A question that many people will be pondering nowadays when they consider a secondary computing device is whether to get a small laptop computer like a netbook or Ultrabook or a tablet computer like the iPad along with an accessory keyboard. There will be the tradeoffs of each platform such as software availability and user-interface requirements.
This will become more so when Windows 8 with its Metro touch user interface being part of the operating system and becoming another full-bore competition to the Apple iOS platform.
But ASUS have answered with an Ultrabook that can bridge between the notebook / laptop and tablet form factors in the cost-effective and power-efficient way that has been required of the Ultrabook. This machine will be the first “convertible” Ultrabook that has the “swivel-head” screen design like what I have experienced with the Fujitsu TH550M convertible notebook.
This will work tightly with the integrated touchscreen interface that Windows 8 provides rather than the previous practice where the manufacturers fabricated their own touch-optimised shell for these computers.
The ASUS convertible Ultrabook could offer a tablet-style user interface for casual computing needs yet have the full proper keyboard that would appeal to us when working on emails or documents; yet it will have the benefits that tablets like the iPad offer like quick start-up and long battery runtimes.
The main question is that whether other manufacturers would make the convertible Ultrabook form factor and make these computers cost-effective and widely available or will they be taken in by just supplying tablets as a distinct touchscreen product class?