Notebook makers seem to be settling on two designs when it comes to Windows 8 hybrids: A fold-over, like the Lenovo Yoga 2, and a detachable, like the ASUS Transformer Duet. But what if you combined them? That’s just what Toshiba has done with its concept hybrid notebook, whose keyboard not only folds completely behind the display, but also detaches for the times when all you want is a tablet.
Unlike most detachables, though, Toshiba’s device doesn’t divide evenly in half. Rather, about a third of the keyboard deck remains attached to the 13-inch high-res touchscreen display. It can rotate up to 180 degrees, so the tablet portion can be used in one of five ways.
The hybrid’s chassis is made of magnesium, which makes it sturdy, and helps keep the weight down. Toshiba says it’s trying to trim as much fat as possible, in oder to get the hybrid down to Kirabook-like weight. The keyboard connects to the rest of the notebook using a mechanical latch; although we had our hands on a very early preproduction model, it still felt very sturdy. In the top right of the screen is a slot for a stylus; Toshiba said it’s working on making it feel less flimsy.
Overall, the hybrid is very stylish, much like Toshiba’s Kirabook line. We like the hybrid’s brushed-metal finish, though we wonder how consumers will react to not having the notebook split evenly in two. It’s certainly an intriguing design.
Apart from the design, much about the specs and performance of the hybrid concept are still up in the air. Pricing is also to be determined, though it’s safe to assume the device will cost upwards of $1,500; Toshiba hopes to get this on the market by the end of the year.