POST A COMMENT

47 Comments

Back to Article

  • jrs77 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I don't really see a reason for these hybrids. You either need a traditional 13" ultrabook/MBA to work with while travelling or you can go with a traditional 10" tablet if it's only about multimedia and some email/web/etc.

    I've got both. The 13" Thinkpad for work and the iPad for sparetime.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I think a 11.6" convertible would be nigh perfect. You could probably fit a 15W CPU. Reply
  • ClockworkPirate - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    There are a number of 10.6"/11.6" IVB convertibles with 17W CPUs (Surface Pro, Samsung Smart PC Pro, etc). The Surface Pro at least is getting updated, so a 15W Haswell part will be in a 10.6" chassis. Reply
  • jrs77 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I have no use for a touchscreen on a device ment for work, where I need a keyboard to type alot on a 13" screen.
    And I have no use for a real keyboard on a 10" tablet only ment for media-playback or some webbrowsing.

    The combination of these two makes absolutely no sense for me.
    Reply
  • User.Name - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure why you find the appeal of these difficult to understand.
    When you're working, you have access to a proper keyboard and trackpad, and when you're not, you simply detach it and use the device as a tablet.
    There's no need to sync data between devices, and it's one less thing to carry around with you when you travel.

    I am planning on replacing my iPad with an x86 device soon - most likely a Surface Pro 2, but possibly one of the new convertibles - because I'm fed up having to convert media and trying to find apps to support tasks which I have no problem doing on my desktop PC.

    What these convertibles really need though, is Intel's Smart Frame, as shown in their North Cape prototype.
    That allows you to have a larger usable workspace when docked because you can use the smallest bezel possible, and then when you undock the display, you have an inch or so around the edge that gets turned off so it's actually usable as a tablet.

    Microsoft's Surface Pro has roughly a 12.8" diagonal, though the screen itself is 10.6" in size, because you need a frame around it to avoid accidental touches.

    Now imagine if they put a 12" display in there, almost out to the edges, which shrank to a 10.6" active area when being used as a tablet - with the option of using the full display in tablet mode if all you're doing is watching a movie.
    It seems like the best of both worlds - a compact device with a relatively large screen for its size.

    My biggest concern with any of these is the build quality and durability though.
    While the Surface Pro seems to be one of the worst devices to use as a notebook (only useful on a desk) my main use would be replacing an iPad rather than an ultrabook, and it seems to be the most solidly built x86 tablet by far, on par with something that Apple would make.
    I am not convinced that the hinge mechanisms in most of the convertibles are going to be as durable or have as little flex as a MacBook would, when used as a laptop, and that's a deal-breaker for me. I'd rather do without it and have a tablet, than a bad convertible.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    That bezel shrink concept sounds pretty ideal... In the end there's no perfect config for everyone. I find anything under 12" to be rather cramped for serious work (specially if 16:9 rather than 16:10) and I find anything over 10" to be way too huge for a tablet... Even 10" is pushing it for the way I use a tablet (mostly reading), so I've gone to a 7" for now.

    I was super interested in the Win 8 hybrid concepts (my previous tablet was a Transformer after all) but at the end of the day none have really sold me and I'd rather have a matte display for work. That's just me tho, I don't travel a ton and when I do I often take the tablet only. I can see someone who travels constantly or who's in college and doesn't need a ton of power preferring something like Surface, or something like the $350 ASUS Bay Trail convertible plus a desktop, or something like a Yoga plus a large phone, etc.

    Having choices, it's a good thing. ©
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    I've got an HP Envy x2 convertible; it's glossy out of the factory but a $10 screen protector converted the display to matte. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    The only formfactor that makes sense to me is a detachable. Unfortunately, you either end up with a too big tablet or a too small laptop. Maybe 10 or 11.6 would work, but definitely the 13inch is ridiculous. The tablet part is simply too large. Reply
  • miahshodan - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    I recently bought a Fujitsu Q702; detachable 11.6" screen core I5 with an additional battery in the keyboard dock and an active stylus. I also have a 10" android tablet, but find it very cumbersome, it won't do things I want and is slow to respond. Not to mention not having the data, app, or settings synced with my real pc. The Q702 is a fine tablet (though I would prefer a 16:10 aspect ratio) that way I can do real work and read books, browse the web etc. on the same device. The biggest issue is that since the screen is the entire pc, it is somewhat heavy. in the case of the fujitsu the base is heavy with an extra battery, which helps keep it stable. Some of the others are too top heavy. I tried the slit x2 at bestbuy and found the 13" 16:9 screen too long to work with reasonably. Reply
  • miahshodan - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    forgot to mention the onscreen keyboard on the 10 tablets to be limiting when writing an email or even filling out an online form. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    All you have to do is say, "I can use this for more than work" and suddenly it's no longer just a work device. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Yeah, but it won't be fanless. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Why is it good to be fanless?

    A fanless design has fewer moving parts to fail. I've never heard of a laptop fan failing. Does that happen often?

    It's also quieter. I think this is the big draw. However, most of the laptops that I've used are basically silent while I do basic office work. I kinda LIKE hearing my laptop while I game because I subconsciously feel like that fan sound means that I'm getting more performance than I could get without the presence of the fan. I'm crazy, I know.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    They do fail, just like desktop fans (anything mechanical is inherently more failure prone). Unlike a desktop fan tho, they can be much harder and costly to replace. Reply
  • FwFred - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Wow, fanless! Can't wait to see it tested. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    "I don't really see a reason for these hybrids."

    I do. Thanks
    Reply
  • ds2013 - Friday, September 27, 2013 - link

    I agree. A convertible is a compromise and is neither a good tablet nor a good notebook. The market has spoken and the tablets range from 7" to 10.1" with the most popular tablets being 7" to 7.9". There isn't a market for a large, heavy tablet. A 13" ultrabook is a popular form factor, but as a convertibles, it is an unbalanced due to the battery location. Convertibles have been around since the original Microsoft tablet pc (2001?) and have never sold well. I don't see this changing anything. Reply
  • centurion87 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    It would be nice to compare the Y-series Intel chips with Apple A7 and see the perf and power gap. If there is anything related to a converged device that Apple may make, the contention would be cortex-A57 class Apple CPU vs Intel Y-series CPU. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    I think that's still a few years out.

    The low-end Intel Y CPUs have like two or three times the TDP of phone SoCs.
    Reply
  • centurion87 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    In case of tablets, I think broadwell Y might be able to narrow the TDP gap. It will be interesting when and if Intel does close it, will Apple adopt it for a converged device which might be substantially faster than an A7 or an A8. Or adopt iOS to higher screen sizes and move upwards with A8+ ? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Tablets are likely hitting at least 4W these days on ARM SoCs, to a 6W Y-series i3/i5 isn't far off of that. Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Considering Broadwell/Merrifield are already getting so competitive, with 14-nm Airmont (and respective tablet/phone SOCs) supposedly shipping toward the second half of next year, Intel will probably close the TDP gap for good right then and there (and possibly do more than just close the gap...)

    From there on, ARM devices will have a hell of a time trying to compete, particularly if Intel does live up to its recently restated plans of being on a 7 nm process by 2017.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    That will sort itself out one way or another... But the driving choice on whether ARM survives at the high end or not might have nothing to go with hardware and everything to do with the market's adoption of hybrid Windows devices and the modern UI ecosystem. If the market stops caring about Windows it won't matter how much better Intel's doing if ARM can still undercut them.

    Personally I think that if Intel doesn't mess up they should absolutely dominate the higher end and should beable to relegate ARM to <$250 devices... Intel's even equipped to go the Android way. Would Apple ever compile iOS for x86 tho? Would the $500+ iPad ever lose it's massive market share either way?
    Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    "While the idea of a 13.3” laptop/hybrid is good, I do have to question the utility of a 13.3” tablet. I’ve used Dell’s XPS 12, and frankly it just feels massive when in tablet mode, and that’s a slightly smaller display size."

    OK, this is a bit tongue-in-cheek but only slightly....

    See, at work my colleagues and I habitually print out, hold, and read documents on these giant, enormous, unbearably mega-sized 8.5'' x 11'' slabs of paper (diagonal size: 13.9'').

    Those things are so freakishly enormous, some of us don't even need to put on eyeglasses or use magnifying lenses, in order to be able to read the text.

    We're all hoping, wishing, and dying for the day when our paper sheets shrink to the acceptable and ergonomics-wise perfectly calibrated paper sizes with 11.6'' diagonal -- that is, 6.7'' x 8.7'' (preserving the aspect ratio) -- it would just be much more usable, and so much easier to handle!

    One can only dream, right?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Of course, a notepad or piece of paper only weighs a few grams to an ounce or two at most, where a 13.3" tablet (roughly the same size) is going to weigh two pounds. Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Ah, so the issue isn't really the size. It's the weight. So let's start calling for lighter-weight rather than smaller sizes.

    For instance, less (or no) glass and metal in the construction of the device might help a bit on the weight front... Of course, for some strange reason these days "premium mobile device" == "hefty slab".
    Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    You're never gonna approach the weight of a paper pad tho, let alone a sheet of paper... You can also bend paper, throw it around, handle it without much care, etc... It's an interesting discussion, the amount of paper work has been an issue in a lot of industries for decades. A lot of people also find smaller tablets easier to read on given the current ergonomics and tablets don't handle exactly like paper, you can't zoom and resort text on a sheet of paper (not very dynamically anyway, beyond just bringing it up your eye). Reply
  • Toshio - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    *slow clap* Reply
  • Thermogenic - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Perfect response! Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    For the sake of argument I'll point out that with standard 1" margins an 8.5x11" sheet of paper has a text are of 6.5x9 with an 11" diagonal. So in most cases with an 11.6" device all you'd need is a reader that can be configured to hide the margins and you'd be able to see the text at the same side as a in a printed copy. Reply
  • Jaerba - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    There are definitely some industries where a detachable tablet/hybrid could be useful, although it does seem like more of these devices should be coming with active stylii. Reply
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Indeed. A device this size, might almost begin to fit the bill for a bona fide sketch pad...

    But including an active digitizer stylus would probably be too 'retro' for a hip and fresh company like HP... See, only cavemen use pens and brushes. Modern humans finger-paint.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    thirded. A decent stylus turns a useless tablet into a silent and deadly note-taking machine, perfect for meetings, on sites, for demos, etc.
    Plus you can actually draw stuff too. Sketching is an immensely powerful thing to do, and something that creates gigantic messes, if you do it on paper, where if you do it digitally, boom, you sketch, you fix, you save, no mess, instant corrections....

    My sister has a five year old 12" thinkpad convertible, that was basically perfect (it only lacks a 64 bit CPU) , but it's suffered a bit from regular use. In the current landscape, this device is almost impossible to replace, because "omg, it's too heavy and too think!".
    And Lenovo made the X200 series not only thinner than the X60, but also...worse.
    Surface Pro was a step in the right direction, but stylus support is still a bit of an adventure, especially when it comes to software and the OS. The more tablets with stylus there are, the more likely it is we get to the point, that stylus support becomes commonplace.

    /rant
    Reply
  • eanazag - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    There seems to be hostility towards touch screens. There are valid uses for them on keyboard equipped devices. I prefer simple photo editing on a touch screen - crop and rotate. Windows 8 interface is easier to navigate (non-desktop mode). There are possibilities that could be enhanced for programs, but the hardware support needs to be there. If you're throwing Windows 7 on, I can understand the pointlessness. Reply
  • XZerg - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    i want to see a hybrid system but with the base fat enough to cram heavy duty hardware and with dGPU optional. for a lot of work related tasks i find myself integrated/soldered-on little memory, tiny, non-upgradeable and slow ssd, and a slow cpu just not worth the cost or the benefits of being ultra portable. i don't mind the weight as i plan to use it on the go for some quick lookup or emails and such. i have found my laptop being inconvenient on buses or cars (as a passenger) to do such work. A keyboard-less option would alleviate that issue. Reply
  • Hulk - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    I don't get it. Why do manufacturers go to these extremes to build a strange portable device? Just build a good ultrabook finally. Reply
  • JNo - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Because I want one.

    There are plenty of good ultrabooks for you to buy so go and buy one.

    I don't get it. Why do some people think that just because they don't want something that nobody else should want it.
    Reply
  • Visual - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    What sort of GPU is in these low-wattage Haswells?
    When will those product designers finally realize that anything below Intel's GT3 or without an active digitizer is never going to be taken seriously?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    HD4200 (GT2). GT3 is only available on higher power chips. And for 99.9% of the market an active digitizer is a worthless expense. The only people who need something like that are artist types who'd otherwise be buying directly from Wacom. Reply
  • kyuu - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Real stylii (not capactive ones) are also useful for note-taking and using the desktop on a small-screen device. It's not just for artists. Reply
  • Visual - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    This is something only one that has never used an active digitizer would say.
    I'm not an artist, and I will never buy any tablet without active digitizer after having been spoiled by my tm2.
    The hover (emulating mouse move without click) is a must-have for a lot of Windows scenarios.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    If it supports stylus a detachable keyboard is a good synergy for power business users who can take notes by handwriting Reply
  • Laststop311 - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    Not feelin these convertible devices. I mean starting at 1100 geez. I'd rather go with a 32GB Nexus 7 which is 260 and let's be real 7 inches is so much easier to carry around and work with on the go. Compact and light, easy to maneuver with 1 hand and leaves you with 840 dollars to buy a dedicated ultrabook. Lots of good dedicated ultrabooks you can buy around that price without a complex hinge or touchscreen. I think most people will have a better experience going this route Reply
  • OneOfTheseDays - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    A 32GB Nexus 7 comes nowhere close to replacing a full blown x86 hybrid.

    These are machines for people that need to get serious work done, with the option to flip into tablet mode for convenience without having to switch to another device. I think most people are in need of a device that can fill both needs, but nobody has really yet to find the perfect balance.

    The Surface Pro is probably the closest I can think of. With its next-gen refresh with improved battery life and RAM it will be on my short list for sure.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Sunday, September 22, 2013 - link

    I absolutely need larger tablets for productivity (annotating slides/papers/etc). 10 inch is just way too small for anything. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Saturday, September 28, 2013 - link

    "While the idea of a 13.3” laptop/hybrid is good, I do have to question the utility of a 13.3” tablet. I’ve used Dell’s XPS 12, and frankly it just feels massive when in tablet mode"

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-quanta-macb...

    I wonder what reviewers will say if/when Apple releases a larger ipad... I bet they'll love it
    Reply
  • hellermercer - Friday, November 22, 2013 - link

    Wheres the DVD-ROM compartment ????? Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now