The idea of a hybrid PC/tablet device is certainly an interesting one. Up until now, such devices were generally bulky and had clunky user interfaces that truly didn’t lend themselves to a great touch experience. Sony seems to think Windows 8 could change all this and has announced the VAIO Duo 11 as its convertible offering.
Right now there isn’t a lot of official information out about the tablet, other than we do know it will run Windows 8 and won’t arrive until later this year at earliest. Other than that, the hybrid also seems to have a stylus and considering the naming convention “ VAIO Duo 11”, it is more than likely featuring an 11-inch screen.
VAIO Duo 11 – Who Are Hybrids For?
While we don’t know much about the VAIO Duo 11 right now, we do have enough back-history about such convertible devices to draw a few conclusions. Hybrid devices are generally heavier, less touch-optimized and have less battery power. Perhaps until now?
Windows 8 provides the first really touch-driven desktop/laptop UI the market has ever had, and it could be the perfect tool for creating hybrid devices like the Duo 11. If Sony can ensure good battery performance, a great touch experience and can keep the bulk down, this could have niche appeal.
Who are hybrid devices for? Those who want and need the productivity enhancements that come from a laptop experience, but also want the relaxing/casual experience that touch lends itself to. Up until now, it has often proved to be more practical to simply own a lightweight laptop and a separate sleek tablet.
I truly believe Windows 8 could change all this, but it remains unclear as to whether or not the Sony VAIO Duo 11 will be the one to do it or not. What do you think, would you buy a Sony tablet/laptop hybrid? What kind of pricing would you be willing to pay for such a device?