Meet The Next Wave Of Convertible Ultrabooks

An exciting new wave of convertible ultrabooks broke cover at Computex Taipei, many packing Intel’s new speedy and efficient Haswell processors. From Sony’s latest 13-inch slider to a new Asus Transformer running both Windows 8 and Android – there’s lots to see. Dell, Acer, LG, Lenovo, MSI and Gigabyte are also along for the ride, so let’s take a look.

These days, we have thin and light ‘clamshell’ ultrabooks, often with touchscreens, in addition to convertibles that switch between tablet and laptop modes. These ‘hybrids’ might use swivel or flip screens, detachable keyboards (think Asus Transformer / Microsoft Surface), or slide-out keyboards first seen on the Sony VAIO Duo 11.

Sony VAIO Duo 13

Sony’s follow up to the smaller, cheaper VAIO Duo 11 (originally $1449), includes a less cramped keyboard and trackpad along with Intel’s new Haswell / 4th generation Core i5 processor and 128GB solid state storage. The slider mechanism has been improved, active stylus support introduced and Sony is claiming up to 10 hours of battery life. Despite the larger 13-inch display, the new Duo 13 isn’t much larger than the Duo 11 -– and will be available in both black and white when it arrives in Australia early July starting at $1699. [Sony Australia]


New Asus Transformer Pad Infinity

The new Transformer Pad Infinity kind of flew under the radar at Computex. Yet it’s a serious option for detachable hybrid fans. The revamp packs a 1.9GHz Tegra 4 chip and its 10.1-inch touchscreen has been bumped up to 2560x1600 resolution. Moreover, the keyboard dock has also been redesigned: it’s easier to latch, adds a multi-touch touchpad and gives longer battery life.


Asus Transformer Book Trio

One of the most surprising highlights from Computex. The 11.6-incher has a detachable display like the new Transformer Pad Infinity –- but goes further by including dual operating systems (Windows 8 and Android) powered by dual processors. Inside the PC station dock lies a 4th generation Core i7 processor, 750GB hard disk and HDMI output. Unplug this, and the tablet’s 2GHz Atom processor kicks in to power Android 4.2.2 running at 1920x1080 with 64GB storage. [More]


LG Tab-Book H160

The LG Tab-Book arrives exclusively through Harvey Norman in early July and marks LG’s first foray into personal computing in Australia. It was unveiled last week in Sydney while Giz was at Computex in Taipei. The Tab-Book packs an 11.6 inch screen and either a 1.8Ghz Core i5 Z160 processor or 1.8Ghz Intel Atom Z2760 processor. The Atom version ships with 2GB of RAM to the Core i5′s 4GB, and 64GB of onboard storage compared to the 120GB on the beefier model. [LG Australia]


Acer Aspire P3

The Aspire P3 blurs the definition of a slider. It’s actually a slate (modelled on the Iconia W700 tablet) that fits into a detachable Bluetooth sliding keyboard accessory. The 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen has a 170 degree viewing angle, while the machine is powered by either 3rd generation Core i3/60GB SSD or Core i5/120GB SSD configurations. You can find more info over at Acer, including this bizarre Tiesto video pimping the P3’s versatility. [Acer Australia]


Acer Iconia W3

The 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3 is 11.3mm thick, with a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 clocked at 1.8GHz inside. The display runs at 1280×800 resolution, with Acer sticking in dual front and rear 2-Megapixel cameras, plus, to help swing it as a legitimate work expense for the self-employed tech enthusiast, the W3 comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. [More]


Dell XPS 11

You remember the XPS 12 Duo’s weird back-lipping hinge? That’s nowhere to be seen on the XPS 11, which instead uses a more straightforward flip-over screen to convert from laptop to tablet. The XPS 11 is built from premium carbon fibre, includes a super-sharp Quad HD (2560x1440) touchscreen and Intel’s latest processors. Australian pricing should be around $1500 later this year. [Dell]


Lenovo Ideapad Miix 10

There’s not too much info about, but we spotted the Miix 10 in the Intel booth at Computex. Interestingly, it has the same form factor as the Acer Aspire P3 (above). Less fun: The IdeaPad range isn’t available in Australia.


Acer Aspire R7

What would happen if you used the slider screen/keyboard idea on a 15-inch laptop? Meet the Aspire R7. It first broke cover back in May, but Giz AU was able to go hands-on at Computex. It’s big and weird. But not entirely wrong. I kind of like it. The 1980x1080 touchscreen isn’t a total slider, either: it has more of a lift-up easel hinge.

With four powerful Dolby speakers that automatically reverse when the screen is flipped around, the R7 won design and innovation awards at Computex. It’s also likely to be upgraded to the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors by the time it arrives in Australia. [Acer Australia]


Asus Taichi 31

For all the form factors mentioned at the start of this article, the Taichi is an example of yet another design. The first Taichi packed two 11.6-inch screens, with the second, touch-enabled screen on the lid. The new 13-inch Taichi 31 packs two 13.3-inch/1920x1080 displays, and again one is touch. Specs remain largely the same, starting at $2000 in Australia for the Core i5 model. [More]


MSI Slider S20

We first saw MSI’s Slider S20 back at Computex in January, and it seems like the design has improved slightly since then. The 11.6-inch, 16:9 aspect, 10-point touch screen has a 1920x1080 resolution, and built-in 720p webcam.

The S20 is a dedicated slider ultrabook/tablet and available now in Australia in two flavours: with 3rd generation Intel core i5 processor/Windows 8 ($1349) or Core i7/Windows 8 Pro ($1599). Both include 8GB of DDR3 memory and 128GB of SSD storage. [MSI Australia and com1.com.au]


Gigabyte U21M

An 11.6-inch, 180 degree swivel touchscreen. Intel’s latest Haswell / 4th generation Core processors. Interesting storage: 256GB solid state storage coupled with a 1TB HDD. Crappy resolution: 1366x768. [Gigabyte Australia]