Feature Video: A unique take on the convertible notebook runs Windows 8 and offers two screens in one laptop.

Asus Taichi dual-screen gets double-take at CES

Asus debuted its overdue Taichi dual-screen Windows 8 notebook at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week.

Expected for release last year, Taichi is a unique take on the convertible notebook form factor. It features two 1080p screens, a standard anti-glare IPS screen inside the lid, and a 10-point multi-touch screen on the back, and is currently available in an 11.6-inch model, with a 13.3-inch model to follow later this year.

The Taichi uses the dual-screens in four modes. Notebook mode is like using any standard 11-inch Ultrabook, with an anti-glare 1080p IPS panel screen with wide viewing angles, backlit keyboard and multi-touch trackpad. Tablet mode, when the lid is closed, turns the TAICHI into an 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet, with both multi-touch input and a stylus for pen input.

Asus Taichi hands-on at CES in Las Vegas.

Mirror mode shows the same image on both the front and back screen, so the TAICHI can be used for presentations without the need for an external display. The last mode is dual-screen mode, and in this mode the desktop is extended to the second screen, so a second application can be displayed on the rear screen – again, very useful in presentation situations.

Because of the dual-screen feature, Asus Taichi likely doesn’t fit into Intel’s Ultrabook specifications. But it is comparably thin and light, and is made from brushed aluminum, similar to Asus’ Zenbook series of Ultrabooks, but this time with a darker finish. The TAICHI also features ASUS SonicMaster audio, which uses Bang & Olufsen technology.

For SMB organizations looking for a small, convertible Windows 8 notebook for mobile workers, the Taichi 21 can be upgraded to Windows 8 Pro. Unfortunately, since it is not an Enterprise-grade machine, it does not feature Intel’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM), so it might not be the best choice for larger organizations.

The Taichi 21 is currently available from Asus in Canada in both an Intel Core i5 and a Core i7 model, both having 4GB of RAM and Windows 8. The i5 model features a 128GB SSD and has a suggested retail of $1299.99. The i7 model has a bigger 256GB SSD and retails for $1599.99.

The 13-inch Taichi 31 model, also shown in our video, has not been released yet, so there are no specifications for it, but expect them to be similar to the Taichi 21 when it is released later this year.

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