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IT & Systems Management

Asus' new PC convertible can switch between Windows and Android in five seconds

PC maker Asus is taking the Windows-Android hybrid concept to another level with a convertible laptop that can switch between the two OSes with the click of an on-screen button.

The Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 comes as a 13.3-inch notebook with a detachable keyboard, which when removed turns the device into a tablet. But unlike other PC convertibles, the new Asus product can switch between the Windows and Android OSes in either tablet or laptop mode.

By pressing an "OS Switch" button located on the screen, the product will alternate to the other operating system in five seconds. The device itself runs Intel's fourth-generation Haswell chip, and will arrive in late March with a starting price of US$599.

At the International CES show on Monday, the Taiwanese PC maker also announced that it would finally bring its Padfone product to the U.S., in a partnership with AT&T. The new model, called the Padfone X, is another hybrid that can turn from a smartphone into a tablet.

Like the previous models, it works as an Android smartphone that can be docked inside a tablet when snapped inside. The handset portion of the Padfone X comes as a 5-inch smartphone with a 2300mAh battery, while the tablet has a 9-inch screen.

The Padfone X will arrive in the U.S. midyear, use the latest Qualcomm processor and support 4G LTE.

In addition, Asus on Monday unveiled its series of Android handsets called Zenfones that will be released in this year's first quarter in markets outside the U.S. The Zenfones will come in 4-inch, 5-inch and 6-inch screen versions, and all use variants of Intel's latest Atom processor. Asus also introduced a Padfone mini device that can switch between a 4-inch phone and a 7-inch tablet.

Software on the phones will use Asus' new "Zen UI," an interface that incorporates more than 200 company-made enhancements.

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