Surface ISN'T a hybrid.

Hey y'all,

TLDR What's your ideal Windows 8.1 hardware?

This dates back to the launch of the Surface, where Microsoft announced it as a device that represented Windows 8 best. I used to view it as a laptop plus tablet hybrid, but I'm not so sure now.

On the hardware side, the Surface is a tablet, with a kickstand and a cute keyboard cover. But it's far from a hybrid. Or a taptop. Or a lablet. Viewed from an impartial perspective, no one can tell that it's a laptop and a tablet blended together.

So why call it a hybrid?

More importantly, what kind of hardware does Windows 8.x deserve?

It seems as though Windows 8 thrives in a new generation of mobile hardware, where the terms "laplet" or "tabtop" cannot appropriately describe its function or design. It's not designed to do everything. It's not designed to effectively "replace" a tablet or a laptop, but they do the best of areas shared between the two. It's not "more powerful" than an iPad or "less powerful" than a gaming rig or "less powerful" than a tablet - as what some fanboys might attest to - because power is a subjective term.

*To be honest, the term "hybrid" is subjective too. Some view it as a "laptop/tablet in-between" for everything - screen size, processor etc - while some view it as tablet + keyboard or laptop with removable display. I'll refrain from using the term "hybrid" to avoid a flame war.

Windows 8 is an evolving piece of software that is key to Microsoft because it gives developers a HUGE opportunity to redesign desktop software using elements of touch-first apps to bring in simplicity. Like in the case of Apple, the Mail application in 10.9 looks different from the Mail app in 10.7.

Here's Mail in 10.7.

Osx-mail-poster_medium

via km.support.apple.com

And Mail in 10.8 (ML looks almost the same):

Mac-os-x-10-7-lion-mail-5_medium

via www.astrobetter.com

For those who don't own an iPad, here's

150267-ipad_mail_original_medium

via images.macworld.com

So it's kinda clear that Windows 8 is built on this strong belief that desktop apps can evolve to be more like their counterparts - more simple and easy to use. Yet mobile apps are also evolving to be more functional and feature-rich.

So I'm guessing that's the trend with Windows 8, given that Windows 8.1 allows for more of the above (like the updated PC Settings over the Control Panel).

What I'm guessing is that Windows 8.1 deserves a hardware that is

  • firstly a superbly portable tablet but can use a keyboard + trackpad when productivity, multitasking and precision is key; or
  • firstly a powerful laptop but is touch enabled to provide natural user interface and easy-to-grab content, like touchscreen laptops

I would think that the first is more appealing but hey, that's me. So here's the question:

If you were a hardware designer at (name company), how would you design a PC that caters to Windows 8.1?