Ultrabooks started off as the same old type of notebook everyone is familiar with, only much thinner, but their makers are now considering new design elements.People may or may not remember the IdeaPad Yoga, the Lenovo ultrabook that is not really an ultrabook, not in the strictest sense anyway.
Rather that sticking to the standard design concept, the item added a special hinge design which lets its display open at 360-degrees.
That way, it practically switches between a laptop and tablet form factor at will.
It is now reported that there are more and more companies willing, even eager, to integrate this sort of capability into their products.
That is not to say that all of them will have 360-degree hinges, but that there will be some sort of means for changing between laptop and slate roles (rotating/folding screens, sliders, etc.).
In addition to the craving for experimentation, there is another, more important factor behind this newest trend: the operating system.
Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is just about ready to rumble so, naturally, Ultrabooks will use it. One of the key improvements in this OS is the better support for touch input.
As such, companies on the same page as Lenovo want to give owners a reason and means to use that capability.
Granted, they do risk blurring the line between slates and laptops a bit too severely, since there is a point past which a mobile PC can no longer be called an ultrabook, notebook or netbook, but a convertible tablet.
The source of this latest rumor is said to be the community of notebook hinge makers, who imply that Lenovo, ASUS and Acer all want more transforming ultrabooks out.
One thing is for sure: this trend will make life easy for manufacturers of touch panels as well, not just hinge producers.