The way the number of convertible laptops has been growing, some may have started to get suspicious, since for a product type to become popular in a short time, there needs to be momentum.
Convertible laptops are hybrid devices that can switch from tablet to notebook form factors in one of several ways.
The tablets that can detach from their lower halves usually qualify as tablets with keyboard docks, so most of them don't count.
The rest use 360-degree hinges, or a rotating hinge that lets the display rest on top of the keyboard, or behind it. Then, there are some that have sliding mechanisms, with rails along the sides of the keyboard.
A while ago, the pro-convertible “movement” consisted of little besides a passing announcement by Intel that it would be promoting them.
Now, however, a report says that other forces have joined the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant.
More specifically, Intel (and Microsoft for that matter) have gained the support of ODMs (original device manufacturers). At least those from Taiwan, where many of the world's consumer electronics are manufactured.
2-in-1 convertibles aren't hard to produce, but they can boost average selling prices and, thanks to the lingering novelty effect, encourage demand and shipments as well.
Oddly though, consumer response to convertible notebooks is said to be rather weak at the moment. Brand vendors need to start promoting them more heavily.
By our reckoning, people are still cautious about buying a laptop that is more expensive than a normal one. Especially if the convertibles are supposed to be Ultrabooks, which are a bit too expensive in the first place.
Basically, there isn't enough to offset the price range and hesitancy inherent in a form factor that is arguably unfamiliar.
Since the third quarter of 2013 is almost upon us, chances are that companies will try to use the July-September period to help convertibles gather momentum.