Design and build
As expected, it’s thick! At about 15mm at its thickest point, it’s no Apple Macbook Air. But it is a millimetre slimmer than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 ( Lenovo Keyboard )– considering that the Yoga 13 has only one screen, it’s quite commendable for the Taichi. It’s also not too heavy for something that totes two screens – 1.6 kilograms, distributed evenly so it’s quite easy to carry it around in your hand or in its sleeve. You do feel the weight once it’s in a backpack though!
On the outside, with glossy glass (which we think is scratch resistant and toughened), sharp lines and a chrome lining around the lid, the Taichi 31 ( Asus Keyboard Cover )is quite the looker. However, when you flip that lid open, it’s not all that beautiful. It’s just an average-looking notebook on the inside. And if you’re paying this kind of money for a product, it’d better be good looking, irrespective of which angle you look at it from.
The processor on the Taichi 31 ( Asus Keyboard ) is top-notch – it’s a 3rd Gen Intel Core i7. Clocking at 1.9 GHz along with the 4GB RAM, it’s quite fast. On our benchmark NovaBench, we got an average score of 640, the highest we have received on a Windows 8 running laptop.
The two screens support 1920x1080 pixels resolution, and look dense and rich. What we did not like was the flow of screens from inside to outside. When you close that lid, the outer screen is supposed to get activated. But it usually takes more than a couple of seconds to get activated. It’s supposed to be seamless, but we didn’t find it to be that. Moreover, at this price, we expected the inner screen also to be touchscreen, but it isn’t. As a multimedia consumption machine, the Taichi works fabulously. The tablet mode can be used in vertical orientation too, so reading stuff on it is just as good an experience as watching Hi-Def media. The Bang & Olufsen speakers add greatly to a rich multimedia experience. There are no issues with the touchscreen while using hand gestures, but it does go a little wonky with the stylus.
On different tests and modes, we got different battery life results. The lowest was 2 hours, with both screens on. In tablet mode, we got nearly 4 hours, and slightly less in the notebook mode (although it went up when we switched off laptop keyboard backlight). This, in our opinion, is not good enough battery life for an ultra portable.
It’s quite expensive! We wouldn’t deny that. And for its price, it does lack in some departments. But as a notebook, and even as a tablet, it’s got absolutely enviable performance and can be used for a lot of different applications. Multimedia consumption too, is a delight. But before buying it, we’d suggest you consider if you really need two screens, because the same performance and flexibility can be had with less expensive options from Sony and Lenovo, with just one screen.