It's increasingly likely that your next work PC will be a 2-in-1 hybrid.
To date, there have been two types of laptops--the convertible kind similar to Microsoft's Surface and Lenovo's Yoga franchise and the traditional clamshell design. Even industry trackers such as IDC and Gartner make distinctions.
At CES 2017, it's fairly clear that most PC laptops will ultimately be hybrids of some sort. We'll exclude the MacBook Pro, which has a touch bar that Apple trumpets as a better approach to the merger of the MacBook and iPad.
Consider CES 2017's opening laptops:
- HP's EliteBook Folio G1 is getting a hybrid makeover. CNET's Dan Ackerman noted the Folio G1 was one of his favorites and the 360-degree hinge is a nice addition.
- In addition, HP also launched a 15-inch version of its Spectre x360 with a slimmer screen bezel and smaller footprint.The HP launches were part of a broader rollout that included a new version of Sprout and all-in-one desktop with a curved screen.
- Dell took its XPS 13 and gave it a similar hybrid do-over. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes noted that "it makes sense for Dell to go with a 2-in-1 design for the new XPS 13, given that this is one of the PC segments that is continuing to see sales growth."
- And Dell followed up the XPS 13 with a Latitude 5285 2-in-1 that is likely to compete well with the Surface Pro 4.
- Meanwhile, Lenovo, which was ahead of the 2-in-1 curve, outlined the Miix 720, which is also aimed at the Surface Pro franchise.
These laptops are likely to inspire some device envy, but more importantly are going to fill a void left by Microsoft when the company didn't update Surface Pro 4 last year. The line of Surface challengers is getting longer by the minute.