Asus unveiled its work-in-progress in the Precog project at its Computex 2018 press conference in Taipei. And there were more than a few "oohs" and "aahs" from the audience as head of global marketing, Marcel Campos, held up a petroleum rainbow shimmering, dual-screened laptop.
The Asus Precog is designed to maximise the artificial intelligence experience. AI has become part of the everyday user experience in many devices, with voice assistants and machine learning blending seamlessly with regular user interactions. This particular concept notebook promises to take that even further.
It's certainly a beauty.
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It can be used in several form factors for a start. A 360-degree hinge means it can lie completely flat, in tent form, book (portrait) form and, of course, stand form. And, because it has dual screens rather than a traditional keyboard and trackpad, it has many uses.
There is a virtual, on-screen keyboard as well as an optional, external physical one. Asus claims that the virtual version responds intelligently to the user, adapting in size or location depending on where the user’s hands hover making the old complaint of ill-sized keyboards redundant.
Also, the moment a stylus touches the lower screen the mode switches automatically which could prove to be a smooth and intuitive system.
The device is billed to come with built-in Windows Cortana and Alexa, so there will be plenty of voice control possibilities too.
While we are often treated to glimpses of the future at Computex it’s often the case that a prototype doesn't work. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see working models available to view after the conference. Alas, they were not quite at the hands-on stage, but it is fair to say that Asus seems to be reasonably far along with the Precog project and we expect to see many more features added before the projected launch in 2019.
As you might expect, Asus is planning to load the device up to the nines, so we’re probably looking at a laptop that will set you back at least £2,500 at the full spec mark. You should expect to pay at least £1,900 for an entry-level version, according to our Asus sources.