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MSI Slider S20 convertible Windows 8 ultrabook hands-on

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Hands-on impressions of the Slider S20 convertible ultrabook from MSI.

Gallery Photo: MSI Slider S20 hands-on photos
Gallery Photo: MSI Slider S20 hands-on photos

Acer and Asus introduced Windows 8 machines in every form factor under the sun yesterday at Computex Taipei, and here's another from compatriots MSI — the Slider S20, a "convertible ultrabook" with a hardware keyboard that slides out from under the screen. The sliding mechanism works well, with just the right amount of resistance and a satisfying pop into place. It comes across somewhat like an oversized Motorola Droid, with the useful exception that the keyboard doubles as a stand in the laptop-style configuration.

Obviously the Slider S20's closed mode makes some compromises in thickness and weight next to a traditional tablet, but it wasn't too unwieldy — and it's important to note that there's a full-fledged computer underneath. The screen is 11.6 inches across, and there's an Ivy Bridge processor inside, putting this more on the laptop side of the Windows 8 divide. MSI told us that the model on show wasn't quite ready for prime time, but we should be seeing a release in the third quarter of this year.