Asus, Acer First Up With Windows 8 Convertible Tablets

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Acer and Asus kicked off what's expected to be a major showing of new Windows 8-based mobile devices at this week's Computex Taipei event in Taiwan.

In a pre-event press conference Monday, Acer and Asus each took the wraps off a slew of new hybrid notebooks and tablets based on Microsoft's next-generation Windows 8 OS. The news comes on the heels of the official Windows 8 Preview Release last week, which marked the final pre-release of the highly anticipated software.

For Acer's part, the company showcased two Windows 8-based versions of its flagship Iconia tablet: the Iconia W510 and Iconia W700. The touch-capable 10.1-inch W510 and 11.6-inch W700 run on Intel x86-based processors and can be contorted into a multitude of form factors or viewing angles.

[Related: Microsoft Reveals Its Windows 8 Hand: Four Of A Kind]

The Iconia W510, especially, is being positioned as a convertible, all-purpose mobile device. According to Acer, the W510 touts a tri-mode functionality that lets users leverage it as either a tablet, a notebook, or a third form factor called presentation mode, that involves bending the screen backward to prop it up on its detachable keyboard.

"It is an everyday tablet with convertible functions, smartly designed for modern-day explorers whose primary needs are freedom of usage for slate, keyboard and hands-free touch," Acer said in a statement.

The larger W700, while not technically convertible, comes with a multipurpose cradle for different viewing options. Landscape mode, for instance, tilts the device at a 70-degree angle optimal for watching videos, while a 20-degree angle is recommended for typing.

Further specs, pricing details and expected availability for the W510 and W700 have not yet been revealed.

Similar to Acer, fellow Taiwanese PC maker Asus unveiled Monday a modified version of one of its existing tablets -- the Android-based Transformer Prime – running the new Windows 8 platform. Called the Asus Transformer Book, the device also touts a convertible form factor that allows users to switch between traditional notebook and tablet modes.

Fueled by Intel's Ivy Bridge Core processors, Asus' new Transformer Book, which comes in an 11.6-inch, 13-inch or 14-inch model, has SSD and HDD storage, 4 GB DDR3 dual-channel RAM, and is USB 3.0-compatible. A front-facing HD camera and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera are included.

Asus also lifted the curtain on its new Taichi dual-screen and touch-capable notebook. Continuing with the convertible trend, the device can be used as either a traditional notebook or, when the clamshell is shut, as a touch-screen tablet on the back lid. According to Asus, both screens can be used at the same time, by multiple users.

"Better still, while they provide access to the same hardware, the two screens are completely independent of each other and can also be used simultaneously, which means the Taichi can be shared with two users for a host of innovative new applications," the company said in a statement.

The Taichi comes in either an 11.6-inch or 13.3-inch option and both its screens have an LED-backlit display. Like Asus, Acer did not reveal further information regarding pricing or availability.

NEXT: All Eyes On Windows 8

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