The concept of convertible PCs is not new -- but Microsoft wants to boost these hybrid devices into widespread adoption, and Intel is providing the power via its newest member of the Core family, codenamed Haswell.
At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2012, many convertibles were on display for some hands-on action. For those who aren't in the know, convertibles are laptop/tablet hybrid computers. According to Kirk Skaugen, vice president of Intel's PC Client Group who gave a presentation today at IDF, these convertibles are becoming increasingly popular (and many believe Windows 8 will only help the cause). In fact, he mentioned that Intel gave users different devices to use for two months, and 44 percent said they'd want a convertible (31 percent wanted clamshell Ultrabooks while 22 percent wanted tablets).
Some of the most notable convertible devices at IDF were Dell's XPS Duo 12, Acer's Iconia W510, and the Toshiba Satellite U925t.
Dell XPS Duo 12
Dell really took the convertible style to another level. It features a 12.5-inch screen that spins within a bezel and lays flat or stands up -- transforming between a laptop and tablet. It will have Intel processors up to Core i7 and Windows 8.
Acer Iconia W510
Acer's convertible entry has a 10.1-inch display with 4 GB of memory and 32 or 64 GB of storage. It features the new Atom processor and, of course, Windows 8. The screen can detach from the keyboard, or be rotated 180 degrees.
Toshiba Satellite U925t
Toshiba's convertible offers a 12.5-inch IPS display with touchscreen capabilities as well as a Core i5 processor, 128 GB SSD and Windows 8. It's a slider, meaning the display is pushed back until the device is flat, and then the display slides over the keyboard to create a tablet.
While these particular convertibles use Core i5/i7 and Atom processors, Skaugen said that the new 10W thermal design power (TDP) Haswell chips will be geared toward convertibles in the future. This will allow them to be lighter, have a longer battery life and provide PC-like power. The first Haswell processors are due during the first half of 2013.