It looks as if Asus is going to launch its own Surface clone, at least according to speculation driven by a recently published document from the company.
Notebook Italia stumbled across a slide in the document (which was released after an Asus investor conference had finished) that shows Asus' sales forecast for 2-in-1 hybrid devices, with the firm aiming to up the number of units shifted by no less than 50% this year.
The slide contains images of existing Asus hybrid machines dotted about, but also an apparently new model which looks very similar to Microsoft's Surface.
It's a slim looking tablet with a keyboard accessory and a kickstand just like Redmond's convertible, with the Asus logo clearly visible on the kickstand at the rear, and on the bezel of the tablet around the front.
No actual spec details are available right now, of course, but you can glean a couple of things from the picture. There's clearly a rear-facing camera top left, and on the left-hand side you can see three ports – they look like two standard USB ports and a smaller USB Type-C connector, although it's difficult to tell given the image quality. There's no sign of a stylus here, though, but presumably that will be a definite inclusion.
It's hardly surprising that Asus would be thinking of pushing harder with 2-in-1s, given that several analytics firms have predicted huge rises in sales of these devices in the near future. IDC for example reckons these machines will make a big impact throughout 2016.
Microsoft's Surface has been doing very well lately, too, with Redmond's tablet shipments apparently increasing by 50% last year – exactly the target Asus is looking to achieve for this year, funnily enough.
If this Surface lookalike does indeed exist, hopefully we'll be hearing about it soon enough.
We'll likely be seeing a lot more hybrids in general throughout 2016 – even Huawei is planning its own Surface-killer convertible which it's rumoured will be unveiled this weekend at MWC.
Image: Notebook Italia