• CPU: Intel Core i7-3517U Processor
  • RAM: 4GB
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Display: 11.6-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microSD, 2 x USB 3.0, mini VGA, micro HDMI
  • Extras: Dual-screen setup, HD web camera
  • Dimensions: 30.66 x 19.93 x 1.74cm
  • Weight: 1.25kg
  • Pros:
  • Unique dual-screen design
  • Speedy performances
  • Surprisingly slim
  • IPS panel screens
  • Cons:
  • Inside screen is not touchscreen
  • Battery Life

Balance Both Worlds

The ASUS TAICHI is one of the most unique entries out of the convertible Windows 8 notebook crop. Instead of a swivel screen or a flexible hinge, the TAICHI slaps on a second screen as the notebook cover instead, giving you back-to-back screens. It’s undoubtedly unique, but is it the balance of both worlds ASUS intended it to be?

Regardless, the TAICHI’s design is close to being top notch. This is a premium notebook, and the quality shows – the TAICHI is sleek, looks good and is surprisingly slim despite its two-screen setup. The keyboard works great and is nice to type on, and the audio of the notebook is fairly good. The displays are particularly excellent, as they offer sharp pictures as well as excellent viewing angles. Still, we find that the outer screen is rather fingerprint-prone, and the touchpad will occasionally feel irresponsive.

The deal with the second screen here is to offer some means to experience Windows 8 like never before. With the lid closed, the outer screen serves as a touchscreen tablet. With the lid open, the TAICHI can function as a notebook, mirror the displays on both screen or allow both screens to function as two separate, independent systems. You can toggle it via a proprietary software, and it’s easy and intuitive and frankly rather refreshing. It’s occasionally slow to switch modes, though.

Thankfully, the TAICHI’s performance is up to par with its lofty execution. The notebook is well capable of running HD videos, higher-range applications and offers a smooth-enough experience in dual-screen mode.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The ASUS TAICHI is undoubtedly a unique notebook which harmoniously balances the Windows 8 experience through its fascinating dual-screen design, but sadly a few flaws take away from the wholesome experience.

(previously published in issue May 2012)