With the launch of Windows 8, more and more hybrid laptops are beginning to enter the market. Lenovo launched its Yoga device as an alternative to the iPad a little over six months ago, hoping to plug a major gap in the technology market. While nobody can deny that Apple’s iPad is great for entertainment purposes, utilising the device for business or work purposes simply isn’t a viable option, since many people find it difficult to type accurately using the touch-screen interface (this also goes some way to explaining why keyboards are the most popular peripherals amongst iPad users).
Two Birds, One Stone
Lenovo’s response to this problem was to create a hybrid laptop which can function as a stand-alone tablet device, or neatly and solidly connect to a keyboard to be used as a laptop. Of course, it was only a matter of time before other vendors got in on the act, and a whole host of hybrid laptops are now entering the market – with HP (who Lenovo recently overtook as the number one supplier of personal computing solutions) desperate to reclaim their place at the top. The question remains though: is the hybrid laptop set to become the device of the future? There are certainly a number of advantages that hybrids have over conventional laptops and tablets. Most hybrid laptops are generally lighter in weight than standard laptops, and in many instances offer an increase in battery life. Some hybrid keyboards can even offer a secondary battery, which essentially doubles the battery life of the device. Hybrid devices certainly do seem to offer the best of both worlds a tablet for entertainment purposes, and a laptop for working.
Of course, there are disadvantages. Most hybrids struggle to offer the computing power found in a standard desktop or laptop, which can make working with processor-intensive programs a near-impossibility at times – meaning that hybrid laptops are generally more suited toward undertaking simple office-related tasks. When on the move there is also the worry that the dock connectors could break, effectively requiring a replacement at the most inopportune of moments. It remains likely that hybrid devices will grow in popularity amongst casual users and users on a budget, although for more formal business use it is probable that dedicated laptops and desktop computers will continue to hold a stake in the market.
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