Hybrids 2-in-1 ~ PC to Tablet
Previously I blogged about how the shift in focus away from communication and towards mobile multi-media utility had resulted in a new genre of mobile consumer electronic device, named Phablets (Phone & Tablet). Today, I am going to discuss another emerging mobile genre, Tablet Hybrids. Now as the name suggests, Tablet Hybrids combine two key things: the mobility of a tablet with the functionality of an Ultrabook. Tablet Hybrids are designed to achieve additional or improved tablet functionality through the use of accessories, or can be in the form of an Ultrabook that can have the screen removed to perform as a slate. An interesting point to note here is that there is another type of device that is in the grey area between tablet and Ultrabook; the Hybrid or 2-in-1 Notebook. These devices are attached to a keyboard but that keyboard can be folded away, allowing the device to be used like a tablet. Juniper classifies these devices as convertible notebooks rather than convertible tablets due to the nature of the device; the tablet’s mobile nature has been sacrificed to accommodate the keyboard, meaning the device was designed to be used as a notebook with tablet capabilities, rather than the other way around. However, the small scale evolution in the grey area between the Tablet and Ultrabook market is appealing only to niche demographics, mostly business users and gamers. These demographics are also the most able and willing to spend on new devices. The latest Galaxy Tab-Pro is an example of such a proposition - a business-friendly tablet together with a dedicated keyboard and mouse. Juniper forecasts that the as the tablet market becomes increasingly diverse, Hybrid devices will ship nearly 50 million units by 2018, rising from an estimated 9.5 million in 2013.