Asus showed up to Computex this year with some new notebook designs, but surely the wildest of the lot is the Precog dual-screen laptop. It’s not dual screen in the way Razer would like — this laptop replaces the keyboard portion with another screen that adapts to the way you use it. When you need a keyboard, it appears on the touch screen. And of course, it has AI like all products these days.
The predictive technology in this device adapts depending on what sort of devices you have attached. For example, you can plug in a keyboard to do some serious typing. That allows the laptop to use both screens to show more content. In this scenario, it works more like a traditional dual-screen computer setup. When you don’t have a keyboard attached, the “bottom” section brings up a keyboard interface. Likewise, the UI adapts when you don’t have a mouse plugged in to make it more touch-friendly.
I am personally very skeptical of typing any significant amount on a touch-screen keyboard that has zero tactile feedback. However, Asus says the Precog is capable of monitoring where your hands are hovering over the laptop. It then nudges the keyboard around to reduce incorrect taps. That sounds nice, but the system would have to work exceptionally well. If the keyboard moves in the wrong direction, it could actually make typos more prevalent. Even if it works, you can’t touch-type on a screen — it’s going to be tedious.
Asus also touts the Precog’s ability to know what you have on your schedule. For example, if you’ve got a meeting coming up and haven’t charged your laptop, it can conserve power ahead of time so it still has a charge when you roll into the conference room. You’ll be able to flip the Precog around in all different ways, too. It works like a regular laptop, tent, book, and flat modes. Asus will have an optional stylus for note taking and drawing as well.
You might be tempted to call this vaporware, but Asus says no. Asus showed off the Precog after it announced the new Zenbook laptop lineup, but it claims this is a real product that it intends to sell in the not-too-distant future. It’ll be fascinating to see how the Precog works when and if it ever comes out. I don’t think most people will want to give up their physical keyboards, though. No, not even those mediocre and easily broken Apple boards.