An Overview of Up-and-Coming Hybrid Tablet/Laptop Technology

While working at Algonquin Studios, I’ve been well educated on the many options of operating systems and configurations such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. My last post was my (mostly) unbiased review of both Android and iOS. This time around, I’d like to look at the up-and-coming “hybrid” tablets/laptops that are becoming more and more popular.

A hybrid tablet is essentially a laptop that has the availability to run both Windows and Android, or some other variation thereof, and can be detached from the keyboard to become a standalone tablet. This flexibility makes these tablets both extremely portable and extremely resourceful.

I’ve picked three variations to talk about, because I feel they cover a majority of the different options currently available and, with the ever-expanding choices, it would be impossible to discuss all the available models in any detail.

Hewlett Packard recently came out with the SlateBook x2 laptop hybrid. This hybrid only runs Android, as its marketing tagline indicates: “100% tablet, 100% notebook, 100% Android.” What puts this in the ‘hybrid’ genre is the removable keyboard, really making it, simply, a large tablet. I think the Slatebook x2 is a unique hardware option but, with the lack of Windows, people will probably just use it for surfing the web and playing with a few Android apps. The portability is still there but, with its larger screen-size I have a feeling most users will just use it as a notebook/laptop.

Samsung just revealed the Ativ Book Q, a true hybrid tablet/laptop. It runs both Android 4.2.2 (the latest version of Android) and Windows 8. The really nice feature about this particular hybrid, though, is that you won’t have to boot into either Windows or Android.  The Ativ Book Q will give you an option to simply switch from one OS to another with the touch of a button, making the transition virtually seamless. Another great feature is that Samsung gives the option to share and transfer files and folders between operating systems.With these features in mind, I expect the Q to be an extremely powerful little notebook for work and home use.

Another option is the Asus Transformer Book Trio. This is a unique hybrid in that it will ONLY run Android when not docked. This makes it a bit less dynamic than the Samsung, however, most people are already used to running Android as their mobile platform.

With all of the competition within the mobile smartphone field, I have a feeling the hybrid field will be picking up steam next. It should be fun to watch what the next couple of months brings to this new area of technology. Stay tuned!

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