Asus has elevated itself to such a position that we are genuinely excited whenever a new product appears in its lineup. In the case of the Asus Taichi, our excitement is completely justified.
It's a completely different approach that, if not for Windows 8, would likely fall flat, get branded as a gimmick and dismissed just as quickly. Instead, we have a realistic laptop/tablet hybrid that really does manage to independently fill the requirements of these two different devices.
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The highlight of the Asus Taichi is the dual-screen approach. While the matt display of the main laptop screen is perfect for work, the glossy, multi-touch enabled second screen is perfect for enjoying media and games.
The fact that both are capable of 1080p HD resolution is a real positive, and the two displays look crisp and sharp. Audio is first class, as is the general build quality of the chassis.
Asus has put as much effort into the look and feel of the Taichi as it has into its excellent performance and usability. Windows 8 is still a fledgling system, but this type of device really plays to its strengths and showcases what Microsoft's latest creation has to offer.
A couple of drawbacks are evident with the Asus Taichi, not least of which is the price and the frailty of the device as a whole. We expect you'll want a sturdy protective case for this machine, since the chances of cracking the lid screen are ever present.
Other issues that could be improved are the battery life and the brightness of the screen - neither was as strong as it could be. Lastly, while the system performed admirably most of the time, it did struggle when we pushed multitasking and both screens simultaneously.
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The Asus Taichi stands up as a supremely desirable piece of consumer tech that acts as a sterling showcase for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.
Both power and usability are first class, and the design - as we've come to expect from Asus - really is head-turning. The Asus Taichi works better as a laptop than a tablet, but it's one of the best examples we've yet seen of marrying the two form factors together.
A couple of issues mean that it's not the perfect device, and the stonking price tag means it isn't a casual purchase by any means.
However, we couldn't help but enjoy every minute we spent using the Asus Taichi, and can recommend it as a rewarding purchase for anyone looking for the latest must-have device.