The IFA trade show in Berlin has just kicked off on Friday, and Sony took the stage to make some revelations about what's to come. One of the most intriguing announcements was the unveil of Sony's VAIO Duo 11, which is a hybrid style ultrabook that combines the elements of a tablet and a laptop into one product.
The device has been showcased at the event as an optimal Windows 8 tablet, taking the idea that was introduced with the Surface and expanding that even further into a full-on notebook tablet mash up. One of the features that made the Surface tablet unique when it was introduced was that it comes equipped with a protective case which doubles as a keyboard. Sony seems to have taken kindly to this notion, releasing a device that take this idea to the next level.
The VAIO Duo 11 measures at 11.6 inches and weighs 2.9 pounds with a metal band locked across the bottom. The device boasts touch screen display with a screen that slides smoothly into the keyboard and stays solidly in place when it is raised. This gives it a different feel from other tablets compatible with keyboards, as Adi Robertson of The Verge writes in a hands-on preview of the device.
Windows 8 has come under fire from some critics who have said that the new operating system won't suit PC users, which has been Microsoft's core audience for the most part. The upcoming interface, formerly known as Metro, will feature tiled apps catering to mobile devices. Some have also criticized Windows 8 for requiring that app purchases be made through the Windows Store, likening it to its Apple rival.
Ever since details on Windows 8 have begun to spill out, there have been talks of how the software is designed to cater to tablet devices. But perhaps the Sony VAIO 11 is exactly the type of product that Windows 8 was made for. With its new operating system, Microsoft is clearly creating software that falls in between what PC users want and what works with tablets. For these purposes, Windows 8 would work perfectly with a device that combines these two entities.
A day before the Windows 8-powered device was officially revealed, Samsung also teased its own tablet powered by the upcoming Microsoft operating system. On Monday, the Korea-based manufacturer posted a photo on its Facebook page with the tag line teasing "Ready to be smart? IFA 2012, Berlin."
Other Windows 8 tablets were also unveiled at the trade show on Tuesday, such as the Tap 20 , the T-Series 13 Ultrabook, the Vivo Tab RT and the Taichi. Each of these devices is branded as a tablet-PC hybrid with detachable keyboards, paving the way for what could be next in the mobile industry.
It seems as if Microsoft's Surface tablet only scratched the "surface" of how the company plans to market Windows 8. As the release date draws even closer, Microsoft and its partner manufacturers are sure to reveal even further insight as to what its plans are for Windows 8.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...