There was once a time when all laptops looked the same, with a standard keyboard, screen and a clamshell design. Nowadays, things have changed, and laptops are increasingly cropping up in the form of two-in-one devices. Also known as convertible or hybrid laptops, these laptop-and-tablet all-in-one devices are becoming increasingly popular, and some think they may become the norm in the not-too-distant future.
So are hybrid laptops really the future?
A growing trend
At CES 2018, the biggest technology event of the year, it was reported that tablets are going out of fashion – and being replaced by hybrid laptops.
This is a big change from a few years ago. Back in 2010, following the launch of the first iPad, we couldn’t get enough of tablets. Every manufacturer was scrambling to release their own iPad-beating device to meet consumer demand.
Nowadays, tablets are no longer the device everyone wants, and people are moving back to laptops. Big companies like Lenovo, HP, Samsung and Dell are also turning their backs on tablets.
Laptops are still best for productivity
Despite improvements in tablets over the years, and the launch of more powerful devices like the iPad Pro, they simply cannot match laptops when it comes to productivity.
While a tablet can be used productively, and may come with productivity apps, it is still not on a par with a laptop.
The classic clamshell design has been popular for so long because it works. You can conveniently unfold your laptop wherever you are and instantly get to work. Tablets, despite the fact that you can get detachable keyboards for them, simply don’t provide the same ease of use.
And now that a new generation of ultrabooks is redefining how small, light and portable powerful laptops can be, the portability of tablets is no longer such a strong selling point.
The growth of hybrid laptops
Despite the popularity of laptops for productivity, tablets still have many benefits. They provide a different way to use a computer, and they can be useful in many settings. But there no longer seems to be a need to have both a laptop and a tablet when there are so many hybrid laptops appearing.
Computer World reported that hybrid laptops are becoming more popular in the workplace as tablets become less popular. In fact, sales are expected to increase by 21% over the coming four years.
The fact is that hybrid laptops can be used for more tasks, and they are not limited in the same way as tablets. They come in various formats, including those where the screen detaches from the keyboard to become a tablet, and those where the devices have 360-degree hinges.
This essentially provides a laptop but with the benefits and convenience of a tablet when necessary.
Android tablets, especially, are a dying breed. The Android tablet has also been replaced somewhat by the Chromebook, Google’s laptops that run on Chrome OS.
Hybrid laptops: A changing landscape
Portable devices are constantly changing, and while once many people thought tablets would replace laptops, that does not seem to be the case any longer. But one thing that will keep on improving is the technology used in these devices.
Whatever form they come in, portable computers will keep on getting more powerful and faster, and screen technology will keep on improving to provide ever-crisper displays, providing a better experience no matter how you use them.