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Odd Laptop-Tablet Hybrids Show PC Makers' Panic

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the my-tablet-does-not-need-a-joystick dept.

Portables 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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WTF? (5, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258611)

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

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258639)

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

Re:WTF? (4, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (4, Informative)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:WTF? (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259335)

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? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259103)

- Though they were the first with laptops (I'll give them credit for that).

I'm going to assume that's a little joke. I'd probably have said Toshiba with the T1x00 line, but the real answer is almost always something obscure. In this case I think the honors go to the GRiD Compass [wikipedia.org] since it was the first mass-produced laptop designed to run off battery power.

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259401)

No, but they made them something people who are not filthy, basement dwelling geeks want.

You geeks really, really need to get over yourselves. You are halfway through the arc of being ossed on history's scrap heap.

Re:WTF? (2)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259677)

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? (5, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258985)

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?

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259037)

I don't know what Slashdot you are reading, but on mine everyone still screws motherboards into their turbo-button ATX cases like it's 1995, dual-boots pirated XP, and views Apple products as class warfare.

But in reality the shift has already happened. The PC industry is headed for destruction, Dell and HP are spiraling into oblivion, the entire retail channel (Best Buy et al) is dead. Margins are already below zero for some categories (ultrabooks). And the totally misconceived shitshow that is Windows 8 will just drive a stake through what little is left of the PC consumer market. Soon, PCs will be hanging onto 3rd world markets & embedded devices and will be dead for all practical purposes.

50 Million iPad owners is just the beginning. The entire younger generation has already adopted touch-based interfaces en-masse. "BYOD" iPads are already infiltrating the enterprise while PCs are pushed into dusty corners like the legacy minicomputers before them.

There is only one future in the computing industry and it is Apple iPad. Prepare your anuses.

Re:WTF? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259271)

. "BYOD" iPads are already infiltrating the enterprise while PCs are pushed into dusty corners like the legacy minicomputers before them.

I'm usually decent at this, but you got me here.

What is "BYOD" stand for in your context? Never heard that term before...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259303)

bring your own desktop, i would assume.

Re:WTF? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259351)

bring your own desktop, i would assume.

If so, that doesn't make any sense to me...what is a "Bring Your Own Desktop iPad", since he said BYOD iPad in the OP....?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259517)

BYOD = Bring Your Own Disaster (as far as the support side of things)

Re:WTF? (4, Informative)

dub42 (992285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259521)

Bring your own device.

Re:WTF? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259583)

First time I saw "BYOD" it meant "Bring Your Own Display" and was used in reference to desktop computers sold without a monitor in the late 90's (as opposed to the common package deal of a tower/desktop computer with keyboard, mouse and a 14-17" CRT monitor). Can't say I saw it used very often though.

Re:WTF? (4, Informative)

sfhock (1308629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259395)

BYOD is getting big in the corporate word. It means Bring Your Own Device, and its a way to let your employees use their favorite tablet, laptop, etc to access corporate systems and info. The security must be such that a non company owned asset can safely access company resources while still maintaining access to the outside world ( say through VPN or virtual desktop technology)

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

PlastikMissle (2498382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259409)

BYOD = Bring Your Own Device, i.e. devices that are owned by employees and brought with them to work.

You mean like this Slashdot story from TUESDAY? (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259195)

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:You mean like this Slashdot story from TUESDAY? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259555)

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.

That looks nice and very close to what I see happening in the very near future. Rather than have a proprietary docking station that turns into a notebook with the "tablet" acting as the monitor, I want to plug my PHONE into a box that has outputs for USB (keyboard, mouse, external storage), network, and a real, honest to goodness monitor. You take your phone to work, plug it into this peripheral box that already has your monitor, keyboard, and mouse plugged into it, and your working. When you are on your way home, your phone acts as it does now... as a smart phone. When you get home, you plug your phone into your own box and it becomes your personal PC.

This has all the advantages of the Transformer, with the added advantage that it will fit in your pocket and replace the phone you are already carrying around.

Re:You mean like this Slashdot story from TUESDAY? (3, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259705)

Motorola atrix.

In concept it is cool in practice it is still under powered.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258739)

The headline and TFS sounded asinine to me, so I wasn't very surprised when the link lead me to IT World. PC makers are making these because they think there's a market, not because they're "freaking out". Additionally, every company making a hybrid also makes both standalone tablets and non hybrid laptops.

Yep, X220s are popular here (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259135)

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 computer that is still a tablet. Some want one that converts in to a laptop too (the X220 is a convertible).

There's no single design for everyone.

A "Real computer" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259393)

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?

Re:Yep, X220s are popular here (3, Informative)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:WTF? (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259413)

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? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:WTF? (1, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258815)

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? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258909)

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.

Re:WTF? (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258937)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259023)

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.

Re:WTF? (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259695)

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 standard K menu setup with task manager and a desktop full of the items found in my ~/Desktop folder. There are other activities as well, but these two seem to be best mix.

Of course, this is different from Gnome and Ubuntu in that I can choose if I want to use this interface. With Gnome and Unity, there is one interface to rule them all and it sux on all devices!

Finally, Gnome3 and Unity are nothing like Metro. Metro is nothing more than a bastardized mix of Android widgets and the IOS interface. They took the grid layout of IOS and replaced the icon with Android Widgets. What makes Android better is that you can choose to use icons or widgets. Metro is all widgets. IOS is all icons.

Re:WTF? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259593)

No, they're not. There's a toggle between the metro interface and a traditional Windows desktop.

Re:WTF? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259033)

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 for a keyboard and mouse and slap it onto a tablet, it will suck. But Microsoft is hardly coming out with something that other players haven't already done.

Or do you consider the tablet marketplace to only be relevant if Microsoft is in the game?

Re:WTF? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259261)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259699)

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? (3, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259505)

Microsoft in the 1990s might not have been an "innovator", but they had virtually flawless execution. Windows 95 and NT/2000 ran the table and successfully murdered industry titans such as OS/2, NetWare, MacOS, and Sun Workstations as well as other minor competitors (Amiga, Linux-on-the-Desktop, etc).

Meanwhile, Ballmer Microsoft in the 21st Century has yet to have a significant product win that wasn't based on existing monopolies. (Don't even mention money-losing XBox & its pimply 14 year old userbase who want nothing else to do with Microsoft.)

But the crux of Microsoft's success was that the PC industry was insanely competitive and could always deliver the best price-performance. However, since the rise of ARM and integrated manufacturers like Samsung and Apple, this is no longer true. PCs are not price competitive at the entry level of phones/tablets, and this is why MS has no chance in the new era.

Microsoft will eventually retreat to being a legacy enterprise vendor ala IBM. Meanwhile, the consumer future is Apple iPads.

Re:WTF? (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259609)

Microsoft in the 1990s might not have been an "innovator", but they had virtually flawless execution

Well, I suppose that's true if your definition of "flawless execution" is "products of questionable quality but excellent marketing and abuse of their dominant position on the market".

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259055)

Microsoft is filling "one of the major failings of the tablet PC", other than a lack of offering from Microsoft.

He is referring to the BSOD. That is the "major failing" that Microsoft is filling. See, users missed this and resorted to having to set the home screen and lock screen with a picture taken of their home computer.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:WTF? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259227)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259325)

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!

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#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? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259499)

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 failure in Apple or RIM products; he is talking about addressing a failure in a specific Microsoft product that was called "Tablet PC."

(Microsoft sees Tablet PC's major failing, as its property of not making money for Microsoft, not locking people into an app store, etc. Doing exactly what Apple does, should be just fine for MS, except for the iPad's one horrible design flaw, where people are able to buy them by paying Apple instead of paying Microsoft. In that respect, the iPad is even worse than Tablet PC.)

Re:WTF? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258967)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259297)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259121)

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.

Re:WTF? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259197)

Well personally, I've never met a Toshiba that wasn't a total piece of crap.

Re:WTF? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259589)

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.

Of course (1, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258703)

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]

Re:Of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258825)

So the solution to someone telling us what we need is to have the government ban them; effectively telling us what we need. Cool logic bro.

Re:Of course (-1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259123)

Ya know - I'm not especially reverent of the dead. But, bashing a dead guy in this manner? Hmmmm. Rather tasteless. And - NO, I'm not an Apple fan, or a Jobs fan. My worst enemy finally died a few years ago. When he died, I pretty much quit cursing him. In fact, I've never even pissed on his grave, like I told him that I would do. I don't have a lot of taste, but come on guy. Jobs is dead, time to move on. Bash Apple's current owners, management, lackeys, etc. Let Steve molder in his grave.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259595)

Once Steve's decisions stop running the company and harming the market, perhaps. Let us know when that happens. All reports state he left a VERY detailed list of instructions for the current management to follow, and they're doing just that.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258719)

Yeah, I had one of those too. It was an unusable piece of garbage. No shit PC makers weren't falling all over themselves to innovate their way out of obsolescence then, it was laughable to think that such a clunky piece of crap was a threat to the desktop paradigm.

Re:WTF? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258767)

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

Re:WTF? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258809)

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? (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#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."

Re:WTF? (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258885)

Even longer than that. In 2001, at work, in the junk box of all places, there was a handheld (black & white 640x480 LCD) PC with Win3.1. I had promptly wiped that out and installed a Linux (probably it was Redhat 6) on its slow 486 CPU. It was fun, then I had better things to do and threw it back into the junk box.

Re:WTF? (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259161)

its a good thing sand is the last stage of erosion or else all that silicon would be quite costly wasted on a whim without a thought

Re:WTF? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259451)

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 rather useful.

Been around for years (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258729)

I had my first x86 Windows 'tablet' (Back when the term meant one of these things) back in 2005, it cost a fortune, and I'm sure a lots of other slashdotters could beat me on that time years before that. Now days we also have the low-end ones that seemed to be called 'netvertibles'. Either way, the concept is neither new nor odd for anyone who has a clue and isn't using these devices as toys, the summary is just written by someone who can't see beyond 3 years ago and blinded by marketing that espouses real 'innovation'.

I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258731)

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.

Re:I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (5, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259287)

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.

Re:I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258915)

Yup, that's it. Think about all the weird and basically unworkable cars that are rolled out for an auto show. Or about the skinny, high-maintenance super models at a fashion show. Same thing at a computer show.

Re:I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258917)

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. Unless you want to consider Windows tablets - hundreds of which have launched to negligible sales for the last 15 years.

The mobile tablet revolution will be brought to you by companies that don't make Windows PCs, or at least enough for them to care about: Apple, Samsung, HTC, Google's Motorola Mobility division. Acer and Asus, being on the fence, will be challenged.

Re:I get it. Pc makers != Tablet makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259185)

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

Well not really. When Microsoft bolted their shittastic touch "Metro" interface onto their desktop operating system, the implication is that "hybrid" devices are somehow the future of the PC industry.

In reality, desperation is setting in. There's no margins left in the PC industry. Ultrabooks have flopped because low socioeconomic consumers prefer $400 shitbrick laptops. Enterprise PCs only make money from the service agreements, and most of them are stuck on WinXP (with 15 layers of management software) for the foreseeable future. Hybrid PC/tablets better catch on, or the entire business is going to melt into Chinese mailorder oblivion.

However, consumers will see right through this shit. Why? Because they have already bought an iPad, and know it is the future.

It's called "thrashing". (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258757)

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.

Re:It's called "thrashing". (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259017)

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.

they follow the market but not always successfully (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258783)

Companies follow the market, news at 11!

Seriously though the market IS in transition as mobile starts to take over from traditional PCs, and companies know that's happening and want to be on that train. It doesn't mean they will all succeed. Some will look pretty stupid in trying, but they know that they must try, or become dinosaurs and go the way of all those mainframe companies that were so successful in the 1960's.

The only constant of the world is change.

its the apps, stupid (0)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258831)

i like my iphone and ipad because of the cool apps. today i found one called eventster. it tells me all upcoming events around me. sure i can do this on a laptop by googling, but its automatic on my phone and ipad.

same with lots of other apps i have

selling some mutant laptop/tablet isnt going to make people run out and buy it. hyping paper specs will get a few people to buy it. having actual software that takes advantage of the form factor as well as how and when people use the device is what is going to drive sales

Re:its the apps, stupid (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259035)

So in other words it is the "killer" app that determines if a technology will be massively adopted.

Re:its the apps, stupid (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259289)

I dunno.

Have you ever stopped to actually think what that product description implies? It certainly sounds crude and unweildy.

"all upcoming events"

Sounds like you are better off using something with a decent input device so you can be a little more selective.

Innovating is not "freaking out" (2, Insightful)

Minter92 (148860) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258853)

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.

Re:Innovating is not "freaking out" (-1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258933)

Your comment is funny considering Intel is bending over backwards to provide other laptop makers the parts to build cheap Macbook air clones (Otherwise known as Ultrabooks)

Re:Innovating is not "freaking out" (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259071)

Your comment is funny considering Intel is bending over backwards to provide other laptop makers the parts to build cheap Macbook air clones (Otherwise known as Ultrabooks)

Yeah that must be it!
Because Apple's been using Intel sourced components the longest out of every other PC maker in history first off, and also Ultrabook category laptops like the Thinkpad X-series didn't exist before Apple made the Air!

Try to at least wipe a little bit of the fanboy off next time?

Here's what I want as a technical user (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40258871)

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, for the rest of us, decent video playback in at least 720 HD.

I would be willing to pay up to 1K for this, assuming that it will last me 3 years.

I do NOT want a toy to play angry birds on. I do NOT want a 7 inch screen. I do NOT want a locked in App store. I do NOT need iOS animation. I do NOT want locked in Android distros with their crappy app offerings. I want something that I can use for work and read on in bed. I want a productivity tool.

Re:Here's what I want as a technical user (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259097)

I want a pony.

Re:Here's what I want as a technical user (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259491)

The beauty of capitalism and the free market is the fact that you can have your pony and the other guy can have his tablet.

Old news (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258887)

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.

No need for freaking out (3, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

old laptops are adequate, upgrades not needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259417)

Old laptops and desktops are more powerful than most need, that is why the PC market is slow. We need a reason for the higher performance, it isn't there, even in gaming. (my 2009 box runs just about everything with wide open settings).

Re:No need for freaking out (3, Informative)

romanval (556418) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Rendering 3D models on a tablet (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259587)

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.

Not strange, better. (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259011)

This is how tablets were envisioned before and frankly it is better. The iPad allows a remote keyboard, we have one. Some vendors make keyboards for the iPad that snap on. Frankly, this is what I want in a device. I use a real keyboard for input most of the time and it is far faster than the onscreen keyboard. Being able to combine a touch screen with a keyboard is ideal. At the desk or in one's lap one has a notebook computer's advantages. While walking around with it in the crook of your arm, reading at the table or in bed one has the advantages of just the screen. (Sure, there are other things to do in bed but how many times a night?)

Liked (0)

perles (1855088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259057)

I Like

What's odd? (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259073)

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.

Fanboy-ism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259081)

Nobody who actually knows how to use a computer prefers tablets. You can't do anything meaningful on a tablet as easily as you can on a regular PC. For people who think "hacking" consists of posting Instagram pictures to Facebook, tablets are the rage. For people who are coding, using Photoshop to edit pictures from actual cameras, word processing, managing servers, doing database work, etc., tablets are shit.

Re:Fanboy-ism (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259223)

Not necessarily so. Granted, tablets are almost useless for generating content, except for taking quick notes and such, but they are rather useful for watching a movie on the road, reading an ebook, or giving a presentation to a client. Laptops are too bulky to use comfortably when mobile, and PCs are immobile to start with.

Can't we moderate the submissions -1 (Troll) (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259175)

'Nuff said

iPad + Keyboard (0)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259191)

Most of the people I know with an iPad keep it in a case with a bluetooth keyboard. When I see them surfing and working, it's always in the propped up position and they're typing on the physical keyboard. These are all people who probably would consider something like a Windows 8 tablet with a slide out keyboard. These OEMs probably are just responding to seeing that kind of demand. As someone who codes, I know I personally would like something like this over a soft-keyboard-only iPad. (Notwithstanding the fact that you can't actually code on an iPad whereas I can run VS or any other IDE on Windows 8)

What is the true competition for Windows PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259229)

The other day at Starbucks I noticed that on a line of about eight tables (usually one person per table) there were zero tables, one Asus notebook, one Asus netbook (mine) and six Apple notebooks. It seems likely to me that the PC makers should be frightened about the Ipads because they lead people to consider Mac notebooks of one flavor or another, people who would have bought Windows notebooks in the past. So all of these funny hybrids are not going to stick. People will look at Ipads, decide not to buy them, look at the Mac notebooks right next to them, and buy.

I had one of these nearly a decade ago. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259379)

I had a dell laptop with a rotating "touch" (stylus) screen nearly a decade ago. Its not new.

Laptops and *gasp* netbooks are here to stay. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259421)

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 and (meaningful) internal storage. The whole "app" paradigm seems to make them puke rather than rejoice.

For personnal Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40259575)

Every tablet I looked at before purchasing my new netbook said not designed for business use, designd to allow streaming media on the go. I want a PC not a TV!

Somebody please explain to me... (2)

goruka (1721094) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.
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