktop but we wont count that, because its not the same)

This is...shudder. lol I wish Microsoft would do an apple and just make their own Hardware. Start icing out companies that seem to be doing more to hurt the growth of windows than encourage it.

Developers will not bother developing apps for Windows if the the end user can run Android apps.  If this type of hybrid becomes the norm the Windows store may be abandoned.  Not a good sign for Windows or Windows phone.

Good. Let people play with Windows 8 touch UI and they will never go back to Android and iPads. Nobody will switch back and forth between two OSes. It gets annoying pretty fast.

But this thing is too heavy for me. Plus I rather not pay extra hidden costs (storage space, memory, Asus R&D, etc.) associated with the dual boot.

Yeah, this is just dumb!  These two worlds can not co-exist.  Why are they continue to try and try to push Android on Windows users?  I think its time for Microsoft to start making ultra books and workstations.  I see A coup d'état with Intel and some of the PC manufactures.  I think they are upset that Windows went to ARM and now they are trying to make Microsoft pay.  I hope Microsoft is making them pay royalties for using Android.  If the hardware manufactures had put half the effort into making great hardware available when Windows 8 launched, PC sales woudn't have seen the decline.

I like the idea, I have no problems with weight (dude, I lift) and I think this is a very good solution. I couldn't care less for W8 app store. If Microsoft doesn't care, I sure won't. And since on Android things are more often free...it's a sweet deal. Not to mention we get access to all the Google apps.

I'll definitely check it out and consider it.

Just out of curiosity... What would ever give you the impression that MS doesn't care about its Windows Store? They've been paying tons of money to devs to write their apps, they've also got some pretty amazing exclusives like Project Spark.

I would put money on this individual not buying this product, just by his/her post you can sense resentment for Windows and all facilities under its umbrella, i would assume he likes to stir up a bit of opposition consideration

You bet wrong. Actually, Windows and Office are now the ONLY things I like on Microsoft after a 6 months old Surface and type cover having both died.
So yeah, if there's a hybrid tablet/ultrabook that gives me Windows and Office to work on and all the Google Play Apps for entertainment consumption, and it's not by Microsoft but by a brand I actually trust, I'll sure check it out. I never said I would buy it anyway, just consider it.

I was thinking particularly about the general Xbox situation. But also their little efforts to make it attractive. Paying developers to put apps isn't the main problem. They should create an appealing platform to ensure that the developers would come and actually invest in the store. Also, their childish war with Google should have ended already.

Google hasn't exactly been acting all that mature in the childish war. Who changed their APIs and specifically refused to allow functionality on WP granted to every other OS?

Would have to try it hands on but I think it's great! There are parts to android I love and hate! This helps Windows in certain areas too....access to your favorite android apps and access to MS office, etc...could be good or could be horrid due to androids apps with virus's and how google is always updating the OS

Not only Europe, Asia as well. I can image this hybrid will cost over $800 in Singapore and over RM 1500 in Malaysia since it dual boots full Windows as a ultrabook and Android as a tablet.

As a die hard Nokia/Windows fan, i would actually like it, just to play around with Android, but not use it as a daily driver... Windows will be my primairy OS for ever, but i really like it, just to show people how cool that thing is. Believe me people will like it even if they don't understand the purpose of it

I use Android on my tablet and Windows 8.1 on my touch laptop, and I have to cary both when I travel, one for general stuff (mail, games, multimedia) and the other to work on the go.

With this kind of hybrid, the problem is gone. I'd use Android for when I want to use the tablet, and Windows for when I want to do real work (Word, Visio, etc...). It's kind of nice actually.

I've never understood the need for a hybrid but i do think some people will appreciate the choice - especially when it comes to app use. If this is their first machine, this will help a lot

Funny how Google doesn't need Windows until they do. Word is out that Chromebook is a brick without connectivity. So enter Windows with millions of applications to fill the gap. I sense most users who need a serious work environment would find themselves using half a machine at twice the price. Asus has many appealing Windows devices. No need for this. Me thinks a gimmick to part a few people with their hard-earned dinero.

 

Seems like a fair stop-gap solution until the Modern side of Windows picks up all the apps that Android has... pointless after it has.

I hope Microsoft uses an Intel soc in the Surface 3, it would be just so awesome to have a full Windows 8.1 (8.2) OS in the Surface RT form factor, i don't need all the power the Pro/2 offers, just a nice tablet from Microsoft with an Intel core ... Just to run a few applications on the desktop (no Google Chrome, i love IE11). And to be honest, i don't like the designs of the other OEM's with full Windows, the Surface design is the best!!

Ok is it me, but did everything in that video look like all w8 not android?? I ddnt see anything close to Android..... Skype version is w8 asphalt is w8.... So where does android come into play?

I think it's a great idea for the pure techie like myself who enjoys dabbling in new tech. However I am almost certain that it is a TERRIBLE idea, with huge implications for Microsoft and modern app development. With OEMs, with such a move, pretty much saying that "Windows 8.1 machines do not offer enough to consumers(app ecosystem) to generate wide appeal and not having an appealing enough UI, we'll build a device that caters to two side of the fence". This move communicates to consumers and more so to DEVELOPERS, that an important Microsoft partner has little faith in the companies new OS. Added to that, if the apps that are not available Windows 8, are just a button push away on the Android side, there is little incentive for developers to make a dedicated Windows 8 app. If this becomes a trend among OEMs, Microsoft is in big trouble. Here's to hoping that the duo identity hybrid finds little to no support in the market, for Microsoft's, (Windows 8) sake.

5 or 6 people will really enjoy this!
For everyone else, since you can run most of the Google ecosystem on Windows natively and supplement everything else with bluestacks, what's the point?

I rather prefer the AMD solution to this. Running Android apps on Windows that are pin-able on the start screen as if they were Metro apps.

I like the idea. It's heavy but I really like the idea. I would like to dual boot but it's a but of trouble so this is cool.

not even kit kat. this is the problem with android. its so freaking fragmented you can't even buy anything and not be outdated even if it is a brand new CES product.

ASUS has introduced many wacky and niche products that never sold in meaningful numbers.  If this particular product is such a bad idea, it will quietly join its fellow unwanted products in the dustbin of history.  On the other hand, if the demand exists and the execution is there, it may end up being another nail in Microsoft's coffin.  No wonder there's so much fanboy fear in these comments!

Any old folks here remember when Windows supplanted DOS?  For many years it was totally practical to run either one on your computer.  There were diehard DOS fans who insisted it was better.  And in many ways, for a long time, it was.  Windows had to earn its seat on the throne of computing.  Is Windows the next DOS or will it hang on?  Microsoft rested on its laurels for far too long.  Let them feel the full force of competition and prove they're still worthy.

"...No wonder there's so much fanboy fear in these comments!"

You are so correct on that one sir! :D

Choice is good, especially if you're a developer or like using multiple platforms. I prefer Win8, but the idea of being able to do multiple systems actually strikes my curiosity.

This would've been great BEFORE Windows 8 was released. Sure Android has more apps but having the desktop, 'metro', and android seems like a mess.

Uh, no thanks. Windows 8 is split enough already. Don't get me wrong. Its split in a way that I really like. But to add another layer would be dubious to deal with. Almost ridiculous to even consider in my opinion.

Please remove the schizophrenia reference in your article. It is hurtful to people who suffer from this disease and ignorant to casually use such a reference. Thank you.