ASUS Taichi is clearly an ultrabook that is meant to stand out amid all other ultrabooks at the moment. After all, it offers two displays without disturbing the traditional laptop ‘clamshell’ design. It is almost nothing like traditional ultrabooks we have come to know and love in the past couple of years, and we mean that in the best possible way.
The brushed aluminium unibody exterior of the ASUS Taichi lends it a premium look and feel, something that is matched only by the Samsung Series 9 ultrabook. The keyboard deck and the bottom panel are very well put together. However, the same doesn’t follow through completely for the lid, which has a tad too much glass because of the second display — housed on the opposite side of the inside screen. The hinge is quite taut, but you can’t risk applying too much pressure anywhere on the lid while holding the Taichi, for the fear of messing around with the device’s external display. Despite being built well for the most part, the ASUS Taichi demands delicate handling around its screen.
Having said that, the dual display on the Taichi is quite neat, and offers a unique user experience. Once you have the Asus Utilities set up, you can set the display mode to either/or/both the 11.6-inch screens. Close the lid, and the second display automatically comes on, giving you a Windows 8 tablet experience. The primary display isn’t a touchscreen, but the one that sits in place of the lid is. It comes with a stylus as well, which is handy when you want to use certain apps and save handwritten notes directly on the secondary display. The full HD resolution does make the text a tad too small in default Windows mode, but re-adjusting font size to 125 per cent makes it comfortable for use. The screens reproduce text well with crisp, sharp words and a comfortable reading experience. HD videos look very good, too, and fast motion scenes are handled very smoothly. ASUS has mastered the art of packing in excellent keyboards in small spaces, like with the VivoBook, and the one on the Taichi is well spaced out with adequate travel allowing for quick typing and a comfortable typing experience.
Performance from the Intel Core i7 processor is excellent, and though 4GB of RAM is a tad less for a machine costing over a lakh, it doesn’t create a bottle-neck performance-wise for business and style-savvy users as long as they aren’t planning to run the latest game or dabble into 3D animation or rendering tasks. The battery will last for for and a half hours with ease, with the screen brightness set at 60 per cent.
You do pay a lot of money for the Taichi, and some may consider its price overkill, but for high net worth individuals and business executives looking to flaunt a unique ultrabook in the boardroom, the ASUS Taichi strikes a good balance between pure show-off value and overall usability.
Price: Rs 1,39,999
Processor: Intel Core i7-3517U @ 1.9GHz
Display: 11.6-inches x 2; 1920 x 1080 pixels
graphic: Intel HD 4000
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: 2 USB 3.0, mini HDMI, memory card reader
OS: Windows 8 Pro
Neat dual display implementation is neat
Good battery life
Needs to be handled with utmost care
Is quite expensive
Only 4GB RAM