Upcoming Windows 8 Hybrid notebooks/tablets to look forward to

So Windows 8 is finally here and Microsoft has set a very attractive upgrade price as well, if you’re coming from an earlier version of Windows. Along with the new OS, we’ll also be seeing a fleet of new notebooks, Ultrabooks, Hybrids and All-in-ones that will start hitting our retail shelves very soon. However, things are not as straightforward this time around. You see, we now have a new product category that Intel calls Ultrabook Convertibles. Essentially, this segment will feature all the hybrid PC and notebooks we’ve seen at exhibitions like Computex and IFA. These hybrids will also come in multiple flavours of Windows 8 Pro or Windows RT, not to mention the Windows 8 and Windows RT based tablets that will also be arriving. So you see, there’s a lot of chaos already.

For the sake of simplicity and to bring some order to the chaos, today, we’ll only be focussing on hybrid notebooks or tablets that run Windows 8 Pro. Basically, hybrids that are powered by the x86 architecture – so we are talking about Intel-based CPUs. We’ve rounded up eight hybrids from Tier-1 brands that fit the bill. All these models will start shipping early next month. 

Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook
Dell first demoed this concept a couple of years ago at CES, but it never saw the light of day due to limitations of the OS. Now that Windows 8 has been redesigned with touch in mind, it makes perfect sense. The XPS 12 features a unique ‘flip-and-fold’ mechanism that transforms it into a tablet within seconds. It’s built using machined aluminium, bonded Gorilla Glass and carbon fibre, so it’s pretty durable. The scary part is when the locking mechanism for the screen fails; imagine trying to work on it in our local trains. 

Flip and swipe

Flip and swipe

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5/i7
  • RAM: 4GB onwards
  • Storage: Up to 256GB SSD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size and resolution: 12.5-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Price: Starts at $1200 (Rs 66,000)

Asus VivoTab Smart
Asus has a big line-up of Windows 8 notebooks, all itching to climb onto retail shelves. Among them, we have the VivoTab Smart series, a tablet designed to pull off double duty as a notebook as well. At 580g, it’s pretty lightweight so you can use it for extended periods of time in tablet mode. The keyboard snaps onto the tablet and is pretty slim too, so it doesn’t increase the overall weight by much. Unlike the XPS 12, the Vivo Tab Smart uses Intel’s Atom CPU, so other than being less powerful, it should also be cheaper.

Slim and portable

Slim and portable

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 10.1-inch (1366 x 768)
  • Price: TBA

Sony VAIO Duo 11
Sony has taken inspiration from Asus’s Eee Pad Slider with the Duo 11. The tablet is powered by a choice of either Core i5 or i7 Intel CPU and also features a slide-out keyboard. The screen slides back to reveal the keyboard underneath. Some of the highlights of the VivoTab Smart is a Full HD IPS display, digitizer stylus, Dolby Home Theatre v4 technology, NFC and a lot more.

Inspired by the Eee Pad Slider

Inspired by the Eee Pad Slider

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5/i7
  • RAM: 4GB onwards
  • Storage: Up to 256GB SSD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 11.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Price: Starts at $1,099 (Rs 60,500)   


HP Envy x2
HP’s Envy x2 is similar in design to its new Spectre Ultrabook, but only with a detachable keyboard. Along with this, you also get Beats Audio, NFC and an 8MP rear facing camera as well as a front facing camera. The HP Envy x2 is expected to hit stores in December, so just in time for the holiday rush. The hybrid also features an optional stylus that lets you get creative.

HP's answer to hybrid notebooks

HP's answer to hybrid notebooks

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core
  • RAM: 2GB onwards
  • Storage: Up to 64GB
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 11.6-inch (1366 x 768)
  • Price: TBA

Toshiba U925t Ultrabook
Toshiba’s U925t consists of a tablet will a full-sized keyboard that slides out from underneath, transforming it into a full-fledged notebook. Unlike some slide-out designs like the Sony Duo 11, which has a smaller version of a QWERTY keyboard, Toshiba’s offering packs in a standard keyboard with good spacing between the keys. Of course, this has added to the weight and bulk of the notebook, so it’s not going to be as thin as the other hybrids.

Full fledged keyboard hiding beneath

Full-fledged keyboard hiding beneath

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 12.5-inch (1366 x 768)
  • Price: $1,150 (Rs 63,200)

Microsoft Surface Pro
This is Microsoft’s blueprint, if you will, for what Windows 8 hybrids should typically be like. The software giant took everyone by surprise when it unveiled the Surface a few months ago. As the name suggests, the tablet is designed to be used on a surface as it has a kickstand built into the chassis. The Pro version will also be a little bit thicker as compared to the RT version due to the Intel chipset.

Microsoft's reference design

Microsoft's reference design

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: Up to 128GB
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 10.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Price: TBA

Acer W510
Acer’s W510 features a uniquely designed keyboard dock with a hinge that rotates up to 295 degrees. What this does is enable you to use the keyboard as a stand while the tablet is suspended for your use. This angle is also highly flexible, so you can adjust it according to your seating position. The W510 also happens to be the first Intel CPU-based tablet with the Acer Always On Technology.

Comes with a unique keyboard dock

Comes with a unique keyboard dock

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 10.1-inch (1366 x 768)
  • Price: $599 (Rs 33,000)

Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T
Samsung’s ATIV tablet PC packs in powerful internals like Core i5 CPU, its own SuperBright Plus technology for the screen and S Pen technology. The tablet also comes bundled with a Transformer-style keyboard dock that expands the connectivity by adding a USB 3.0 port and Gigabit LAN.

S Pen makes a comeback

S Pen makes a comeback

 

Specifications:

  • CPU: 3rd Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage : 128GB SSD
  • GPU: Onboard
  • Screen size: 11.6-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Price: $1,199 (Rs 65,950)

Published Date: Oct 26, 2012 06:10 pm | Updated Date: Oct 26, 2012 06:10 pm