At MWC 2017, ‘mobile’ means more than just phones. While the Barcelona show was dominated by new handsets like the LG G6 and the Nokia 3310, it also saw the launch of a number of new 2 in 1 devices.
Microsoft’s Surface Book has undoubtedly made an impression since its launch in 2015, as MWC 2017 saw several machines designed to rival it. One of the prettiest was the Porsche Design Book One, a slick and beautifully-engineered 13.3-inch convertible that comes with a detachable QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800 pixel) display.
The Book One isn’t just a pretty face. Beneath its anodised aluminium chassis beats the heart of a 7th gen Intel Core i7 processor. It also comes with a 512GB SSD, 16GB of onboard RAM, two USB-C connections and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. The only catch? A hefty EUR 2,795 (£2,400) price tag.
My other laptop isn’t a Porsche
Nowhere near as swish, but considerably cheaper, the HP Pro x2 512 G2 is more Surface Pro rival than Surface Book wannabe. It rocks an Intel Core i7 CPU, a 1,920 x 1,280 HD screen, LTE connectivity, plus it can be configured with a 512GB SSD. The battery should last over 11 hours.
The appeal of the HP Pro x2 512 G2, however, may lie in its toughness. With a Gorilla Glass screen and a military spec MIL-STD 810G ruggedness rating, this drop- and shock-resistant laptop is ideal for outdoor use.
From Galaxy Tab 3 to Galaxy Book
Samsung used MWC to tease the Galaxy S8 and to unveil two new 2 in 1 Windows 10 devices under the banner Galaxy Book. Available in 10.6-inch and 12-inch models, the top-of-the range 12-incher comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, a vibrant Super AMOLED screen, a 256GB SSD, two USB-C slots and S Pen support.
The 10-inch version of the Galaxy Book, meanwhile, features a Core m3 mobile chip and a TFT LCD. Both come with a clip-on, backlit keyboard.
Do you do Yoga? Perhaps you should…
Lenovo, meanwhile, rolled out a pair of new 2 in 1 PCs. The Yoga 720 is available in 13.3- and 15.6-inch devices and can be equipped with a 7th Gen Intel Core processor (up to an i7), a UHD (3840 x 2160) or Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, a 1TB SSD and a fingerprint sensor to boost security.
At the other end of the scale, the Lenovo Miix 320 runs Windows 10 on an Intel Atom X5 processor. Its specs are lower — up to a 10.1-inch, Full HD touchscreen, a maximum of 128 GB eMMC storage, and only a single USB-C port. But the low power Atom chip is kinder to the battery, giving the Miix 320 over 10 hours of use. It’s a figure that beats the Yoga 720 by two full hours.
If MWC 2017 proves anything, it’s that there’s now an obvious trend towards convertible laptops, cutting-edge portables with displays that fold, swivel or detach to transform a clamshell into a tablet (and back again). Thinner, lighter and faster than older notebooks, a 2 in 1 is surely the shape of laptops to come.