March 16, 2013 00:00 By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The new Asus Taichi tablet-cum-notebook comes complete with two screens and a stylus
An 11.6-inch convertible Ultrabook computer with dual full HD screens, the Asus Taichi 21 is a versatile little computer that switches easily between tablet and a notebook.
Lift the lid and the Taichi 21 becomes a regular notebook with a full HD 11.6-inch screen, backlit keyboard and a large multi-touch touch pad.
Close the lid, Taichi 21 instantly turns into a tablet with an 11.6-inch Full HD touch display and a screen that supports 10-point capacity multi-touch for complete fingertip control. There’s even a battery-powered stylus that allows you to write accurate hand-written notes and draw sketches.
Both the touch and non-touch screens of the Taichi 21 use IPS technology to enhance brightness and clarity of images, making the Ultrabook very good for viewing photos and watching videos.
Moreover, the Taichi 21 can be used in two other modes – Mirror mode and Dual-Screen mode. The Mirror mode offers a unique way to share information or make a presentation without a projector. The same image is shown on both back-to-back screens, so it can be used for presentation or to share a movie. Since the screens use IPS technology, each has a 178-degree viewing angle so that everyone to see both screens.
The Dual-Screen mode is very useful and requires a powerful processor. In this mode, Taichi 21 becomes like two computers because each back-to-back screen can be used separately with different apps. The screen on the lid is controlled with the multi-touch screen and stylus while the other uses the keyboard and multi-touch touchpad.
At 17.44mm thick and weighing a mere 1.25 kilogrammes, the Taichi 21 is very mobile.
During the test, we found the touch screen very responsive and scrolling was both smooth and fast. The multi-touch pad worked fine for the notebook mode.
It is powered by Intel Core i5-3317U 1.7 GHz and equipped with 4 GB DDR3 memory. For storage, it uses SATA III SSD (Solid State Drive) with 128 GB capacity.
Graphics horsepower comes from the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, which is powerful enough for handling casual games and most graphics applications, but may not be suitable for graphics-extensive games.
Taichi 21 runs on Windows 8 64-bit edition.
The Ultrabook took only 11 seconds to start up and about 9 seconds to shut down. It could resume from sleep mode in only two seconds.
Measured with the internal benchmark tool of Windows 8, the Taichi 21 got good scores.
On a scale of 1.0 to 9.9, it got 6.9 points for the processor performance of calculations per second, 8.1 points for disk data transfer rate and it 5.9 points for memory operations per second.
For desktop graphics performance, the Ultrabook scored 5.5 points and shot up to 6.4 points for 3D business and gaming graphics performance.
Featuring ASUS SonicMaster audio technology, which was developed with the world-renowned Bang & Olufsen ICE power technology, the Ultrabook is also very good for playing music with a wider frequency range for clearer vocals and resonating bass. The Taichi 21 also provides hardware volume buttons like a tablet computer so you don’t need to control the volume with the on-screen volume control. I tested it with my premium Sony earphones and was impressed by the music quality.
Taichi 21 is also very good for video or Skype chats because it provides two array microphones with positional audio detection and background noise suppression to ensure spoken communication is always loud and clear. The HD webcam is integral.
The Taichi 21 is in stores now with a suggested retail price of Bt45,000.