Dell, Sony Add to Growing Windows 8 PC Lineup
Sony and Dell last week added new options to the growing trove of Windows 8-running devices that will launch when Microsoft officially releases the operating system Oct. 26. On Oct. 11, Sony introduced the Vaio Duo 11 Ultrabook, a slider hybrid that joins a growing number of laptop-to-tablet convertibles. Alongside it came the Vaio Tap 20, an all-in-one with a flexible foot that enables the PC to strike a number of poses, from upright to gameboard-flat; the T Series Ultrabook with a touch display; an E Series laptop, now also with a touch-screen, as well as the option of new display sizes; and an S Series Vaio, now in Burgundy Red. The next day, Dell made three Windows 8 PCs available for preorder: the XPS 12, a tablet-laptop hybrid with an unusual flip-hinge that enables the display to spin in its housing; the high-end XPS One 27 all-in-one, now with a touch-screen option; and a student-geared Inspiron One 23, also now available with a touch-screen. Dell also updated its XPS 13 with new features that included Intel's Ivy Bridge chipset, enabling the laptop to run at twice the speed of its predecessors. News of the PCs arrived as Gartner reported that PC shipments were down 8.3 percent during the third quarter—a fact partly attributed to consumers and businesses delaying purchases until Windows 8's release. IDC Research Director David Daoud, whose firm found shipments to be down 8.6 percent, said in an Oct. 10 statement that as vendors line up new Windows 8 products, "consumers are likely to respond positively during the tail end of 4Q12, and that means a potential return to positive growth at the end of this year."