MSI shows off convertible notebook with a twist

By on May 20, 2010, 9:53 PM
It seems MSI couldn't wait a few weeks for Computex 2010 to unveil an interesting twist on the oft-used term "convertible laptop." The company showed its SketchBook convertible notebook prototype during an event in Amsterdam but it's not just any old convertible. Rather than doubling as a tablet PC (such as Apple's iPad), MSI's concept machine features a rotating base with a keyboard on one side and a full-size graphics tablet on the other, according to Engadget Spanish.


Unfortunately, the display unit was non-functional, but the gadget blog says the machine feels bulky. Although MSI hasn't specified a market for the machine, it's fair to assume the SketchBook convertible will mostly be aimed at students, hobbyists, and possibly even graphics professionals all of whom might appreciate a rugged design, so perhaps that's part of its heft. Regardless, since this is an early reference piece, the company might trim down future builds.

No price or release date has been mentioned, but the system is expected to appear at Computex, so additional details might be shared then.




User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

And how is this news? Dell, Lenovo, and other manufacturers had convertible notebook computers for YEARS (called a Tablet PC LONG before iPad came out). Check out Latitude XT2 Tablet PC to see an example...

I have a similar one and LOVE it since I can take it to a meeting, draw diagrams and notes, connect it to a projector for presentations, and when done, I put it into my docking station and use it as a regular computer. Are they bulky, heavy, with pretty short battery life, and expensive -- yes, are they better in terms of functionality and PRODUCTIVITY than an iPad -- ABSOLUTELY...

raybay said:

Yep, I treasure mine as well... But I find it amazing that it has taken so long for them to catch on... soon the market will be flooded, and prices will become competitive.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I have to ask. Did either of you even read the post -- or look at the picture for that matter?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

And how is this news? Dell, Lenovo, and other manufacturers had convertible notebook computers for YEARS (called a Tablet PC LONG before iPad came out). Check out Latitude XT2 Tablet PC to see an example...

I have a similar one and LOVE it since I can take it to a meeting, draw diagrams and notes, connect it to a projector for presentations, and when done, I put it into my docking station and use it as a regular computer. Are they bulky, heavy, with pretty short battery life, and expensive -- yes, are they better in terms of functionality and PRODUCTIVITY than an iPad -- ABSOLUTELY...

You have obviously not read or even looked at the picture in the post. The screen is a standard hinged laptop screen (open and close only), the keyboard area spins around, so you can choose between using a keyboard or a large touch pad (similar to a Wacom tablet input device). There is not a single computer like this in production anywhere right now.

I think, if this kind of novel concept was paired with some good hardware (graphics and processing), it could make for a very interesting niche computer for graphics artists and/or possibly drafting/design. Not sure how well it would translate into mainstream use, though - bulkier, and obviously will be more expensive due to the added hardware and such required to make it work.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Darn...Matthew and Vrmithrax beat me to it, lol.

From the article:

MSI's concept machine features a rotating base with a keyboard on one side and a full-size graphics tablet on the other

Come on Guest and raybay, how did you possibly miss that?

Anyway, the thing that would bother me is holding it while the keyboard side is down. I often walk around with a tablet PC or a netbook, and would do the same with this. But I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that with this thing because there would be pressure on the keys as the device sits on top of my hand. Not only that, but it would just feel awkward.

Guest said:

@matrix86 Obviously when you switch the keyboard around it either disengages it or lock it out as an interface device!

Apparently you aren't into Graphics Design or Drafting. So this product wouldn't be aimed at you in the first place. For me........ it would be perfect. Right now I lug around a Watcom portable USB pad and a full laptop computer, which is awkward to use anywhere but an office desk or home.

With this device, I can take it on a flight, in the car, in the yard under a tree, on a bench and just about anywhere I want to do my work! THAT'S INCREDIBLE!!!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

First, how can you state that it obviously locks the keyboard? It would make since for it to, but unless you've seen one in action or used one, you can't can't say it "obviously" does that. Give me some sort of proof of this and I will gladly retract my statement (i'm not afraid to admit when i'm wrong).

Second, "so this product wouldn't be aimed at you in the first place." That's not a good enough excuse for me to not voice any concerns I have on it. Whether or not it's aimed at me and whether or not I would actually use it makes no difference. If i see a possible concern, I have every right to say what I think.

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