One of the best parts of CES are the devices that companies show off that are more or less conceptual, and may or may not ever even get made. One such gadget is the Toshiba 5-in-1 tablet, notebook, media player, drawing slate, etc. It’s sleek looking in pre-production solid aluminum, and also has a lot of potential as a flexible hybrid with a form factor that’s tailor-made for Windows 8.
As explained by Toshiba, the device isn’t yet ready for production, though it does exist as a fully functional prototype. And really it isn’t too far off from existing devices like the Lenovo Yoga line of notebooks. But this Toshiba concept has some unique elements, like the dockable keyboard which is usable on its own with any other Bluetooth-enabled hardware, and the battery that lives in the display for fully independent tablet-style usage.
Windows 8 is a bit of an odd duck for many PC OEMs: It’s not something that necessarily works with traditional device designs including notebooks and desktops, and yet it’s also an OS that’s made to take advantage of existing Windows software, which isn’t optimized for touch-based interfaces.
It’s rare that concept devices displayed at CES make it to market fully intact, but Toshiba’s got something good going on with its industrial design, as well as the basic concept behind this 5-in-1, so hopefully it doesn’t get too watered down before hitting store shelves.