And the hybrid devices keep on coming. Sitting high on a shelf in Microsoft's booth, hidden among the earthly clamshell laptops, is the Toshiba Portege M930, a prototype whose 13-inch screen slides down to completely cover the keyboard. All told, it's awfully reminiscent of the ASUS Eee Pad Slider
-- complete with a propped-up display and squat keyboard. The keyboard is so narrow, in fact, that Toshiba had to forgo a traditional trackpad and instead put a touch sensor and buttons over on the right edge. Though it's a bit heavy for an Ultrabook, at 4.2 pounds, it has some Ultrabook-grade innards, including a Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel HD 3000 graphics and a 256GB solid-state drive. Take a tour around the device and you'll also find the usual array of ports: dual USB 2.0 sockets, HDMI, an Ethernet jack, an SD reader and separate headphone and mic ports.
Even when we previewed
the Slider we weren't keen on sacrificing that much deck space in the name of bold industrial design and here, too, the keys feel unnecessarily crowded. The good news is that the hinge mechanism feels smooth and controlled -- not too tight, but rigid enough to inspire confidence in its build quality. That 13.3-inch screen also looks bright enough, though we imagine that 1280 x 800 resolution will be a turn-off for more than a few of you. Unfortunately, the M930 is so early its development that the touchscreen wasn't even working, though it responds just fine to the pen, which stows in the back of the laptop. No word on pricing or availability (Toshiba isn't even showing it at its booth), but even if this thing never materializes we've got some hands-on photos and video below.Mat Smith contributed to this report
Toshiba Portege M930 prototype hands-on