The not very tabletly Windows 8 tablets of IFA

When is a tablet not a tablet? When it’s turned into a laptop.

Lots of new Windows 8 and Windows RT machines were on show at IFA in Berlin this week, many of them being given their first outing in public.

Clamshell keyboard docks adorned many of the tablets. These keyboard docks typically included extra ports and extra batteries, and most importantly of all, a hinge, so the screen could be positioned at any angle relative to the keyboard, and so that you can shut them up and use them like laptops. You could call them tablets with keyboard docks, but you’d be forgiven for calling them laptops with tear-off screens. Indeed, ASUS is describing its Transformer Book as exactly that. Quite what the difference is between a convertible laptop and a dockable tablet isn’t clear.

Many of these devices, even the ones claiming to be dockable tablets, will ship with their keyboard attachments in-box. The remainder will have it as an option. Only one device, the ARM-powered, Windows RT-running Samsung ATIV Tab has no public keyboard solution, though even it appears to have a dock connector on the bottom; perhaps Samsung plans to announce the keyboard later.

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Ars Technica » Technology Lab

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