Ultrabook, tablet convertibles: I thought I wanted one but...

Summary:The PC industry is marketing ultrabook/tablet hybrids. The problem: "No compromise computing" has often meant compromises.

The news out of Computex in Taiwan revolves around a bevy of Windows 8 and Intel form factors. Ultrabook hybrid tablets. Touch enabled laptops. It's a barrage of "no compromise experiences."

Why do I think there will be plenty of compromises?

Just weeks ago I was on the ultrabook/tablet hybrid bandwagon. I write a lot, need a keyboard and want a tablet/laptop convergence device. I'll grant you that I may be a small market wanting a convertible. Perhaps I'm a market of a handful of scribes. These hybrid tablet/ultrabooks could have real business uses.

And then I actually see a few being touted. Asus has a bevy of form factors. Touch ultrabooks are on the runway. Suddenly, I'm not sure I want one of these newfangled convergence devices.

Why?

Marketing. I see words like "no compromise" and think marketing. Enough with the marketing because few of us really believe it. Intel touted ultrabooks and touch at Computex:

Later this year, Intel and the industry will further evolve Ultrabook devices with the addition of touch-based experiences. Intel believes that touch capability is a key component to the Ultrabook experience and will be increasingly important across a wide range of devices. Touch will also help fuel even more innovation and new experiences, particularly for Ultrabook convertibles that offer a truly no-compromise computing experience.

I'm conditioned to think that no compromise in the Wintel context means there are compromises. Apple CEO Tim Cook is thinking the same way. He has repeatedly noted that you can combine tablets and laptops but that means you'll make design compromises.

Also: ASUS covering all Windows 8 bases: Predict confused market | CNET: Toshiba shows off Windows 8 prototypes at Computex | Dual-screen Taichi leads lineup of unique Asus Windows 8 PCs

Cook is hardly impartial. Apple isn't combining the MacBook and iPad.

But he has a point. In the end, I'm going to need to play with these hybrids, Windows 8 and touch enabled ultrabooks. I need a convergence device, but now realize my hurdle rate is a bit higher than initially projected. My reaction may prove to be a big hurdle for Windows 8 and newfangled devices if it turns out to be a widespread prosumer reaction.

More:

Can the enterprise popularize notebook, tablet touch hybrids?

Windows 8 tablet hybrids: 'Compromises of convergence'?

Topics: Tablets

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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