With the Post-PC era supposedly upon us in full force, traditional PC makers are flummoxed as to what to create. The latest example is HP with the HP Pavilion X360, a laptop, come tablet, come ruggedised work machine.
We caught up with the new device at a MWC fringe event ahead of the official opening of the show.
Coming in red or gun metal grey (HP actually call it Brilliant Red and Smoke Silver) the rather rugged looking laptop has the ability to fold onto itself if you're bored of just typing and using it as if it were a regular notebook.
The stiff folding hinge that connects the 11.6-inch touchscreen display with the chiclet keyboard doesn't have any preset angles to work through, but it's clear from the demo we received that you are expected to either use the X360 as a laptop, folded over in an A-shape to watch a movie, or folded flat with the screen against the base.
Of course folding a laptop screen back on itself presents a number of problems, including creating a device that is awkward and bulky and one where the keyboard and trackpad is unprotected, and ready to be damaged or filled with dirt and dust. Realising this might be the case, HP has included a number of raised feet around the edge of the keyboard (as seen in the picture below) that supposedly stop you damaging the keys, however that's only if you lay it on a flat surface.
"Customers have told us they want a single device that is designed to work and play the way they do, at an affordable price," says HP touting the reason for the transforming laptop.
As is customary with HP gear, you'll get Beats Audio powered dual speakers and although we had a quick listen, it's unfair to comment as the hall we were in was loud and chaotic.
It delivers that, however at a cost of coming across as a jack of all trades and master on none. It's big, heavy (1.4kg), clunky, and we suspect prone to damage, especially the keyboard when you use it with the screen hinged back beyond the 180 degree marker.
In terms of specs, it's all very mid-range. HP is remaining quiet on all the specifications within the tablet, but says a quad-core Intel Pentium or Celeron processors will found within, and an HP TrueVision HD webcam for video chats. There's also 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, one USB port, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
That should be enough for the market this is aimed at; mainly the student wanting something simple and easy to use when away at college or university.
The HP Pavilion x360 is expected to be available in the Brilliant Red and Smoke Silver colours across EMEA in March for a starting price of £349.99.