PC makers find themselves at a fork in the road when it comes to tablets, and, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, their best option may be to take it.
Even among a group of iPad competitors that has generally lagged far behind Apple's tablet in sales, PC vendors have fared relatively poorly. Whether they've tried somewhat-interesting keyboard-enabled variations, as Asus has done; cranked out solid thicker devices, as Acer has done; focused on pocketable designs as Dell has done; or ventured forth into their own operating systems, as Hewlett-Packard has done, these companies have seemed out of their element, when it comes to selling devices that fit somewhere between smartphone and laptop.
Part of that is a long reliance on Windows, the dominant PC operating system that will make a strong foray into the tablet market before the end of the year. The introduction of the next version of Windows should not only pair up PC makers with a familiar partner for the tablet market, but also facilitate the development of devices that can serve as notebooks as well as tablets.
At CES, Lenovo gave an example of such a device: the Lenovo Yoga, whose keyboard can rotate around behind its screen. According to a recent NPD Connected Intelligence report, the arrival of the next version of Windows should facilitate such products, with 40 percent of those interested in purchasing a tablet wanting a physical keyboard to supplement touch-screen entry. … Read more