Convertible tablets and notebooks are fairly common at this point, but hearing the term convertible all-in-one PC might throw people for a loop, since it begs the answer of what a convertible all-in-one PC is.
Two things, it turns out. The answer to that dilemma is that there are all-in-one PCs that can lay completely flat on a surface, like a desk or table, and there are models with detachable displays.
In either case, the systems become usable as table PCs, or full-blown, large-size tablets.
The IdeaCentre Horizon Tablet PC that Lenovo introduced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013) is one of the few convertible AiOs so far launched.
Indeed, it was described as a 27-inch tablet instead of an all-in-one computer.
A report from Digitimes reveals that the supply chain has already penned the new product category.
Hinge suppliers, for instance, think all-in-one vendors will increase their orders because of it.
Touchscreen makers are also enthusiastic, as there won't be much point to a tablet-like AiO if it doesn't have a touch panel.
Between that and the plans by Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, Asustek Computer and Sony to launch convertible AiOs during the summer, most everyone expects a rise in overall AiO shipments.
For those who want background information, approximately 13.2 million units shipped in 2012.
On that note, Digitimes Research believes 2013 will bring a 19.7% increase, putting the likely figure at 15.8 million, provided Windows 8 helps as much as analysts think it will.
That said, Apple is the only large IT player expected to skip on the whole all-in-one with touch trend, probably because it wants to leave the iPad and iPhone their advantage. There is also the fact that Mac OS lacks the touch focus that Microsoft put into its newest operating system, even going as far as tailoring the main user interface for it.