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Unveiled last summer at Computex, MSI's Slidebook S20 fell off the radar after missing its initial release date in October. With CES coming up next week, the company has announced that its new Windows 8 convertible is finally approaching the airstrip with a landing date scheduled for some time this quarter.
Targeting the premium hybrid market, the Slidebook S20 will cost about $1,200 when it hits shelves, which is a bit pricier than the $800ish figure that was being bandied about last year. That sum will get you an 11.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS display with support for 10-finger multitouch, an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i5 processor with HD 4000 graphics, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 128GB of flash storage and a 720p webcam.
Instead of the swiveling hinge, magnetic latch or docking port you'll find on most hybrids, MSI has opted for the lesser-used sliding display. The Slidebook S20's display glides up from its base to shift between tablet and notebook form factors. We don't have exact measurements available, but judging by the pictures, this approach appears to have resulted in fairly cramped keyboard compared to competing solutions.
Other specs include two USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a mini HDMI output, an audio jack and a 2.5-inch bay for expanded storage. The system weighs 2.5lbs (1.16kg), measures 0.77in (19.8mm) thick and carries a three-cell 3800mAh battery (no word on an estimated run time though).
The Microsoft Surface features a 10.6-inch Gorilla Glass display and a vapor-deposited magnesium chassis, the Surface runs a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor and the latter packing an ARM-based Nvidia chip. The Touch Cover measures 3mm thick and has a multitouch keyboard as well as a trackpad, with a Touch Cover, the Surface measures just shy of half an inch.
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