Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Windows Based Convertible Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Debuting At IFA 2012

The 2012 IFA consumer electronics show is under way in Berlin, Germany with several top companies showing up to showcase their latest and greatest tech hardware. We only have a few more months before the official launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT, so it was expected that many of the major PC players would have next-generation Windows equipped hardware on display. And so far they have not disappointed!

So far this year we've seen an incredible influx of Windows based devices as many manufactures are looking to cash in on not only the expected release of Windows 8 and Windows RT but the largely successful tablet market. We are seeing a strong push for Windows based tablets, mainly convertibles or hybrids whichever label you prefer to slap on the laptop-tablet combination. Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba all had models on display.

Looking to build on the strong foundation that the ASUS Transformer and Transformer Prime have laid down Asus showcased a pair of Vivo Tab models. The first is running Windows 8 with a dual-core Intel Atom processor and the other is coupled with Windows RT and a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip. Not only do the two Asus offering offer a detachable keyboard dock but they also offer a pressure-sensitive stylus which would be perfect for note-taking and sketching. The Vivo Tab offers an 11.6-inch display while the Vivo Tab RT measures 10.1 inches. It’s also the thinnest and lightest of the bunch, measuring just 8.3mm thin and weighing 520g. (more details via Asus)

Dell’s offering comes int he form of the new XPS Duo 12 and XPS 10. The XPS 10 will run an ARM SoC and Windows RT. The XPS Duo 12 (which actually measures 12.5 inches on its display’s diagonal) will run Windows 8 and an unspecified Intel chip. Unlike most of the other models shown the Dell XPS Duo 12 is more of a clamshell laptop and a tablet in one. It offers a swiveling screen rather than the detachable keyboard. The XPS sticks with a more conventional design with the traditional tablet look and feel as well as a more traditional keyboard dock. (more details via Dell)

Dell XPS Duo 12

Looking to re-enter the tablet market after the much maligned HP Touchpad, HP has introduced the company's first Windows 8 hybrid the new HP Envy X2. The Envy X2 is powered by an Intel System-on-Chip (aka SOC) Atom based processor, features and 11.6-inch screen with 64GB of internal storage, microSD expansion, NFC support, and, of course, integrated Beats Audio. Its detachable keyboard also incorporates a giant powerpack, and it should comfortably provide all-day battery life. HP has also made sure that the dock won’t accidentally dislodge by building in a mechanical latch to supplement a pair of strong magnets. (more details via HP)

HP Envy X2

Samsung introduced the new Windows RT based ATIV Tab  which features a 10.1-inch display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 2 GB RAM, either 32 or 64 GBs of internal storage and a microSD slot for expansion. For those looking for the full Windows 8 experience as well as the option of a keyboard Samsung also revealed the Samsung ATIV SmartPC and the ATIV SmartPC Pro. Both feature an 11.6-inch HD display, S Pen integration, and a 60-day free trial of Microsoft Office, but the Pro packs a much more powerful platform. While the SmartPC boasts a 1366-by-768 display, 2GB of RAM, and a next-gen Intel Atom processor, the SmartPC Pro offers up a 1920-by-1080 display, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 chip. (more details via Samsung)

Sony has opted to take its own approach the a "hybrid" laptop tablet combo with a slider type device it is calling the Sony Vaio Duo 11. You can either use it as a tablet or slide back the display up at an angle locking it in place to make use of the hidden keys. Sony has decided to pack the Vaio Duo with tons of fire power giving consumers  the choice of processor with options ranging from a Core i3 all the way up to an i7, up to 256GB of SSD storage, 1080P displays, NFC, GPS, HD-ready cameras, and stylus input. (more details via Sony)

Toshiba’s taking a similar approaching with the Satellite U920T slider. It’s matching the XPS Duo with a 12.5-inch screen, and options will include Core i3 or i5 processors and SSD storage up to 256GB. You’ll also get an HDMI port and SD card expansion with the U920T.


With all these devices coming down the line one thing is for certain, consumers are going to have a ton of choices and some tough decisions to make. I'm personally not a big fan of Windows 8 on a desktop, but some of these convertible tablets look amazing. In fact they are just what I've been looking for for the past couple of years. You get the portability and ease of use of a tablet along with the productivity of a full fledged laptop.

It looks like I might have to pony up some of that hard earned cash and join the portable revolution!

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