PC Makers See Potential in Convertible All-In-One Form Factor

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majorsuave

I see great potential in detachable wireless displays that don't necessarily need other hardware than the display and a radio chip that receives video signal from a full power PC nearby.

I would buy wireless touch display that allows me to sit on the couch with the portable display as a remote and the tv as the main display (Wii U / Smart Glass style). Of course I`d be free to take the display to my room for a quiet movie time or to the restroom for a non bored number 2.

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zsargent

These are the pre-cursors of the next era. Everything will be "in the screen," at some point. I would love to have a nice 27"+ screen that could easily perform some tabletop functions. I think there's a multi-touch tabletop revolution that's been brewing for years, much like tablets did before iPad. I still love my HP 2710p, 2730p, and 2760p - but face it, there was no adoption of "tablet" forms until iPad. And so I see these tabletops as the next generation of desktop where multiple people can collaborate, or play the same game, or share pictures, etc. Big enough screens could digitize the "board game" genre, revolutionize console gaming, and provide intuitive collaboration tools for meeting rooms.

Sure, I'm a MaximumPC geek from the days of "boot" magazine, so I'll probably keep a separate PC "tower" system chock full of the baddest hardware so I can crunch video and play Batman: Arkham Whatever 17 in the greatest detail. ;-) But the world is going a different direction. Check out the HP Elitepad: magnetic locking back panel so that you can remove it and get to the insides. Everything behind the screen. MaximumPC just published how to DIY an AIO. Everything behind the screen. I think that most computers will look this way in a few years and there will only be "towers" or other outboard resources when the power level needs to go to 11 (like video crunching or tussling virtual machines or what have you).

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someuid

All of these designed remind me of cellphones from the 80's. Huge, bulky, uncool.

Win8 is total crap. It's Modern UI on a desktop is total crap. The OS's footprint and CPU needs are too demanding for a lightweight portable device. Just look at those 64GB Surface units with ~25GB of storage. What a joke.

What would a truly hybrid design look like? It would start with a small cell phone like device that runs a simple UI, like iOS or Android. When you're in the office, you drop it onto a wireless charging cradle, and your little cellphone device auto-syncs with a full size keyboard, mouse and monitor(s) and flips from cute-and-tiny-screen-OS to a Windows 7 type desktop.

If you're not at a desk and want something larger than a cell phone, you drop the device into the cradle and it syncs up with a tablet that is just a dumb device - a small portable monitor. Everying you're running is still running on your cellphone. Heck, cell phone device doesn't even need a cradle to sync. The two can do it via bluetooth or a home wireless network.

This device needs enough power to do everything but modern gaming. Modern gaming still requires a dedicated video card.

I'm sure once the engineers can crap the guts of a business PC into a cell phone, they can simply include a dedicated video card into the charging cradle, and this neat little device will sync with it as well to play modern games.

This way you'll have a single computer you take with you everywhere. The cradles, being cheap, will be everywhere, at work, at the coffee shop, you name it.

Are we anywhere near this? Nope. Its still all science fiction at this point.

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Paper Jam

Why run Windows and Android? If you must use an ARM and x86 processor (why not just the x86), then why not use Windows 8 and RT? Or is this a jab at MS for charging licensing fees for both OS's on one device, which brings me back to why not just use the x86?

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Peanut Fox

I don't see the appeal in either of these convertible designs. Less so in the twin booting Android, and Windows machine. It's redundant to have them both in the same space in this form factor. Since Windows 8 can do everything you'd need to do on Android it doesn't leave a lot of reason to use Android in this case. What's stranger is that they're bothering to put specialized ARM hardware along side x86 hardware to make it happen.

I for one can't wait until things settle down and we can get back to everyone knowing what they want in a PC again. Cause right now stuffs just wonky.

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eday_2010

There's a lot of appeal to all-in-ones, ultrabooks, convertibles, and tablets. Most people just want something to do web-based stuff and run some programs to organize their life and finances. Most won't be playing heavy hitting games or running Adobe Creative Suite.

It doesn't bother me that desktop towers are relegated to a corner of Best Buy because I'm pretty sure no enthusiast would buy a desktop from Best Buy.

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