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While Windows 8 will run on all devices that meet its rather modest minimum requirements, Microsoft is taking the platform beyond PC. Since the announcement of the platform, the companies have started pushing in tablet-like form factors.
Laptop-tablet hybrid devices are all the rage at the tech expos starting from Computex 2012, IFA 2012 and CES 2013, wherein the likes of Sony, Lenovo, Asus and more unveiled shiny new convertible devices.
Consequently, it is certain that hybrid devices will be big in 2013 as consumers look to save money by buying one device that is both a laptop and tablet in one, giving them one less device to carry around. But, these devices are usually priced higher and only a few of them are available in the Indian market.
Samsung is one of the companies to release its hybrid devices in the country. Unveiled in November 2012, Ativ Smart PC and Ativ Smart PC Pro have been released into the market. The Samsung eStore has listed the devices at Rs 53,990 and Rs 75,490 respectively.
Coming to Smart PC Pro, the tablet houses a 11.6 inch full HD PLS touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, Intel Core i5 processor, Windows 8 operating system, 5MP rear camera, 2MP front facing camera, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 3G and a 4-cell battery delivering 8 hours backup.
However, this is not the only Windows 8 based hybrid available in the country. There are several offerings by other companies as well. Below is a slideshow listing the five hybrid devices that can offer a tough challenge to the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro.
Dell XPS Duo 12
Dell XPS Duo 12, which is a laptop cum tablet hybrid based on Windows 8 Os features a 12.5 inch full HD touchscreen display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, backlit keyboard, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0, 3G, micro USB and HMDI ports and a long battery backup.
The Dell offering comes with a larger display real estate and better processor, but when it comes to pricing, it is significantly higher as it is priced at Rs 1,04,990.
HP Envy X2
HP Envy X2 is a powerful and ultra-thin hybrid PC, which combines the benefits of notebook and tablet being an hybrid as the other models mentioned in previous pages.Envy X2 has a 11.6 inch IPS capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, Atom based Clover Trail processor, 64GB internal storage, 8MP rear camera, 32GB/64GB SSD, HDMI out port, full size SD slot, optional 3G, Wi-Fi, card slot, mini HDMI port, NFC and dual battery.
Further, the tablet has a keyboard dock, which doubles it as a notebook and comes with Beats Audio integration for outstanding audio quality. With a price tag of Rs 42,500, the HP offering with NFC connectivity and dual battery support could be a stiff competitor to the high priced Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga
IdeaPad Yoga has a 11.6 inch LCD multi-touch capacitive touchscreen display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and runs on Windows RT OS, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB/64GB SSD flash memory, 1MP 720p HD integrated webcam, 2 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a 2-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a battery that can offer 13 hours of usage.
The Lenovo tablet is priced lesser as compared to Ativ Smart PC Pro, but the latter comes with a full HD display and better camera performance.
Asus, the Taiwanese tech giant has also launched its Windows 8 hybrid - Taichi with dual displays. It is a combination of notebook and tablet and has double sided display to switch seamlessly between different modes.
Taichi features dual 11.6 inch mulit-touch capacitive touchscreen LED backlit displays - both with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, Intel's Ivy Bridge processor, Windows 8 Pro, 1.6GHz 4GB DRR3 RAM, 128GB/256GB SATA SSD flash memory, 5MP 1080p auto focus camera, HD 720p camera, mini VGA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a micro HDMI port, whereas, IdeaPad Yoga has 2 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port and a 2-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC).
Further, Taichi is packed with connectivity features including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and is loaded with a 35Whr delivering up to 5 hours backup.
When it comes to pricing, Asus has priced the tablet-notebook hybrid at Rs 1,39,999, which could be a too high as compared to Ativ Smart PC Pro, but the device comes with dual displays and improved storage capacity.
Sony Vaio Duo 11
Sony unveiled its hybrid ultrabook PC - Vaio Duo 11 based on Windows 8 at the IFA expo in Berlin and released the tablet-cum-Ultrabook in India last week with whopping price tag of Rs 89,900.
Vaio Duo 11 has has a 11.6 inch capacitive touchscreen display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, Intel Core i7-3517U, Intel Core i5-3317U or Intel Core i3-3217U processor, Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro, full HD front camera, 2MP rear camera powered by Exmor for PC, 1.6GHz SDRAM, 4GB or 8GB DDR3 RAM and 128GB or 256GB SSD, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, NFC and micro USB 3.0 support and is powered by a 4,960 mAh battery with up to 4.5 hours backup.
With a more options for customization including operating system, processor and storage and with NFC connectivity, the Sony tablet has the capability to pose a threat to the Samsung offering, which is priced relatively lesser.