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 (opens in new tab)

Michael Archambault
  • People like choices
  • 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.
  • Drive your grandparents insane and buy them one of these.
  • LOL..
  • Think about that for a moment. Who do you think they will be calling daily for help? Right!
  • 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.
  • Yes...
  • I think its a stupid idea, but it might be just me.
  • agreed/
  • 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.
  • I've never been a fan of Android but I think it will get the Android fans to try Windows 8
  • Lol that would be awesome !!! xbox one for media/tv and ps4 for gaming and sharing gameplay
  • 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.
  • Can scroogleos be completely wiped ?
  • Nope, you're not loco...;O)
  • 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.
  • Tainted Windows
  • *stained
  • *tinted :(
  • Mud butt.
  • Fucked even❕❕❕❕
  • 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.
  • I don't get it. If you have a full PC at your fingertips, why enter the neutered world of android?
  • 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.)
  • Ah, so they're selling it right out of the box already infected with Google malware?
  • I agree. It should be....wait for it...fired!
  • I won't buy any windows/android hybrid electronic items. Esp if it looks like this pic which resembles an MacBook.
  • Why have Android when you already have the superior full Windows?
  • Exactly. Intel is doing quite a disservice here.
  • 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.
  • TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!!!
  • Surface, anyone?
  • Also this screams to me as an attempt to make android on PC more popular while using windows to help it gain popularity.
  • This is what could happen if Microsoft doesn't step it up with their hardware and software.
  • 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.
  • I have no issues with a hybrid, though android is useless to me. I wouldn't touch this just because its ASUS.
  • What a freak.
  • 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'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.
  • I'd argue that they're already doing that. Remember that game pad announced a couple of days ago?
  • 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?
  • I hope this fails.
  • 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
  • I'll care about ASUS when they make a WPadfone 8.1
  • $600 for i7?? That's hot.
  • Maybe hot for the US, but i'm sure it will cost way more in Europe, like always -________-
  • 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.
  • This is great. Bluestacks is buggy, glad to get some official support. I'd prefer they just update BlueStacks
  • i realy do not understand the use of two operating systems, !! 
  • A lot of people use 3. I use three daily, Linux, Windows, and Android.
  • Well,can you explain what you do exactly every day with them ?
  • 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 like these hybrids, but maybe it's just me...
  • It's not only you, look above your comment and you see another one like you. :-P
  • lmao
  • This is amazing with an i7 at that price point? Looks soid
  • 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.  
  • All the way around bad for windows.
  • I wonder if most Android apps are compatible to the big screen or will they be blown up/ stretched out apps.
  • 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.
  • I want one, but it has to be more faster (i7 speeds), bigger screen (17") and have touch capabilites. 
  • I like it and that's a nice price point. Would consider it. And it's Asus!
  • 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.
  • An hermaphroditic laptop? Why? Time for Microsoft to wax their hardware partners.
  • Wow!! That guy looks really happy. It must be good.
  • I would use Android only for the games and some apps
  • Stick to windows 8.1 i say but that's just me
  • 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.
  • I got a Toshiba and an Asus laptop, both are Window machine and I'm throwing out the Asus. Piss me off.
  • I like it a lot
  • Windows and Linux machine is perfect.
  • I think there is a problem if I forgot the keyboard how can I switch between them????????
  • Did you know you can run your favorite Android apps on Windows phone With my personal Cloud app for Windows phone. Join the channel on youtube: MyPersonalCloud
  • Blasphemy!
  • 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.