First impressions of HP’s Envy x2 when the company showed it to the media last year were that this appeared to be the best of the first wave of Windows 8 laptop/tablet convertibles.
But spending some time with this hybrid device since it was launched last month, I find the x2 highlights how convertibles do not necessarily offer the best of both worlds, but can often represent unsatisfying compromises.
Lenovo is bending over backwards to come up with enticing products to coincide with the launch of Windows 8 later this month.
On Tuesday, it released details of two versions of the backwards-folding Yoga laptop-cum-tablet running Windows 8, as well as the ThinkPad Twist – another convertible with a rotating central hinge – and the IdeaTab Lynx – a tablet that will snap into a special keyboard dock.
Intel will give developers something to shout about, wave their hands in the air and roll their eyes at its annual conference for them next week. More mundanely, but just as important, it is expected to unveil details of its fourth-generation Core processors, including a new line of ultra-low voltage processors drawing just 10 watts of power.
A keynote speech by Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president, will suggest ways these new processors will be put to work with Ultrabooks, new tablet/laptop hybrids and with “perceptual computing” – Intel’s term for the use of voice commands, gestures and eye-tracking to control PCs – the next advances after the touch features being introduced with Windows 8 next month.
HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have been showing the shape of Windows 8 computing to come, unveiling hybrid PC/tablet devices that take advantage of the new dual-mode operating system when it launches on October 26.
HP has been demonstrating its Envy x2 (pictured left) to media in San Francisco, while its Asian rivals launched their takes on hybrid computing at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. None of them have anything to fear from Apple in this area, in terms of patent disputes or rival devices, with Tim Cook, chief executive, describing such designs as being as unsatisfactory as combining a toaster with a refrigerator.