ASUS was the first company, at least we think they were the first, to launch what many in this industry call the “tablet hybrid” form factor. Companies have previously launched laptops that featured a screen that could rotate and then collapse on top of the keyboard, but ASUS thought of something new. They made a device, the Transformer, that looked like a laptop, but then you could rip off the screen and use it as a tablet. We’ve seen the idea copied by various manufacturers, but trust us, when we saw the first Transformer roughly two years ago, our brains exploded.
According to DigiTimes, who has a mixed track record, but it’s good enough that you can’t ignore them, they say Lenovo is going to copy the Transformer form factor at some point in the first half of 2013. Said device will of course run Android, though they’re not sure if it’ll use a chip from Intel or something that’s based on ARM’s architecture. They say Lenovo had plans to launch an Intel Medfield powered Android tablet in Q3 2012, codenamed mfld_dv10, but they decided to throw those plans out the window.
Does the world want the tablet hybrid form factor? While this writer can’t speak for the rest of the Android Authority team, he definitely can’t wait for his next computer to have a detachable screen. The real question is do people want such a device running Android? Let’s be realistic. Chances are it’s going to cost as much as a machine running Windows, so what do you gain by going with Android? We’re obviously big fans of Google’s mobile OS, but given the choice, we’d rather have a laptop/tablet that helps us get some real work done.
Who knows, maybe the next version of Android will be tailored for these type of devices. We’re not going to find out about Key Lime Pie for a while, so there’s always hope.