Tech Biz

Dual OS Hybrid Tablets: Asus Transformer Book Trio vs. Samsung ATIV Q

Both tablets offer Windows 8, Android Jelly Bean, and Haswell chips.

By J. T. Quigley for

Between the Computex expo in Taipei and Samsung’s Premiere event in London this month, the tech world has been buzzing about the next generation of Windows and Android-powered gadgets expected to hit retail shelves by the end of 2013. Two of June’s most hyped devices are capable of running both the smartphone and tablet-oriented Android Jelly Bean OS, as well as the tablet and laptop-oriented Windows 8.

The first such device to be revealed was the Asus Transformer Book Trio. This tablet-Ultrabook hybrid has an 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 multitouch screen and two different processors to handle the different operating systems: the tablet is equipped with a 2GHz Intel Atom Z2580, while the keyboard docking portion comes with a Core i7-4500U Haswell chip. The “dock” also has ports for Ethernet, USB, and DisplayPort.

Inside the tablet portion, the Transformer Book Trio contains a 19Wh battery said to last up to 15 hours. As for storage, the tablet itself can hold 64GB of data via flash storage. Inside the keyboard dock, the Trio offers a 33Wh cell (good for an additional six hours) and a 1TB HDD. It is expected to be released to the public in the third quarter of 2013. As far as how much it’s expected to cost, ArsTechnica said, “Pricing information is not yet available, but don't expect this thing to come cheap—you're buying the better part of two full computers here, after all.”

Next up is the more recently announced convertible tablet/laptop, the Samsung ATIV Q. The South Korean offering sports a larger 13.3-inch and a higher-definition 3200 x 1800 display. The CPU is a fourth generation Core i5-4200U Haswell. While the Trio has a tablet that docks with the Haswell-powered keyboard, the ATIV Q is attached to the keyboard with a multi-angle hinge. It can slide back similarly to the Sony Vaio Duo 13, but with more viewing angles.

The Trio has a built-in touchpad, but for the ATIV Q, it has been left out entirely. As Liliputing explained, “The Samsung ATIV Q has an optical pointing stick in the center of the keyboard and physical buttons below the keyboard which you can use to move an on-screen cursor. Or you can just poke the multitouch display with your fingers.”

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The ATIV Q’s battery carries a 47Wh battery, rated at 9 hours. For ports, the Samsung hybrid has a USB 3.0 slot, micro HDMI, and a micro SD card reader, as well as a small hole for the included “S Pen” stylus. It weighs a mere 1.29kg at 13.9mm thick.

With two operating systems baked into one sleek package, either option will give users access to more than 700,000 apps from Google Play and 50,000 in the Windows Store. The Asus might be slightly more powerful than the Samsung, but the ATIV Q boasts a bigger, sharper screen. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.

Regardless of which supercharged tablet you decide on, you will end up with a powerful piece of portable technology and the convenience of dual operating systems.