Intel expands 2-in-1 reference design to include plus-sized 12.5-inch displays as sales slump

intel reference designs 2 in 1s asus chi p1100210

It seems that dockable 2-in-1 devices may be set to make an en-masse move towards larger designs, if information from DigiTimes is correct.

The publication claims “sources from notebook makers” indicate the 2-in-1 reference design has been updated to fifth-generation Core processors, as expected, and now includes 12.5-inch models, which was not guaranteed.

These larger models will easily accommodate the Intel Core M processor, which offers quicker per-core performance than the Atom found in many 10-inch variants current on the market.

The report suggests the move may be in response to slump sales of 2-in-1s. Though the category initially looked strong, demand quickly tapered off, leaving companies like Asus looking for ways to fill in the gap.

In fact, Asus has already shown a 12.5-inch model, the much-loved Asus Transformer Book Chi T300, which was revealed at CES 2015 and is scheduled for a Feburary 2015 release. That system weighs only one and a half pounds and measures .65 inches thick with keyboard dock attached.

Can these larger 2-in-1 systems help boast sales? That’s hard to say for certain, but it will give consumers a choice that was mostly unavailable before. While a few large 2-in-1s with Core processors arrived in 2014 they were quite bulky and difficult to use as a tablet. A new reference design based on Core M can be much thinner, as Asus has already proved, and may lower prices as well.