Poll: Are Windows 8 Tablet-Laptop Hybrids a Bad Idea?

Yesterday during Apple’s quarterly earnings report, Tim Cook threw a verbal jab at Microsoft, saying its decision to combine a desktop and tablet operating system is analogous to combining a toaster and a refrigerator.

Cook’s statement was in response to a question from an analyst on the call, who asked whether Apple would one day create an iPad-Mac hybrid similar to the laptop-tablet hybrids being developed by the likes of Intel and Lenovo.

[Lenovo VP: Tablet-Laptop Hybrids Could Flatten iPad]

Cook replied saying that combining the two products would result in tradeoffs that would have a negative impact on consumers. “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user,” he said, adding, “To make the compromises of convergence, we’re not going to that party. Others might. Others might from a defensive point of view, particularly.” Cook isn’t the first person to criticize the laptop-tablet hybrid movement, and certainly won’t be that last. Which is why we want to hear from you, our dear reader. We want to know if you think laptops and tablets should be merged into a single device or if they should remain separate?

Is it truly akin to slapping a refrigerator and toaster together, as Cook put it? Or are Microsoft and Intel simply ahead of the curve? Let us know in the poll below and we’ll post our results on Facebook this week.

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. scientificbob Says:

    Not so much a toaster and a regrigerator as it is a freezer and a regrigirator.

    Cook is just being a douchebag, which is expected from an apple ceo.
    What else is he supposed to say? That it is going to be a awesome and will surely doom his ridiculous ipad into the depths of the interwebs?

    The fact of the matter is that, while apple made a lot of money, the actual amount of ipads they sold is ridiculously low considering the potential market. 65 millions… in the same period, windows 7 saw more then half a BILLION activations.

    For microsoft NOT to burry the ipad with windows 8, win8 needs to be the worst selling windows since windows 3.1 and we all know that that is not gonna happen.

    The amount of downloads of the CP alone are already half the number of ipads sold IN TOTAL.
    If it sells like windows vista (the infamous “flop”), then microsoft will actually have DOUBLE the market share of apple in tablet space.

    It’s beyond ridiculous.
    It’s all hype and air.

    Sorry to burst your bubble cook, but it’s pretty much game-over in terms of playing with the big boys in 2013.
    I hope you enjoyed your short time feeling like you are on top of things.

  2. Cheryl Lucia Says:

    A lot of the technology we use is some kind of hybrid. Laptops are shrunken desktops with screens clamped on by a hinge. The iPhone is a phone, an MP3 player, a camera, a computer, a handheld game system and many other things, contingent upon what app you add. All of those things existed, and still exist, as individual objects. Also, what do you call an iPad with a wireless Apple keyboard? No, it’s not a joke; it’s Apple’s answer to a tablet-laptop hybrid. The setup — the iPad propped at a 90 degree angle from the keyboard — is just a skip away from a tablet-laptop hybrid. There’s a Product project in San Francisco, CA initiated by Brad Leong called the Brydge. They say it “simply transforms your iPad into a laptop worthy of Apple”. Made from aerospace-grade aluminum, with optional stereo speakers, Brydge connects to your iPad using a patent-pending hinge, and via bluetooth. The keyboard has been designed specifically for an iPad, with iPad functions built in, and it charges through a USB connection. Tim Cook may look down at a tablet-laptop hybrid, but apparently there’s a need and independent developers are stepping up to meet it.

  3. Mike G Says:

    At first I was going to vote “yes” it’s a bad idea. I don’t want Microsoft messing with my Windows 7 experience in such a radical way. But wait… I own an iPad and iPhone which I enjoy using and take almost everywhere I go. The laptop stays home. It feels heavy and clunky now. On the other hand, the iPad is a bit small for certain tasks. So, I’m always using the Win 7 laptop for work and projects that need more screen real estate…

    The other day at an Apple store, I instinctively touched the screen on a MacBook Pro to try and select something. This happened twice! (That’s how much I use my iPad.). If I could have folded it in half and started using it like a tab, I might have done so!

    Bill Gates has been a proponent of the tablet paradigm for a long time–even before the iPad. And Apple obviously sees the potential for convergence. Just look at the iOS-like features added to OS X Lion.

    Still, it’s tough to say if the combination will work. Connecting a blue-tooth keyboard to an iOS device is an ambivalent experience–although mostly positive for me. For larger tasks, on-screen keyboards are no substitute for the real thing. However, touching the screen (instead of using a mouse) is suddenly awkward when you have to reach over a keyboard–especially if the device is at a steep angle on a shaky stand. This wouldn’t be as much of an issue with a larger screen on a more sturdy, comfortable ~30-degree angle…

  4. AGreenhill Says:

    I’m looking for a good laptop-tablet hybrid right now… the “trade-offs” are few IF ANY.

  5. dstrauss Says:

    THE ONLY WAY TO GO! Hybrids (convertible PC’s) have been limited to niche markets because they were bulky, heavy, and extraordinarily expensive (my last HP 2740p was $2400 retail). I expect we will see the base Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro model (64gb ssd) at under $1,000, and the 128gb model just over $1,000 – about 1/2 of the cost, size, and weight of that HP 2740p with more firepower as well. In fact, the Windows RT version, WITH the touch cover, is not much thicker than the HP 2740p SCREEN!

    Mr. Cook is going to look so foolish with his toaster/refrigerator comparison (unless, of course, you are an unrelenting Apple fanboi who foams at the mouth at all things non-Apple; just a bit cultish).

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