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Portables Hardware

Odd Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Show PC Makers' Panic 251

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."
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Odd Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Show PC Makers' Panic

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  • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @12:29PM (#40258815) Homepage

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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!"

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley