Promising laptop with bad battery life and troublesome touchpad
8 October 2013
Excerpt: The laptop/tablet hybrid is a great idea on paper—who doesn't want the best of both worlds? We've seen this idea work in the form of Samsung's ATIV Tab 7 and the Sony VAIO Duo , and now we have Asus' take on this genre-bender: the Taichi 21 (MSRP $1,599.99).
Conclusion: After the June announcement's shock and awe wore off, the Asus Taichi seemed flashy rather than brilliant. After all, few of us really have use for two displays and those displays add weight and reduce durability (the lid is a piece of glass). Sure, it's novel and allows us to stick with the comfort of a traditional notebook hinge and form factor, but is it worth the $100 premium over single display models?
Pros: Gorgeous, slim, very light, dual 1080p IPS displays, good performance.
Cons: Inner display doesn't support touch, short battery life, expensive.
Conclusion: At this point, we're not wildly enthused about any Windows 8 convertible device. The Taichi is one of the best-built of the handful we've seen. But for the asking price, you could get a nice single-screen ultrabook with better battery life and have money left over for a mobile tablet. Unless you have a specific use for the Taichi's two screens, that's probably a better option.
Pros: Two excellent IPS displays, Impressively thin despite extra screen, Solid ultrabook design and performance
Cons: Expensive, Interior screen lacks touch, Gorilla Glass on lid adds weight, Disappointing battery life
Two screens, four modes, one odd Ultrabook: The Asus Taichi 21 review
15 February 2013
Conclusion: There are two kinds of compromises that the Asus Taichi makes: the first is common to even the best of the Windows 8 convertibles we've seen—a computer generally can't be a great laptop and a great tablet, and while there's plenty to recommend the Taichi as an Ultrabook, it's still a bit chunky and unwieldy for use as a tablet.
Pros: Excellent build quality, Both 1080p screens are colorful and have excellent viewing angles, though they're not quite as bright as others we've seen, Great keyboard, Dual screens eliminate some of the issues (or potential issues) with other types of convertibles
Cons: There's no exceeding 4GB of RAM, which may be an issue for heavy users, Slightly heavier than other Ultrabooks of comparable size, Laptop's screen isn't touch-enabled, Mediocre webcams, No SD card reader, Expensive, Poor-to-middling battery life means you'll never be far from an outlet
Conclusion: Oh Asus, you tried so hard to impress us with the Taichi 21 – and it worked … at first. The idea behind this hybrid is cool and different, and we want to like it. We wish the battery life was a little longer, the bottom was less toasty, and the Taichi had some apps that make the two screens less of a novelty and more of a must-have feature. Alas, that is not the case, and we’re genuinely sad to say so.
Pros: Innovative design and concept, Light for a laptop even with two displays, Full HD resolution on both displays, Outer display is touch and stylus-enabled
Cons: Short battery life, Heavy for a tablet, Uncomfortably high temperatures on the bottom, Few ports, No apps to take advantage of dual-screen design, Performance goes down in Dual-Screen Mode
Summary: ASUS' Taichi 21 offers an innovative dual-screen design in a lightweight chassis along with impressive sound. Not only is it easy to change from notebook to tablet mode, you can use the external screen for giving presentations. And while there's nowhere to put the pen on the system, we appreciate that the Taichi supports pen input. Unfortunately, its short battery life makes the $1,599 price tough to justify.