IN SHORT

Asus has unveiled a new concept laptop, named Project Precog at Computex 2018. It looks like something from a science fiction movie, and it’s definitely not something we haven’t seen before as an idea. But Asus is putting their money where their mouth is: the Precog is set to be released in 2019. Also,

Asus not only showed renders but also a physical unit, that was kept away from greasy press fingers. And yes, no matter how cool this is, it will end up full of fingerprints in no time. Unless the AI can do something about that too.

Key features

Two things are key to this concept: it has a double screen, so there is no physical keyboard. A second key point is the extensive use of Artificial Intelligence or AI. And that goes from detecting if you have plugged in a keyboard or not, to adapt the virtual keyboard to your specific finger size.

The Precog will be able to work in different modes, depending if there are hardware peripherals attached or not.

  • Stand mode: or traditional keyboard mode, using a virtual keyboard. I personally hate virtual keyboards for extended use, so Asus will have to come up with something pretty good to impress me. I’m expecting some improved haptic tech that really simulates the feeling of physical keypads or something. They don’t really address it in the marketing, so we will have to wait and see on this.
  • Book mode: In this mode, you get a giant screen and interact with the laptop using a physical keyboard and mouse.
  • Tent mode: this is just tablet mode basically
  • Flat mode: the Precog becomes an interactive surface that surely not only looks impressive but will certainly serve many creative uses.

Pictures

Linus hands-on first look

Our take

Without having any information on specs or pricing, it’s hard to judge how interesting this is for the average laptop users. Don’t get me wrong, it looks massively impressive, but doing away with the physical keyboard is a huge step and considering this won’t be a budget machine, Asus needs to get ready to face some real scrutiny from power users after the initial wow effect has gone away.  Because it’s cool to have this on your desktop, but pretty useless if the virtual keyboard sucks.