Jan 25 2013

Detachable Tablets and Convertible Notebooks Offer New Choices

The trend toward 2-in-1 devices is growing in popularity.

When it comes to devices that are suited to both content creation and consumption, the traditional choices are notebooks and slimmer ultrabooks. Although somewhat larger and heavier than tablets, these high-performance portables give users the ability to create documents and run full versions of their usual applications.

But now the lines between these two important hardware categories are blurring because of two types of hybrid devices: detachables and convertibles.

Detachables look like traditional clamshell computers until a user pops the screen and reveals the embedded computing resources from the keyboard component. The result: a full-featured tablet.

Convertibles, like Lenovo’s ThinkPad Twist, can flip between the tablet and ultrabook form factors. The ThinkPad Twist offers a standard-sized keyboard that is permanently attached to the 12.5-inch screen. The device weighs 3.48 pounds and runs on third-generation Intel Core i7 processors and either the standard or Pro version of Windows 8.

“Hybrid devices offer the best of both worlds and represent a nice alternative for those in the market who need a touch environment,” says Jay Parker, vice president and general manager of the consumer/SMB business unit at Lenovo North America. “We find that organizations are coming up with new apps for this type of technology, so convertibles won’t necessarily replace PCs, they’ll enable something new.”

He adds that hybrids are a single answer for on-the-go workers whose diverse activities may be best served by a tablet at one moment and by a notebook the next.

“Most people don’t want to carry or be responsible for more than one or two devices. And most organizations don’t want to purchase more than one or two devices,” Parker explains. “If one device can cover multiple needs — all the power of a PC at a little over three pounds and with long battery life — what’s not to like?”


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