At IFA, Convertible PCs Give Hope to Intel, Microsoft, Others
Lenovo, Toshiba and other PC makers unveil two-in-one systems at the show powered by Intel chips and running Windows 8.PC makers from Lenovo and Toshiba to Asus and Sony at the IFA 2013 show in Berlin this week showed off new convertible systems that feature processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices and Microsoft's Windows 8.1 operating system. Such two-in-one systems, which can be used as traditional laptops or as tablets, offer consumers and business users an alternative to the usual notebooks and the growing numbers of tablets, and are seen by some vendors and analysts as a way to halt the decline in worldwide PC sales, which have suffered in the wake of the rise of mobile devices. It also gives vendors that have fallen behind the mobility trend—in this case, chip makers Intel and AMD as well as Microsoft—a chance to gain some traction in a mobile market where most devices are powered by energy-efficient systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by ARM and made by Samsung, Qualcomm and others, and run Google's Android operating system or Apple's iOS. Intel and others are putting a lot of time, effort and money to create the technology that will encourage OEMs to build these new convertible form factors, and if the product rollouts at IFA were any indication, system makers are giving it a shot. Lenovo at IFA unveiled new Yoga and Flex systems, all of which run on Intel chips and support Windows, while one of Toshiba's new offerings, the Satellite Click, is powered by AMD's A4 Elite Mobility chips. Like those offerings from Sony, Asus and others, these convertibles can be quickly transformed from notebooks to tablets and back.
"People around the world have told us they love the flexibility of Yoga and Horizon's multimodes," Tom Shell, vice president and general manager of Lenovo's Business Group PC Division, said in a statement from the show. "Our new Flex products represent this multimode future of PC design."