Rumors of swivel-screen ultrabooks point to one future: Windows 8

Rumors of swivel-screen ultrabooks point to one future: Windows 8

At the 2012 Computex event, Asustek is rumored to be set to display a swivel-screen ultrabook.

Ultrabooks, the wafer thin (in theory) laptops that Intel has been pushing via OEMs to compete with other market offerings, have proved to be a mild success in their current iteration. Word has begun to float concerning what the next generation of Intel silicon (Ivy Bridge) will do for the form factor, with most agreeing that it will provide a boost to its capabilities and sales.

Asustek, it seems, wants to push the ultrabook idea into the Windows 8 future. By that we mean that the idea of a swivel-screen, which allows for a laptop to turn into a defacto tablet, is something that Windows 8 will be able to take advantage of more than any other current desktop operating system.

Windows 8, as you well know, contains a new interface designed for touch-based interaction. Laptops, however, are not particularly well-designed for touch, as reaching out and poking their screens can be a bit awkward. But with a swivel-screen, the problem is lessened. The question then becomes how light and thin the ultrabook that swivels can be, as no one wants a tablet that is chunky, even if it is a full laptop in disguise.

All this is to say that Windows 8 is sparking OEM investment into new(ish) form factors, or at least those that have been experimented in the past, and might make sense now that Windows 8 is a reality. I can’t take a position on the efficacy of the Asustek idea until we know more, but that they are at least trying to tailor their products to Windows 8 is encouraging on its own.

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