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Intel introduces 2-in-1 – laptop by day, tablet by night

Intel 2-in-1

New 2-in-1 product category designed for those that want a laptop and a tablet

Intel has announced a new product category for people that want the convenience of a tablet and the flexibility of a laptop, the 2-in-1.

Rather than the strict set of requirements that make up the Ultrabook spec, the 2-in-1 category is held together by a looser list. The list of things 2-in-1 products should ideally have include a 10in screen and the full version of Windows 8. Devices that dual-boot into other operating systems are fine, but Android-only convertibles are out.

Finally, all models must have an integrated keyboard that ships with the computer. This means that any kind of convertible or detachable laptop can fall within the 2-in-1 category.

“2-in-1 combines the best of a laptop and best of a tablet in one device,” said Kirk Skaugen, corporate vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel.

Processor requirements aren’t stated, but Intel was keen to push its new Atom-based Bay Trail SoC and the laptops that will use it.

Intel’s rational behind the need for this category is the number of people that would prefer a more powerful tablet that can act as a laptop when required.

“We’ve now interviewed 1,000 people in the US and China who bought a 2-in1 and asked, what would you have bought if not a 2-in-1?” said Skaugen. “48 per cent would have bought a 10in tablet.”

While it’s fair to say that there are already a lot of products out there that fall into this category, Intel wants to take it further. More specifically it wants 2-in-1 devices to be aware of the state they’re in (tablet or laptop) and adjust the interface to suit.

For example, in a live demo of photo editing software, in laptop mode there was the traditional interface with toolbars; in tablet mode, the interface switched to a more touch-friendly interface.

Intel says that there will be 140 designs by the end of the year with prices expected to start at $349 (around £220).

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