Intel-powered Android laptop-tablet hybrids reportedly on the way

Asus Transformer Infinity

Move over Windows 8 convertible laptops; Intel and its manufacturer partners are reportedly working on Android hybrids … if a new rumor is to be believed, that is. If the rumors are true, we’re most likely looking at new Haswell-powered Android tablets that come with their own keyboard docks, similar to the devices in the Asus Transformer series. An 11-inch Lenovo Yoga device will allegedly be the first Intel Android convertible to be launched sometime in May, followed by a handful of major manufacturers, including Asus, Toshiba, HP, and Acer. 

According to DigiTimes, Intel is putting its faith on Android since Windows 8 has failed to reignite interest in PCs, or, more particularly, notebooks. PC sales have  been disappointingly low since last year, and analysts say things won’t be looking up for the industry in 2013. While there are many factors that can take the blame for the slump (sure we now have more powerful hardware, but most people aren’t going to replace their still-functional four-year-old PC if new models don’t have anything revolutionary to offer), some believe that Windows 8 is partly to blame.

Windows 8’s massive changes in user interface, in addition to some of the laptop-tablet hybrids’ ridiculously expensive prices, have presumably discouraged consumers from getting new devices. On the other hand, Android is doing well, and the manufacturers supposedly believe Android will continue to do well in the hybrid space since most consumers are familiar with the operating system. 

Note that while DigiTimes has a questionable rep when it comes to the accuracy of its unverified reports, rumors about the possibility of Android convertibles and notebooks have been going around since ex-Chrome OS and browser head Sundar Pichai took over Android development from Andy Rubin. That PC sales have been slow and that Windows 8 hasn’t been received as well as the industry would’ve liked sounds like valid reasons why Intel is pushing for the release of new Android hybrids. The question is, if it’s true, will you buy Intel-powered Android tablet-laptop convertibles as your main computing devices, or will you stick to more traditional desktop operating systems?


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