CES 2011 was host to a myriad of upcoming tablets running Android, Windows 7, custom skins, you name it. Samsung’s Sliding PC 7 Series is certainly one of the most innovative and is a stand-out winner in my humble opinion. At first you might look at the slate and think it’s just a thicker iPad. But that thickness is apparent for a reason; hiding underneath the tablet is a slide-out chiclet keyboard with a trackpad. This hybrid machine doubles as a 10.1 inch tablet and a small notebook PC. I’m really impressed with the design factor here, but specs are important too: 1366×768 multitouch display, Intel’s 1.66GHz (Oak Trail) processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, 4-in-1 memory card reader, webcam, 802.11n WiFi, 3G/WiMax & DLNA support, built-in accelerometer, USB, HDMI out, will last up to nine hours on a single charge. Samsung’s Fast Start feature will boot up the machine in as little as 15 seconds, or restore it from Hibernate and Sleep modes in 3 seconds. The hybrid will ship with Windows 7 Home Premium and Samsung’s custom skin called Touch Launch that “comes with preloaded applications that are optimized for the touch screen display.” To launch Sammy’s skin you simply and elegantly swipe a blue strip located on the screen bezel. The Sliding PC 7 Series will drop in March at $699.
I’m really digging the choice hardware manufacturers are giving consumers when it comes to tablet design. Companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are creating such inventive, sleek hardware designs that give users the option to use a simplified OS in a tablet form factor and a more robust Windows experience with a touchpad/keyboard present. I like the idea of having a tablet that can easily be converted into a more full-fledged computing device when a full-sized keyboard is needed. At just 2.2 pounds, Samsung’s slider isn’t that hefty and I think I can sacrifice a couple pounds in weight and some inches in thickness to know that a reliable physical keyboard is just a hand gesture away from accessibility.
Jump after the break to see the notebook do its transformation thing. Official PR’s there too.