Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Portables Hardware

Odd Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Show PC Makers' Panic 251

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-tablet-does-not-need-a-joystick dept.
jfruh writes "Taipei's Computex trade show has seen an array of strange devices on sale that are somewhere between PCs and tablets: laptops with screens you can twist in every direction, tablets with detachable keyboards, all-in-one PCs with detachable monitors. Some have Intel chips, some ARM chips; some run Windows 8, some Android. They all exist because of the cheap components now available, and because Windows 8 will make touch interfaces possible — but mostly they exist because PC makes are starting to freak out about being left behind by the tablet revolution."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Odd Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Show PC Makers' Panic

Comments Filter:
  • WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:17PM (#40258611) Homepage Journal

    My cousin has had an HP that did this before the iPad was a thing. It runs WinXP for Tablets.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is slashdot. In this fantasy world, Apple innovates and everyone else imitates.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:34PM (#40258875)

        Well to set the record straight:
        - Apple wasn't the first to develop a multimedia computer (music-quality sound and full-screen video).
        - Apple wasn't the first to develop preemptive multitasking for home computers.
        - Apple wasn't the first to develop MP3 players.
        - Or tablets.
        - Or smartphones.
        - Though they were the first with laptops (I'll give them credit for that).

        • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

          by bipbop (1144919) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:47PM (#40259061)
          Is the laptop bit some sort of humor I don't understand? As far as I can tell [wikipedia.org], they weren't especially early on the laptop front.
          • Admittedly, this (Apple IIc with optional LCD screen) [wikipedia.org] looks a lot like a laptop... However: 1) It needs AC power (though third-party manufacturers did create battery packs for it) and 2) The GRID (which ran on batteries by design) was 2 years earlier.
          • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:07PM (#40259439)

            They were the first company with the latop as you know it. (Apple is responsible for a whole lot of 'as you know it's, not technical firsts)

            There were lots of portable computers but nothing like the old 100. It was the first computer that was a true analog to it's desktop counterpart in the now familiar truely portable clamshell formfactor. It had the same performance as a destkop mac. Used the same media. Used the same software. Same operating system. You could even plug in the same ADB and SCSI peripherals. Macs at the time were already impressive, and to have a no-compromise portable was downright mindblowing.

            All of the other portables at the time were significant compromises in one area or another. Many had no nonvolital storage. Many used a paired down OS or software implementation. Many were just plain big and heavy. The first mac laptop had everything, and it shook up the industry. That debut presentation where he simply pulled it out of a laser printer paper tray set the audience on fire for a reason.

            • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

              by idontgno (624372) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:49PM (#40260099) Journal

              There were lots of portable computers but nothing like the old 100. It was the first computer that was a true analog to it's desktop counterpart in the now familiar truely portable clamshell formfactor.

              Data General One. [wikipedia.org] 1984 (predating Macintosh Portable by 5 years and Powerbook 100 by 7). Precisely equivalent to many desktop systems of the time (IBM PC/XT standard: MS-DOS, Intel 8088 processor, floppy boot) except portable, battery-powered, and clamshell laptop format.

              Sorry. The Powerbook 100 represents an incremental evolution of the laptop idea, but it's not really ground-breaking by any unbiased standard.

            • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Solandri (704621) on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:00PM (#40261013)

              They were the first company with the latop as you know it. (Apple is responsible for a whole lot of 'as you know it's, not technical firsts)

              There were lots of portable computers but nothing like the old 100. It was the first computer that was a true analog to it's desktop counterpart in the now familiar truely portable clamshell formfactor.

              Nope. The Powerbook 100 was introduced in late 1991. PC notebooks in the modern clamshell design were showing up as early as 1988. The one I remember best was a Sager [wikipedia.org] 286 model. I noticed they were local to me, so I dropped by their offices and requested to see one (it retailed for over $5k, I certainly couldn't afford to buy one at the time). They brought one out and I got to touch and play with it - a glimpse of what the future held. They were so proud of it, giving me a little spiel about how they were going to upgrade it with a 16 MHz 386SX processor [cpu-collection.de] in a few months. They insisted on calling it a notebook, to distinguish it from the clunky laptop computers like the old Compaq Portable and Osborne.

              By 1990, the notebook form factor had gained enough traction that Intel announced the 386SL [krsaborio.net] - a low power version of the 80386 made specifically for laptops. They weren't able to churn them out until the following year [cpu-collection.de], but that should demonstrate that the notebook market was thriving long before Apple ever showed up to the game.

              I'm starting to wear this phrase out, but: Just because the first time you saw something was on an Apple product, doesn't mean that they invented it. (To be fair, Apple's big contribution to the form factor was the trackball, then the trackpad. Before then, you had to plug in a mouse if you were going to use it outside of DOS. One laptop had a marble trackball off by the side. The Powerbook was the first with a huge trackball smack dab in the middle.)

            • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by catmistake (814204) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:29PM (#40263517) Journal
              Very nice. But lets also not forget one tiny innovative ergonomic detail: Apple was the first to alter the laptop keyboard location, they moved the keys up close to the hinge and the display, to give their laptops a wrist-wrest. Subsequent to their seemingly minor but apparently brilliant innovation, you cannot find a laptop that does not have this feature. And yet "no one copies Apple!"
        • by hoggoth (414195)

          You are, of course, referring to the original Amiga 1000 which had music-quality sound, full-screen video, and preemptive multitasking in 1985.

      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:42PM (#40258985) Homepage Journal

        But - I quote: "Windows 8 will make touch interfaces possible"

        To summarize, the world has been waiting on Windows to enable us to have touch interfaces. So, what is this "Apple" to which you refer?

      • http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/06/05/023231/asus-announces-x86-transformer [slashdot.org]

        I've got the ARM version of the Transformer, and it's exactly that. A tablet, but you can plug it into a foldable keyboard dock that turns it into a netbook.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:20PM (#40258655)
      Yeah, seriously. This is a) nothing new, and b) an example of newer technology making the idea more feasible. It has nothing to do with "freaking out".
      • Some professors use them to lecture on. That way they can write notes on what they are showing. However it is a real laptop so it can do all the things a real computer can (like run Matlab in the case of where I work).

        Is it for everyone? No certainly not. I have no interest, I just ordered a new laptop with no tablet abilities for me, and it isn't the kind of thing someone who wants something extremely thin, light, and cheap would want. However there's a market for it. Some people want a more powerful compu

        • it can do all the things a real computer can (like run Matlab in the case of where I work).

          Well why not use an iPad [apple.com] for that?

          • If you think Matlab mobile does the same thing as the real Matlab with toolboxes you've never used Matlab. Also with an X220 they can run multiple things at one, like say a screen capture program so the lecture can then by uploaded to Youtube. Also, what with being a normal Windows laptop it'll run any other software we happen to use in engineering (like Cadence, HFSS, ADS, and so on) so whatever they need to show, they can.

            Oh and there's the fact that Windows integrates nicely in to being centrally managed

        • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:17PM (#40259599)

          There's no single design for everyone.

          Yes, this is the biggest reason Apple isn't a market share leader in most of its markets. They typically make one form factor and do it very well... and this appeals to a great many people. They do it with the iMac, the iPhone, and the iPad. But eventually manufacturers come in and fill in the gaps for people who don't prefer those form factors. For some reason, most tablets still look like the iPad, with the most notable exception being the Asus Transformer, one of the most popular Android tablets. I think as more tablets deviate from the iPad design, we'll see Apple's tablet market share shrink as others take advantage of the long tail.

          I think it's also interesting to note that, in the one space where Apple does dominate, the MP3 player market, they have a variety of models in all shapes and sizes and colors, and at almost every price point. I think if they only ever released the original hard drive iPod, it's dominance would have been short-lived. I remember on year everyone bought up the iPod nano, because they wanted an iPod but didn't have $300. Were there no nano, they would have went with another mfgr for sure. For some reason Apple doesn't do this anymore. Maybe they feel ubiquity dilutes the brand?

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          Microsoft needs to learn that the "no single design" also applies to different devices. Trying to do almost the same design across devices is a horrible, horrible idea. Trying to install the same OS version across devices makes perfect sense. MS got 1/2 of the concept correct.

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Personally I am freaking out about the fact that being root on most of these devices voids the warranty. The erosion of rights is really freaking me out.
        • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:28PM (#40259761)
          From the manufacturer's standpoint they want to make these things like appliances. If you mess with the internal workings and it stops working correctly why should they have to fix it? B If you modify your brand new Ford by installing a new fuel injection system or tweaking the onboard computer, do you expect Ford to support it? You have a right to make changes as you see fit, but I don't think you should expect the manufacturer to be liable for anything that you did. And you don't expect to use the excuse "but it was a small modification". The manufacturer can't know that.
      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:18PM (#40259621)

        The "Feaking Out" is from the traditional PC people. The standard, Desktop CPU, Monitor, Key Board and Mouse. Is going out. So is the normal Clam-shell Laptop.

        Performance isn't as big of a deal as it was 10/15 years ago.
        1998 There was a huge difference if you had a 486 vs a P2. Or a system with 16 Megs of ram vs 32 megs.
        Now in 2012 there is less of a difference between a Core 2 Duo and a Sandy Bridge Core i5, a System with 3gigs vs 8gigs.
        Now it isn't that the new stuff isn't orders of magnitudes faster and better. But the stuff we use computers for doesn't fully utilize the hardware anymore.
        We are preferring to say with slower computers and get systems that are smaller, longer battery, and overall just more portable. Because our needs for a computer isn't following Moors Law.

        • The era of having one computer is gone. If you want to surf the web from your couch, use your tablet. If you want to work with an IDE, use your multi-monitor workstation.

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Guspaz (556486) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:21PM (#40258689)

      Yes, it was from the "Tablet PC" era, and devices lack that were a terrible failure. People already complain that the iPad is too heavy at a pound and a half, nobody wants a six pound tablet. Admittedly, one of the major failings of the Tablet PC is being addressed with the Win8 touch interface and app ecosystem.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gstoddart (321705)

        Admittedly, one of the major failings of the Tablet PC is being addressed with the Win8 touch interface and app ecosystem.

        And, what might that be? All I see is yet another "me too" product from Microsoft.

        What is Microsoft bringing to the table that Android, or Apple, or even RIM aren't doing?

        All I've seen is the new fugly looking Metro interface, but nothing that suggests Microsoft is filling "one of the major failings of the tablet PC", other than a lack of offering from Microsoft.

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          I hate the Metro interface, but even the most die-hard Microsoft hater has got to admit that Metro is a hell of a lot better for tablets than the standard Windows XP interface was.

          The major failing of Tablet PC that I'm talking about is how their interface was horribly ill-suited for a tablet. At least they're doing a tablet-specific UI now.

          • by Jeng (926980)

            If they were only planning on putting it on tablets Win8 might actually be considered good, but they are also planning on putting it on the desktop where it has no business being there.

            • Well - to be fair, Gnome, KDE, and Ubuntu are all trying to be Metro-sexual on the desktop as well. Hopefully, it's just a fad that will fade in a year or two.

              • by ArcherB (796902)

                Well - to be fair, Gnome, KDE, and Ubuntu are all trying to be Metro-sexual on the desktop as well. Hopefully, it's just a fad that will fade in a year or two.

                You are correct if you scratch KDE from the list. KDE is unique in that it does have an excellent mix of a tablet interface and the standard "Start Button" type of menu. Basically, you see the menus of the start menu as your desktop icons. You click "Graphics", and it opens the items you would see under the "Graphics" menu after clicking the K. It's works very well on my desktop and I see it working very well on tablets.

                What makes KDE different is that I can go to another desktop where I have the standa

                • 'K - I'll agree that KDE might be the best of the mix, in that the menu is available, while the others work hard to hide the menu.

                  But, from my point of view, there is little to choose from between one set of icons or widgets, or another. Even my old "dumb phone" (actually, a pretty new "dumb phone") gives me some limited menu options. I simply don't WANT a bunch of icons filling my screen. As a guy with crap color vision, and poor vision in general, I've spent my life learning to read the English languag

              • Also, add OSX, which seems to have iOS envy.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            The major failing of Tablet PC that I'm talking about is how their interface was horribly ill-suited for a tablet. At least they're doing a tablet-specific UI now.

            Well, except for tablets running Windows, or something you've bodged Linux onto ... the interfaces on the HP, RIM, Apple, and Android tablets I've seen seem to be tablet specific.

            This sounds more like "Microsoft finally has a tablet-specific UI", not that "nobody else has ever done a tablet with a proper UI".

            Yes, if you take an interface designed

            • by Guspaz (556486)

              Um, no, I'm talking about the Tablet PC initiative, which lasted from 2001 until around when the iPad came out and finally killed it off... Android and iOS didn't exist at the time.

              • by gstoddart (321705)

                Um, no, I'm talking about the Tablet PC initiative

                No idea what "The Tablet PC Initiative" is -- sounds like prog rock band or something.

                I'm going to assume this was an attempt by Microsoft to innovate the future with a product they couldn't figure out how to sell to anybody? Like the Smart House or all the features in Longhorn which never happened?

                If all they were trying to do was jam XP onto a touch screen, no wonder nobody bought them.

                • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529@yahooEULER.com minus math_god> on Friday June 08, 2012 @03:06PM (#40261069)

                  Um, no, I'm talking about the Tablet PC initiative

                  No idea what "The Tablet PC Initiative" is -- sounds like prog rock band or something.

                  I'm going to assume this was an attempt by Microsoft to innovate the future with a product they couldn't figure out how to sell to anybody? Like the Smart House or all the features in Longhorn which never happened?

                  If all they were trying to do was jam XP onto a touch screen, no wonder nobody bought them.

                  That sounds all well and good, until you consider a few extra things. The first person I knew with a tablet had one in 2003; it was a Fujitsu Lifebook. As a result, "no wonder no one bought them" sounds right in 2012, but requires a bit of perspective...

                  In 2003, Wi-Fi was still relatively new at the consumer level. If you wanted cellular data, you would likely end up with a GPRS connection, or EDGE if you were lucky; it complimented Windows Pocket PC Edition, Palm Treos, and early Blackberry units pretty nicely. Capacitive touch wasn't practical at the consumer level; it was either resistive or the Wacom-on-glass system that they ended up using. iOS didn't exist yet (the second-gen iPod was just getting out of the gate; Apple was looking like they could afford to keep the lights on), broadband had only recently hit critical mass. ARM processors lived in devices running embedded operating systems; they were nowhere near powerful enough to run a general purpose OS. Atom didn't exist.

                  In *that* world, the primary market for tablets were people taking notes with a pen. For all its faults, Windows Tablet PC Edition did a pretty impressive job of recognizing handwriting, which was good because it was the primary reason to be a tablet. Meanwhile, text entry was still king, and 5 hours of battery life was a pretty reasonable amount of time to be using your tablet.

                  No one is claiming that the first generation of tablet PCs running Windows XP struck a chord with the general populous; they clearly did not. Their target demographic were students, medical professionals, and other people for whom OneNote was the killer app. There was no iOS, there was no Android, and desktop Linux was still getting its pants on regarding getting a decent desktop distribution out the door. Windows XP was just about the only thing that *could* work on the systems at hand, because Apple was just about the only company who was able to write an OS specifically for tablets and have people look at what they *could* do as opposed to what they *couldn't* do, and even that was highly based upon the fact that there were a few years' worth of iPhone OS builds behind it, during which people had built up some level of software library for that platform.

                  I might not be the biggest iOS fan in existence, but you'd be hard pressed to find me a company besides Apple that would have been capable of generating demand for a new computing form factor and a new OS for the paradigm at the same time. If Microsoft released WindowsRT back in 2004 and had capacitive touch and 802.11g and an App Store and an unlocked EDGE cellular modem and sold it at $499...it would have bombed then too because the immediate reaction would be "running Office 2003/Quickbooks/AutoCAD/$WINDOWS_SOFTWARE doesn't work!" or similar complaints regarding hitting 16x16 pixel toolbar icons with a finger and being productive.

                  It's not that people overlooked swivel tablets running XP because iOS was that much better, it's that the target demographic of people who would benefit from handwriting into their laptop was a very small market, and there was no Facebook, Angry Birds, or Netflix streaming to justify a tablet as a consumption device.

        • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:39PM (#40258939)

          >>>All I see is yet another "me too" product from Microsoft.

          Microsoft has done that for its entire life. The only really brilliant move was to attach themselves to IBM and ride them as their PC became the defacto computer standard. Elsewhere Microsoft has copied other innovators (Apple, Commodore, Atari, etc)

        • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:47PM (#40259059)

          What is Microsoft bringing to the table that Android, or Apple, or even RIM aren't doing?

          One of the biggest things better multitasking... as in two windows running at once side by side. That's something you won't find on the iPad. Further, things like apps that work across tablet and desktop is another big one. Further better pen support. I've used a Windows 7 Tablet PC since it came out, and pen support is way beyond what Android has to offer. And since there will be x86 platforms you still have access to all the best apps and games and universal device compatibility, which is one of the biggest shortcomings of the iPad and Android tablets.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            I would add to that hardware that isn't some kind of throwback to the 90s.

            How about something that can run Siri by itself and not be dependent on some compute server somewhere?

            Tablets are cool and all but they achieve their lower price point because they are using inferior hardware. Hybrid tablet laptops have existed for a long time already. They have just been expensive machines consigned to business.

          • by 0123456 (636235)

            Further, things like apps that work across tablet and desktop is another big one.

            So either:

            1. I'll need to use a virtual mouse and keyboard on the tablet.

            Or

            2. I'll need a touch screen on the desktop.

            Why do you think that pushing the same applications on both is a good idea?

            And since there will be x86 platforms you still have access to all the best apps and games and universal device compatibility, which is one of the biggest shortcomings of the iPad and Android tablets.

            Running Word and Excel on a touchscreen tablet will be great!

            • So either: 1. I'll need to use a virtual mouse and keyboard on the tablet. Or 2. I'll need a touch screen on the desktop.

              You're missing the third option, that the same app works with both touch and mouse. For a large set of applications, there's no reason this can't be the case. Look at my current Windows 8 setup, calendar, mail, pictures, music, stocks, browser, a handful of games, organizer, reader... these all work fine with touch and keyboard+mouse. You just have to get used to two sets of inputs (which most people are now). For instance in touch mode I swipe to scroll, in mouse mode I roll the mouse ball. In mouse mode I

          • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:04PM (#40259375)
            Sorry to self reply, but I think I missed the most obvious shortcoming (given the topic of this article) of the current tablet market: hardware variety. If I want a tablet today, I can have any I want as long as it's a 7-10" black ARM slab. What if I want a 14" tablet for drawing? What if I want one with a quad core processor. What if I want discrete graphics? What if I want an 50" tablet I can hang on my wall? And yeah, what if I want one that flips or twists or slides? These aren't available today, and with Window 8 and an variety of manufacturers in the game these will be available in the next 1-2 years.
        • by Sloppy (14984)

          Admittedly, one of the major failings of the Tablet PC is being addressed with the Win8 touch interface and app ecosystem.

          And, what might that be? All I see is yet another "me too" product from Microsoft.

          When he said "Tablet PC" he did not mean tablet form-factor personal computer. (One of the various shitty things about Microsoft is that they use highly generic product names; they would sell something called "Computer(TM)" if they thought they'd get away with it.) He is not talking about addressing a fa

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            he is talking about addressing a failure in a specific Microsoft product that was called "Tablet PC."

            Wow ... just wow.

            Introducing, the Tablet PC, with new Operating System(tm), which provides Multitasking(tm,sm), Virtual Memory(c), Networking(tm), and Solitaire(sm). Now enabling you to Do Work(patent pending).

            On behalf of those of us who spent years of our lives avoiding Microsoft like The Plague (tm), I had not fully realized the extent to which they use Stupid Product Names(tm,patent pending).

      • Not all the tablets were (a) a terrible failure or (b) heavy. In fact the TC1100 was a bit over a kilo and very thin. In fact, it looked really rather like an iPad.

        • by Guspaz (556486)

          It looks like they got the physical form factor closer than most, but it was still desktop WinXP with a stylus as the primary input. And it still weighed over three pounds, about the same as my pre-ultrabook portege. The iPad is already too heavy, double that is still impractical.

          • The stylus is actually pretty nifty, since it's a full Wacom pen which is pressure sensitive and has multiple buttons. I used one for quite a while and did quite a lot of "real work" on it. It was in many ways an excellent machine and far ahead of its time.

            It was also one of the lightest laptops of any sort available at the time, something which they got right.

            Given the age, it wasn't possible to have a computer any lighter and still maintain reasonable functionality. Bear in mind that it also has Nvidia gr

      • Actually the big failure of my Toshiba Portege tablet was that it was unreliable. The digitizer kept breaking down, and then it took 2 weeks to be repaired even under warranty. Once it went out of warranty, that was that, and in the meantime I couldn't actually depend on tablet/pen computing because I wouldn't have it for a fairly long time.

      • The direction of Win 8 seems to be MS is all but abandoning desktop users and trying to forcibly capture a large set of tablet developers by giving their developers no choice but to develop for Metro. Otherwise, if they had to compete with iOS and Android directly for tablet developers, it would be a losing battle as evidenced by WP7.
      • by mlts (1038732)

        Tablet PCs were pretty useful. They functioned as nice laptops, and if one did want the tablet functionality, it was a screen flip away.

        The trick would be to have ultrabooks get the 180 degree rotating screen and a touch screen. It wouldn't be as light as an iPad by any means, but it would be useful as a tablet, but when one needed to do actual heavy duty typing, the screen could be flipped around and the device used as a light notebook.

        All and all, a good idea, especially since Windows 8 will have touch

    • Of course (Score:2, Troll)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      Of course we need Steve Jobs to tell us what we need, the consumers can't choose for themselves based on the choices in the market which is always bad. We need only one or two form factors.

      These two should be banned from the market by fiat. for not conforming to Jobs' dictates and taste It's not like anyone would find it right for themselves right?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6jnrRRAcZc [youtube.com]

      http://www.idownloadblog.com/2012/05/25/microsoft-sell-80-inch-windows-8-tablet/ [idownloadblog.com]

    • by alen (225700)

      i remember those. they were close to $3000 and no useful software to take advantage. and they were big and heavy compared to tablets.

      • by Kenja (541830)
        Really? The one I had cost under a grand, ran all the same software I ran on my desktop and was under three lbs (which was light for a notebook at the time). Granted, it was grey scale and was not a very fast CPU, but it was a very nice tool to have compared to the PDA offerings at the time (palm and newton).
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:27PM (#40258781)

      My cousin has had an HP that did this before the iPad was a thing. It runs WinXP for Tablets.

      Dozens or hundreds of laptops have done this for the better part of a decade.

      Also, this post is one of the worst pieces of crap I've ever seen make it onto Slashdot. TFA is a garbage bloglike post with virtually no content. The paltry information it has includes major mistakes, such as "Yet another Acer laptop, the aptly named Yoga, has a screen that folds..." The Yoga is, of course, a Lenovo product. We've talked about it before.

      Bluntly, James Niccolai and Michael Kan are both idiots who shouldn't have jobs. Soulskill was lax in posting a story that only linked to their garbage "article."

    • Those tablets never took off the way Microsoft expected, they are popular in the Medical Field, but not much beyond that. Now for my current Laptop I have a Lenovo x220 Table. That has a multi-touch screen. It is nice, because I can use it as a good laptop or as a tablet.
      The issue was with the old ones, was you needed a stylus, that was easily lost, and needed a full free hand. Now with cheap multi-touch we can operate the PC much easier. And Windows 8 actually makes running a PC off of a touch screen

    • by mjwx (966435)

      My cousin has had an HP that did this before the iPad was a thing. It runs WinXP for Tablets.

      Not just HP but Toshiba, Panasonic, Fujitsu, IBM (before they sold the brand to Lenovo) all sold tablets. Even a few models with GPS modules designed expressly to be put in vehicles except that the GPS units were proper GPS, not aGPS so they had real accuracy and were hideously expensive (well they still are, the Ipad hasn't done anything to this market).

      But this is ignored by the brainwashed idiots that write tripe like the article, the Ipad is just a Fujitsu tablet minus the keyboard (and dont Apple sell

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:23PM (#40258731) Journal
    So, let me understand it right. There is a set of PC makers. And there is a different and distinct set of entities called tablet makers. And there is no commonality between them. And any member of one set can not join the other set. The only thing to do when pc sales fall and tablet sales zoom is to freak out and put together strange chimeras.

    PC makers show chimeras in tradeshows because that is what the trade shows are meant for.

    • by gsslay (807818) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:34PM (#40258877)

      To be be fair, this is pretty much what TFA says, but the slashdot headline and summary sucks and totally misses the point.

      Being concerned about not being left behind in new developments and new markets is what drives innovation and competition. It's not "freaking out".

      Some will fail, some will be successful. Today's chimeras may be tomorrow's standard kit.

      • To be be fair, this is pretty much what TFA says, but the slashdot headline and summary sucks and totally misses the point.

        That means business as usual on Slashdot on MS related stories. Look at the brouhaha over yesterday's story about ALL CAPS menus in Visual Studio. If you read their blog post, they said they were going to make it configurable, but that never stopped all of Slashdot from not even mentioning the option and then going on to bash MS in hundreds of comments.

        Slashdot is to MS what Fox News is to Democrats.

      • Hybrid products can work but they have to fill a void that neither of the two originating products can fill as hybrids often have compromises in functionality. Ten years ago when the first Tablet Edition Windows started becoming available, they really didn't fill any niche. The pros were that they offered touch. The cons were they were bulkier and costlier than regular laptops with not a whole lot of added functionality. You could use Windows XP with touch. So what?
    • by symbolset (646467) *

      PC makers make PCs that run Windows. So they have to license Windows for the bulk of their products. Marketing incentives essentially make up the entire operating profit for these products, which isn't much in a good year. If PC makers introduce tablet products that don't need Windows, awkward conversations ensue at renewal time about "commitment" and "partnership level". If they lose their PC incentives, their entire business goes unprofitable.

      So generally speaking, yes. PC makers != tablet makers.

  • If you don't know what to do, throw lots of shit against a wall and see what sticks.

    Innovation it ain't, but it can pay off.

    • by XiaoMing (1574363)

      If you don't know what to do, throw lots of shit against a wall and see what sticks.

      Actually, that sounds more accurate when used to describe TFA.

  • Since when is innovating "freaking out". There is a long standing tradition of trying many different form factors and designs. Well at least for companies not named Apple. It's exciting to see all these possibilities. Time to move behind the frankly terrible interface of a capacitive touchscrean only.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I want a LARGE tablet. My laptop screen is about 8in by 14in. So, what I want, is a table the size of this screen with a keyboard that has a touchpad I can attach for serious typing. I want it to have all of the ports I usually use, at a minimum this is HDMI and 2 USB ports. It should also have a headphone jack and speakers. It should run Win7, and eventually Win9 because all the software I use is windows based. The processor should be capable of handling Matlab, Mathematica and some light Solidworks. Or,

  • Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:35PM (#40258887) Homepage

    Here's the thing: this has been going on for laptop and cell phone manufacturers since... forever. These people don't know where the technology is going, they don't have a plan, and they arguably don't know how to make a good product. Given the technical capabilities of computers these days, it's amazing how poor a job manufacturers are doing of actually solving problems or giving people what they want.

  • by ThunderBird89 (1293256) <zalanmeggyesi&yahoo,com> on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:40PM (#40258953)

    Tablets will get their own clientele, and will never kill off laptop/PC sales, simply because they can't get powerful enough. Each class of devices has its pros and cons, and therefore, their own market segment.

    PC-s are the heavy artillery of computing: extremely powerful, but immobile. Quad-core graphics chips or no, you probably won't see someone rendering 3D models on a tablet, simply because they are not powerful enough to do what a PC's borbdingnagian graphics cards and n-core CPUs can do in a flash.
    Laptops are a sort of heavy in-betweeners: increasingly mobile but ultimately constrained by their batteries and trading processing power for uptime, increasingly powerful, but unable to match PCs due to power, heat dissipation and other constraints. They can be used for heavy lifting on the go, but should only be used thus if no better options are available.
    Tablets are the light in-betweeners: mainly fit for viewing content, not for creating it, they are ideal for sales people who can present media-rich demos to their clients, and top managers, who can use them to tie together various information sources on the go to make their decisions.
    Smartphones are the Swiss army knives: they can do anything in a pinch, but if there's a specialized tool, better use that. They are highly mobile computing platforms, almost exclusively for viewing content due to their small screens not leaving room for a virtual keyboard, but due to their always-on Internet connections, they can be used to look up information and communicate with other systems/devices on the go.

    I expect that soon, as the novelty of the iPad and other tablets wears off, and youngsters recognize that these devices are not the end-all to their computing (playing Angry Birds) problems, each platform will find their own user strata, with laptops and smartphones once again becoming the most prolific, with PCs taking sort of a back row, and tablets being mainly relegated to consumption roles instead of general purpose use or content generation.

    • by romanval (556418) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:14PM (#40259547)
      I doubt that. The vast majority of people are content consumers; while a (reletively) small portion are content creators. There will always be more televisions then tv studios, and there will always be more movie theaters then film producers. In an analog sense, there will eventually be more tablet users then laptop users, since most people just browse and lightly enter information rather then have a need for a laptop (or desktop) to achieve the same function.
    • you probably won't see someone rendering 3D models on a tablet

      What do you think happens 20 to 60 times a second in any tablet game? Tablet graphics aren't in the N64/DS days with a limit of 2000 triangles per scene anymore.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      You're right but for the wrong reasons. Laptops and tablets don't need to be powerful because they can leverage web based applications (eg OnLive gaming). They won't replace PCs because of the form factor. Sometimes you need to sit down with a keyboard and mouse to be really productive. Unless someone radically reinvents the input/output systems PCs aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
  • OMG I want a PC I can carry around easily and have a keyboard when I want it. I must be a total freak to what such an odd device. I mean PCs have ALWAYS been laptops and only laptops right? Forever! Desktops never existed. And Tablets have always just been a screen right? For all of human history these devices have been split into the defined types and not one would ever think to try to break those molds....anyone who is even thinking about it should be dragged out into the streets and beaten.
  • I had a dell laptop with a rotating "touch" (stylus) screen nearly a decade ago. Its not new.

  • I know way more people that won't part with their laptops and netbooks, than people who use exclusively their tablets. A survey of my colleagues at the research institute where I work shows that tablet use is mostly sporadic or none at all. Even for casual browsing, the number of people using netbooks at least rivals, if not outnumbers, those using tablets.

    And finally, at least a fifth if not more of my tablet-using friends hate it: they bought it on hype and are now disappointed by the lack of a keyboard a

    • by jon3k (691256)
      At a research institute? Not really a great sample if you want to look at the overall popularity of what is mainly considered a consumer device.
  • by goruka (1721094) on Friday June 08, 2012 @01:15PM (#40259581)
    How is it that tablets are replacing PCs?
    Let's get the facts, historically.
    1) Microsoft and others made tablets, no one cared about it.
    2) Apple released a tablet, it sold very well..
    3) Android-based tablets also did well..
    4) Netbook sales are down , while tablet sales grow, this makes some sense, as both were meant as accessory devices.
    5) Notebook sales also down, but is it really because of tablets or because current hardware is good enough?.
    6) Microsoft releases Windows 7, a 100% Desktop OS, people is happy with it..
    7) Gnome 3, Ubutunu decide to ditch traditional desktop paradigm.
    8) Despite the success of Windows 7, Microsoft decides to deprecate desktop paradigm and move to tablet-like in Windows 8..
    9) Apple announces their OS is called "Lion", potentially meaning a big change is near, next one is Mountain Lion though..
    .
    So, all of sudden, the entire tech world has decided that tablets are the future and desktop & mobile UIs will converge, even though historically it is the fact that they ended up being fundamentally different what made them succeed..
    I must be stupid, but I truly and honestly still don't see why this wll happen, so I'd very much appreciate someone more tech-literate than me to explain the future.
  • PC makers realize that the true value of the tablet functionality is not necessarily being a pure tablet, but that having the capability to interface with peripherals and *gasps* keyboards is something users actually want!

    Seriously, I have no problem using a tablet as my primary device, for email, programming, novel writing, etc. But I need a keyboard to do that, and the ability to hook up a larger monitor at times would be useful.

    So no, it's not an act of desparation (except the part about putting Wi
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday June 08, 2012 @02:22PM (#40260531) Homepage Journal

    I'm not so sure I accept the premise that the variety of new portable computing platforms which combine the power of a traditional laptop with the convenience and intuitive interface of a tablet is an example of PC makers "freaking out". Why shouldn't we celebrate the new variety in approaches to portable computing?

    So who benefits from describing this rich new portable ecosystem as "freaking out"? Who benefits from characterizing a rich variety of portable computers with touch screens and choices of OS & hardware? My guess is a particular well-known California company that specializes in limiting consumers' choices when it comes to hardware/OS configurations.

    Not everyone wants exactly the same thing, you know, despite their best efforts to turn personal computing into a proprietary platform for consuming instead of a platform for computing, creating, doing.

    This article is textbook FUD. "Freaking out", indeed.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:57PM (#40264771)
    This article is ridiculous. This is the same BS that everyone said about netbooks before everyone realized they suck. There's no difference between tablets and netbooks. A 1 year lifespan battery, extreme fragility, a pathetically inadequate processor for Windows or a pathetically limited OS (android), no optical drive, low lifetime and extremely limited flash memory. But wait, there's more! It's a netbook...without a keyboard. Without being able to type rapidly, any device slows to a crawl. It takes me under 1 second to type in any custom URL. On a touchscreen device, we're talking closer to 10 seconds. That's just unacceptable. Tablets are going to fail just as horribly as netbooks. I could see people getting one as a 2nd device instead of a 2nd PC for portability and space but never, ever replacing them. Microsoft is wrong, all the manufacturers are wrong, and they're all going to lose their asses just like what happened with netbooks.

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

Working...