Okay, let’s break this beast down. First, the main brain of the operation is the tablet: a 12.5-inch device running Windows 8.1, with an Intel Core CPU under the hood, 4GB of RAM, a 28 watt-hour battery, and up to 128GB of flash storage. Reports seem to differ on the resolution of the screen (some say 1920×1080, some say 1366×768). In the laptop keyboard/base station, there’s a 1TB hard drive — and that’s about it (not quite as fancy as last year’s Transformer Book Trio, which had a full PC in the base). On the back of the tablet there’s a slot that will take a 5-inch, ZenFone-like smartphone. The smartphone will apparently be the first device in the world with Intel’s 64-bit Moorefield (Atom) SoC.
Asus Transformer Book V. You can see the Android home screen running in a window in the background. [Image credit: Engadget]The various parts of the Asus Transformer Book V (pronounced “five”) interact in the following ways. The tablet can be used as a Windows tablet, or as a Windows laptop. The smartphone can obviously be used as a normal Android smartphone. When you slot the smartphone into the tablet, you then gain the ability to run Android apps on your Windows desktop — or you can let Android take over the display entirely, turning the device into an Android tablet (or laptop, if you’re docked). The tablet gains LTE connectivity when the smartphone is plugged in. There will be some interchange of data between the two devices, but the exact implementation isn’t clear.In terms of real-world usefulness, color us fairly skeptical. If the tablet part features an Intel Core processor, expect the entire Transformer Book V package to be very expensive — probably in the $1500 to $2000 range. While we don’t have the tablet’s exact weight, it will probably be in the region of 700-800 grams — which will be rather heavy, once you plug in the 140-gram smartphone. While there’s something to be said for a very cheap, “dumb” tablet that merely extends the size of your smartphone’s screen, I think putting a smartphone slot in the back of a full-featured 2-in-1 tablet/laptop is probably taking things a bit too far.
The various modes of the Asus Transformer Book V
I think the whole setup would be cheaper and more interesting if there was only one processor, though, in the smartphone. Then you could walk around with the smartphone, and turn it into a tablet or laptop if you want to consume some media or do something productive. That would be pretty close to my vision of the future, where the smartphone is the PC of the future.