Asus's Transformer P1801 is an odd beast: part extra-large Android tablet, part Windows 8 all-in-one desktop. When docked, the tablet is an 18.4in IPS display for the PC, but as soon as you lift it from the dock, it becomes a stand-alone tablet with a Tegra 3 processor, that gives you continued control of your Windows applications via a remote desktop client.
As an all-in-one PC, the Transformer is distinctive, if slightly odd looking, with a bulging rear that contains all the components of a full PC. Both tablet and the PC dock have a selection of ports, but they're not fully integrated. For example, inserting a microSD card into the slot on the tablet makes it appear as a sub-folder of the already-mounted tablet's storage, rather than being mounted as an external drive by the PC, and the volume buttons on the side of the tablet can't be used to control the PC's volume when docked. The PC has all the ports you'd expect from an all-in-one. At the right of the dock you'll find four USB3 ports, an SDXC/MMC card reader and 3.5mm mic and headphone ports. At the back, there's an HDMI output for a second screen alongside a Gigabit Ethernet port, while on the right-hand side there's a DVD-RW slot drive and a USB port that's designed to house the dongle for the supplier wireless mouse and keyboard. The built-in speaker is surprisingly loud and clear, making this one of the best-sounding all-in-one PCs around. Both dock and tablet support dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The main appeal of the Transformer is that you can, for example, be sitting in your bedroom or study working on the PC and then just lift the tablet off the dock and take it into the next room, seamlessly continuing whatever you were doing. While you might expect Asus to have opted for some combination of Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT, we reckon this would have been highly confusing.
A simple Windows utility helps you configure the tablet before you ever undock it, getting you to provide it with your Wi-Fi network password so it can connect to your PC. Before detaching the tablet from the dock, you'll also want to run Asus's Splashtop Streamer, which associates the Android remote desktop app with the PC and lets you create a security code for the connection.