, the world's largest semiconductor company, has a vested interest in seeing the hybrid PC model thrive. By "hybrid" we mean 2-in-1 PCs that function as both a full-fledged notebook and a tablet, in theory offering users the best of both worlds (check out our review of the Asus Transformer Book T100 Windows 8.1 Hybrid
for a recent example). While Intel doesn't have much of a foothold in the dedicated tablet market -- it's largely an ARM
-based landscape -- the chip maker has a much larger presence in the hybrid PC category.
It's no wonder, then, that Intel is hoping 2-in-1 PCs sell like hotcakes throughout this holiday weekend. In a short news blurb, Intel cited a column in Information Week
in which industry analyst Mike Feibus predicts a much better PC holiday selling season for hybrid systems than what we saw last year.
"For those with a stake in consumer PC sales, there is cause for hope this year," Feibus writes. "The environment is much improved from 2012's disastrous holiday season. For one thing, the tablet market is fatigued."
According to Feibus, the pace of picking up tablets has slowed as most people who want one already own one, thus they aren't as alluring this year. We're not sure we agree with that analysis, though he makes a much stronger point about continued innovation in the 2-in-1 PC category. Hybrid PCs are thinner, lighter, and faster compared to the models offered last year, and battery life is improved, too. On top of it all, there are many more models to choose from in a variety of screen sizes all the way up to 15.5 inches.
Will it be enough to attract shoppers today -- Black Friday -- and throughout the holiday shopping season? We'll find out soon enough.