Asus unveils 'world's biggest tablet' ahead of Computex

Asus Transformer Book
Image caption The device runs Windows 8 OS, expected to dominate at Computex

Hours before Computex 2012 trade show kicks off in Taipei, Taiwan, Asus has showcased its Windows 8-based laptop-tablet hybrid device.

Called Transformer Book, the computer features Windows 8 OS - the newest version of the Windows operating system.

It converts into a tablet once the screen is detached.

A number of other firms are expected to unveil devices running Windows 8 OS once the event starts on Tuesday.

The detached screen of the Transformer Book becomes "the world's biggest tablet", said Asus chairman Jonney Shih at a pre-Computex press conference.

The display comes in 11.6, 13 or 14-inch options, indeed making the tablet one of the largest on the market.

Another hybrid device unveiled by the Taiwanese firm is called the Taichi.

It looks like a regular laptop - but it has two displays.

When closed, the device is transformed into a tablet.

But when open, it becomes a laptop with a full-HD screen on each side - allowing two people sitting face-to-face to simultaneously view a screen.

"Not that there's anything wrong sitting next to each other, but this looks much better," said Mr Shih.

Windows 8 OS

Both Asus devices run Microsoft's new Windows 8 OS, expected to be released later this year.

The Transformer Book, though, also runs Android operating system - which comes into play once the device is converted into a tablet.

It is expected that Windows 8 OS will be present on a number of devices technology companies are getting ready to unveil at the show.

Besides Asus, other Taiwanese computer manufacturers, such as Acer and Micro Star International, have said that they will demonstrate products running Windows 8.

The trade show's organiser, The Taipei Computer Association, said that the convertible notebook-tablet computers will be the "reinforced battle power of Windows 8".

The new operating system is touch-enabled and has been designed for tablets, notebooks and other hand-held devices.

According to Microsoft, Windows 8 will allow users to freely switch between the touch control interface, a keyboard or mouse.

Microsoft said that tens of thousands of improvements had been made to what it calls the most important redesign of its interface since Windows 95.

Consumers can now download the release preview of Windows 8 , a system which Microsoft says is its most tested operating system ever.

It is expected to go on sale in the autumn, three years after Windows 7.

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