May 31 AT 12:03 PM Sean Riley 35 Comments

ASUS Computex teasers hint at dual-booting Transformer


ASUS is having some fun with us in gearing up for Computex and has now released three teaser videos which when taken together lead us to believe that they are going to be unveiling a new Transformer which can dual-boot or at least run Windows 8 and Android.

The first video, “The Incredible Transformations,”  was released a couple days ago and told us to not get set into one form and that the cloud is ever changing. It then flashes the outline of what looks like a Transformer device with the dock below it.

So that wasn’t terribly informative, but this morning ASUS has added two more teaser videos and while they are still quite nebulous the first of these new videos does offer a bit more information as at the very end you see a drop of water splitting in two with the Windows 8 logo on one and the Android logo on the other.

For the sake of completeness I’ll include the final video, but it doesn’t really tell us anything more other than maintaining the theme of two things coming together as it shows a board with “Tai” on one side and “Chi” on the other. It then spins until the words appear to be next to each other.

Now how exactly this would be implemented is of course left completely unanswered by the videos. It could be a true dual-boot with users opting to use Windows 8 or Android as they start the device or they could use something like BlueStacks to run Android on Windows. It also leaves open the question of whether we are talking about Windows 8 proper or the horrifically named Windows RT.

ASUS hits the stage on June 4th at Computex so we’ll have all the answers soon enough.

I know we have a fair number of ASUS Transformer fans so would you like a little Windows 8 with your Android next time around?

Source: ASUS Iberica Youtube

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • jaxidian

    This has some HUGE potentials! A huge potential for tremendous success but also a huge potential to flop as well. It depends on what limitations they have to put in there in order for this to work nicely.

    I’m curious if this will be ARM-based or x64-based. I’m not sure if you all know but ARM-based Windows will be very locked-down and watered-down. You won’t be able to run any .exe apps as you know it and will only be able to install apps via Microsoft’s Marketplace. If it’s on x86, though, then it’ll support both Marketplace apps (also known as Metro apps) as well as traditional Windows apps.

    Definitely excited!!

    • Adryan maldonado

      Oh yeah now that you mention that i remember reading something about that. You’re right. If its not x86 and if its on ARM and wont run .exe files then it kinda of defeats the purpose so lets all hope that this is done correctly.

      • jaxidian

        Well, it depends. Do you want a Windows 8 tablet to be have PC functionalities (like a laptop) or do you simply want it to have consumer device functionalities (like an Android tablet)? If the latter, then it’s great. If the former, then yeah, it’s not so great.

        That said, it’s not an “obvious” answer, either. On the surface it is, but realize that any x86 Windows 8 tablet is going to SUCK ASS at either battery life or at performance. There simply isn’t any high-performance yet highly power-efficient x86 platforms out there right now. You remember the Atom processors? A slightly newer version of that is really what you should expect if you want a power-efficient tablet, and that thing will then come to a crawl the moment you fire up Outlook or any other beefy Windows app. So if you want it to be a true Windows laptop-replacement, then it needs to be x86 and expect ~2-4 hours of battery. If you want better battery life, then go ARM but give up traditional Windows apps.

        • TBolt

          Thanks for making the reality so clear – as deflating it is. :) Killed my excitement buzz, but in a good way. lol.

          Now that Microsoft has announced Office for Android (and iOS), I may be willing to hold out for a pure Android device with its long battery life. I’ve always found that word processing – note taking, spreadsheets, etc. – on Android & iOS has been terrible. If the new Office for Android resolves the word processing deficiency, I’ll be happy to carry a new Transformer with Android.

    • db

      I meant to Thumb UP Jaxi’s comment, not Thumb down.

      Hoping for Win 8. Won’t bother with RT.

    • DroidSamurai

      I wish it’s x86 based — not because of the benefit it will have to run legacy Windows app, but because the machine won’t be locked down if it’s x86 based, which means we may not be at the manufacturer’s mercy when we want to upgrade to a new version of Android (assuming that the Android OS will be released simultaneously for both ARM and x86 systems from now on.)

  • Meister_Li

    Since Microsoft REQUIRES from it’s OEMs to only make it possible boot the device in “Secure” mode and not give any option for “user mode”, which excludes anything other than Windows 8 from running on the device… I am slightly puzzled as to how this is supposed to work.

    • jaxidian

      1. Nobody really knows what the requirements are other than Microsoft and the OEMs. And frankly, I bet they’re still hammering out the details.
      2. That’s ONLY if it’s on an ARM processor. If it’s x86, then those restrictions go away. We have no clue which platform this/these devices are for.

  • Noven

    Interesting. Though I would probably replace the Windows RT with a Linux distro or give it all to Android ;-P

    Nice to see these options might be available to the community. I think memory might become an issue if dual booting becomes popular.

    • jaxidian

      Good idea with Linux. However, if you buy it just to blow away Windows entirely and give it all to Android, you’re probably wasting money on a less-good product. Just get the Transformer Ultra (or whatever) at that point.

      Also, I assume you mean storage and not memory. The “off” OS shouldn’t consume any memory while the other one is operating.

  • uknowme

    Very very interesting indeed! Need more info.

  • txbluesman

    That would make for some serious opportunities for consumers to get many options for devices to interact even more, IF it is done right.

  • Adryan maldonado

    ZOMG!!!!!! I would totally lay down the cash for this. When i feel like playing i use android. If i need to get a big project done i use windows. If this is truly a dual boot tablet with windows 8 and ICS i will buy one for sure even if its upwards of 700 or more. Im hoping which im sure they are, that i comes with a dock cause if this thing does come with windows 8 its going to need some serious battery power.

  • oddball

    If this is a full windows 8 tablet and a full android tablet it will absolutely replace my tf101 when I’m ready to retire it. If it is just the windows 8 mobile version I won’t touch it.

    • jaxidian

      I explained it in more detail above but if it’s the “full Windows 8 tablet” then expect bad battery life. If you want good battery life then you’ll most likely need to go ARM, which means you’ll have the “mobile version”.


      • Tarwin

        I think we should be careful here with how we phrase things. It’d be quite different to have Windows 8 with Android vs. Windows RT with Android vs. Windows Mobile with Android (honestly, what would be the point of that combo?). Thankfully Microsoft said Window Phone would never be used on tablets and the actualy named Windows Mobile OS is kinda dead (although I did enjoy it back in the day).

    • HackNet

      You will NEVER see a Full Windows 8 tablet coexist with another. NEVER!

      just my 2 cents

  • aranea

    If it’s x86-based cpu as we hope I wonder what the cpu will be. Medfield is not up to the challange with its single core. I hope this is not one of those bright ideas that flop because of early implementation.

  • Tarwin

    Hmmm. The second video won’t play for me…

    Anyways. This could potentially be great, but that depends on various factors (as mentioned before)

    1) the chipset and hardware used, we have come to expect long battery lives from our tablets and good performance but with x86 it is still a matter of either or (from what I’ve seen online, though medfield is no slouch for Android, the new gen ARM processors still beat it). But we’ll also have to see how well Windows 8 performs on this hardware. And as was mentioned, Atom is still Atom (and Windows 7 doesn’t play all that well with it).

    And if they opt for a large battery to make up for it then it could end up barely better than a “convertible” laptop or the Lenovo Yoga.

    2) Software used: Windows RT and “traditional” Android on ARM vs. Windows 8 and the x86 variant of Android? Windows RT will have no legacy app support and we have yet to see how much of the free and opensource software now available on x86 will make it into the Windows App store (open/libre office, mpc-hc, ffmpeg, handbrake, etc.) which depends not only on the devs but how finicky Microsoft becomes with their approval process and the fees needed.

    x86 Android might be a better option, but it still doesn’t have the dev/app support that ARM does (though it is still QUITE good from what I understad.

    3) Storage space: tablet makers aren’t alwas the most generous, but ASUS has been good in this regard and provided large(-ish) capacities. But we’re also accustomed to a lot more storage on windows devices.

    4) is dual-booting Windows and another OS even possible on an ARM device? The bootloader is supposed to be locked and everything, but it’s not like users would be installing Android themselves. Maybe it’s possible to have them come pre-installed together, or maybe ASUS came to an agreement with Microsoft to let them do it.

    Basically if it had good battery life and performance and either came with or provided access to the apps that I want and need (thankfully I don’t used too much specialized software) then I’d be all over it like white on rice as the only thing missing to make it perfect for me would be stylus support (wacom preferably).

    • ericl5112

      Your fourth point is the one I’m most worried about. I’d be fine if they split the storage 50/50 with a total of 32GB’s. It would be awesome if they made a 32GB tablet, each OS had a 5GB partition, and there was a shared storage partition (not sure if there is a format both can read though).

      I really want an Arm-Android-RT tablet.

      • aranea

        HP touchpad running webOS can be hacked to dual boot to android or webos. I checked with a friend of mine who has it and he said that both webos and android can reach files without any problems.

        • Virtue

          That’s not the point. Windows 8 or RT machines use Secure Boot in their UEFIs that may prevent the dualbooting of any other OS such as Android. WebOS doesn’t have anything close to that and thus it can run both.

  • ericl5112

    I swore off Asus after the absolutely terrible quality and customer service I got with my Transformer. Had to send it in for screen repair (LCD went blue and red, it happens) but they sent it back without a charger. Wouldn’t ship a charger for another month. Since it was my primary laptop, had to buy a $40 charger while I waited. Then, a month after that, the LCD simply wouldn’t turn on. They hadn’t fully plugged it in when replacing it. Another month wait, with another terrible phone call.

    This device is literally the one thing that would make me buy another asus. I want it so bad.

  • ericl5112

    After watching the video (had to go find it, the embeded one doesn’t appear to be working), it says “All in one, no longer in one”. Sounds like there are more than one all in one, not a dual boot. That’s too bad if true.

    • Mix

      That’s kind of what I got from it as well.

      Maybe they are releasing a new tablet but two models so you can choose win8 or Android….either way I am curious to find out!

  • epps720

    We’ll see what comes out of this but this has HUGE potential. If this is successful this takes the questions marks out of what OS you prefer. This is a fantastic idea by Asus (again!) and if the concern of battery life is a big issue… going from 15 + hours of battery life on the prime (w/keyboard) to 12 or 13 is WELL worth the option of having 2 OS’s in 1 (stock).

  • Jake

    From what I understand, the full Windows 8 (not RT) that runs .exe files and can dual-boot runs only on x86. On a thin & light tablet it would have poor battery life. So, I’d like the x86 and an extra capacity battery in the keyboard dock. The tablet by itself would only run Android on Tegra 3 or whatever other chip is used. When docked, you have the choice to continue using Android, or you could have the tablet become a “dumb” screen and the keyboard dock’s x86 and full Windows would kick in for true netbook/notebook productivity. When used as a Windows notebook, the combined batteries in tablet and dock would give battery life comparable to other notebooks. The idea is that you would use the full Windows for only things few things that required it, and would use the Android for the rest.

    • aranea

      Having two cpus and the hardware to support those will make it very expensive and will significantly increase the weight too.

    • Tarwin

      Anyone remember when Lenovo was going to do this? The screen came out and was a tablet and worked with a Snapdragon chip. I think it was a pre-iPad concept…

  • the guy u guys banned

    am i still banned from commenting? i dont check this site anymore

  • keridel

    This is exactly what I want to see from a transformer. Please Asus. I want it.

  • Yonas

    Android when saving battery,Windows when full performance is needed !

  • spazby

    I am very interested…

  • JanyoTechnology

    I would wait for the Transformer Pad Infinity & now i am confused! :$

  • WlfHart

    Totally rooting for this things success! About the only thing that would make it better is a stylus… (just saying, can’t I have it all?)