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Microsoft has spent a lot of time and effort trying to get Windows onto smartphones and tablets–so far without a whole lot to show for it. Now several PC companies are trying the opposite approach, taking the Android operating system and porting it to PCs.
The latest example is HP’s Slate 21, which looks like a standard all-in-one PC with a 21.5-inch (1920×1080) IPS touchscreen, but has the specs of a tablet including Nvidia’s Tegra 4 quad-core processor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. HP says it has included several features to make Android work better on the desktop including support for up to five Google profiles, drivers for USB peripherals and a software bundled that includes Splashtop for running Windows apps and a productivity suite (Kingsoft Office).
Acer is already selling a similar product, also with a 21.5-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen, but they are marketing it more as a monitor that also happens to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Last week Samsung announced the ATIV Q, a convertible with several unusual features. First, it has a 13.3-inch display with a QHD resolution (3,200 by 1,800 pixels). Second, it runs both Windows 8 and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Finally, with its sliding hinge you can use the ATIV Q as tablet or ultraportable laptop, or flip the screen over to use it in a stand mode like a digital photo frame or portable DVD player.
One interesting feature lets you pin Android apps onto the Windows 8 Start screen so that you can quickly launch them. The ATIV Q will come with a fourth-generation Core-i5 (Haswell) processor, 4GB of memory and a 128GB SSD, but Samsung hasn’t announced availability or pricing yet.
At Computex, Asus announced the Transformer Book Trio, which as the name implies is meant to work as tablet, laptop and desktop.
Asus already sells a Transformer AiO (All-in-One) that combines an 18.4-inch Full HD tablet that runs Android 4.1 Jellybean with a PC docking station that runs Windows 8. The tablet is equipped with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB of memory and 32GB of storage.
The concept of an Android all-in-one or hybrid PC sounds a bit strange at first, especially when you consider that Google has a separate Chrome OS designed specifically for computers. But it makes some sense in certain situations. There was a time when x86 Windows compatibility was all that mattered, but the mobile revolution has flipped that on its head—at least for consumers. Users now want the same Android or iOS apps and games on all their devices. And the cloud makes it possible to access your files and content from any device. Microsoft’s plan, of course, is to match this ecosystem in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. But that’s not the case today.
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Source: Associated Press
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