Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Ultrabooks and Convertible Tablets All The Rage At Computex 2012

The Computex 2012 conference in Taiwan featured tons of the latest gadgets from some of the biggest names in the industry. Just about everyone showcased new gadgets all ripe and ready to get geeks salivating. Amongst the most talked about devices this year were convertible tablets and ultrabooks.

Each year, major players in the IT world visit Computex to launch their new products. Since a large portion of the businesses in the world have research and deployment centers or production facilities in Taiwan, this exhibition attracts observers, analysts, and journalists of computer and information industries from all over the world to discover and report the latest technologies, developments, and trends. Almost every year you will see the latest trends from major developers and this year is no different, just about everywhere you look you see the major manufactures releasing similar products.

This year's two top trends seem to be convertible tablets, that is to say tablets with attachable or detachable keyboards or slide or flip type models. We also see the addition of several new "ultrabooks" even a few convertible models with removable keyboards and even dual screens .

Ultrabooks are here to stay!

When Intel announced the ultrabook concept at Computex in 2011 it was unclear if they would take off. The ultra-slim, ultra portable notebooks bore a higher than usual price tag which immediately placed them into their own niche category. If this year's Computex is any indication the "ultrabook" has broken through and is here to stay! At this year's Computex almost every major PC vendor introduced a new ultrabook and Intel says that there are now more than 35 ultrabook systems available or soon to be, with more than 110 designs expected in the next year.

Intel Corporation Senior Vice President Tom Kilroy officially introduced the next wave of ultrabook systems during a keynote address. One of the new features Intel is pushing for the new devices is touch-enabled technology. Intel believes that touch capability is a key component to the ultrabook experience and will be increasingly important across a wide range of devices. Kilroy said touch will also help fuel even more innovation and new experiences, particularly for ultrabook convertibles.

Kilroy outlined a slew of new features OEMs must include in any Ivy Bridge-based PC they want to market as an ultrabook. Intel’s Anti-Theft and Identity Protection technology, for instance, must be delivered out of the box, along with the company’s enterprise-focused vPro PC management system. All next-generation ultrabooks must also come equipped with USB 3.0 capabilities and Intel’s Thunderbolt input/output technology for faster content transfer and loading. Specifications surrounding battery life and thickness remain intact; all ultrabooks must be less than 21 millimeters or 0.8 inches thick and deliver at least five hours of battery life.

While the ultrabook name is meant purely as an Intel marketing strategy and branding several companies are also introducing, super thin, super lightweight AMD based units, which can't officially bear the title "ultrabook" but are going to be considered by most as ultrabooks none the same.

Convertible tablets make a major splash

The second major player of Computex were the convertible tablets or hybrid laptops. Several vendors, including ASUS, Smasung and Lenovo showcased tablets with detachable keyboards or convertible laptops that let you flip the laptop screen over when you’re done typing so that you can use them as a tablet. While these aren't new, we saw several new offerings from companies that weren't previously represented in this category.

ASUS made a big splash with the all new ASUS Taichi. A true dual screen notebook featuring two independent screens, either 11.6" or 13.3", one on each side of its lid. The displays can show different content and can be used by two different users at the same time. The company also introduced the Tablet 600, a device in the company's "transformer" range that can change from tablet to laptop by featuring a detachable keyboard and the ASUS Transformer Book a convertible ultrabook — allowing users to instantly switch between a ultrabook and a tablet by simply detaching the screen.

Lenovo, decided to throw their hat into the hybrid laptop arena with their IdeaPad Yoga PC, which the company showed off for the first time at CES 2012. The product is a hybrid of an Ultrabook-based notebook with a tablet. The screen is designed to swivel so that you can use it as a regular notebook with a physical keyboard and then flip the screen around so you can use it as a rather large touch screen tablet.

Samsung unveiled several new devices including two tablets with attachable keyboards that are scheduled to arrive in markets in October. The two tablets, called the Samsung Series 5 Hybrid PC and the Samsung Series 7 Hybrid PC, both run Windows 8 and feature 11.6 inch touchscreens. Along with the tablets, Samsung showed off a convertible laptop device with a touchscreen. The Samsung Notebook Series 5 Ultra Convertible is built with a 360-degree hinge, allowing the notebook to flip into a tablet.

It's unsure if these "convertible" models will see any success. Some models, notably the Dell Inspiron Duo, (which we thought had potential) have been major flops. The one exception to that rule is ASUS' widely popular Transformer and Transformer Prime. While not specifically convertible tablets they do offer an attachable keyboard that has been seen as a popular add-on to the devices.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:49 AM

    I'm looking for a new laptop and so I can write. This information is AMAZING!


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