Despite the fact devices like the iPad are rapidly evolving, gaining new features and functions with each generation, they still aren't acceptable PC replacements. Likewise, the typical PC hasn't been as portable and power efficient as a tablet. This has resulted in a marketplace that believes the tablet and notebook are mutually exclusive, with many users opting to carry both a notebook and a tablet. However, portable PC manufacturers are hoping the "tablet as a companion device" isn't what the market wants. Lenovo, Microsoft, and many others believe it can be one device. After all, why can't your PC be a tablet too?
Some believe the PC industry was late to embrace tablets, but the reality is that Microsoft and companies like IBM were early pioneers. The Thinkpad X41 (pictured below) shipped in 2005, and was a 12.1-inch notebook/tablet hybrid running Windows XP Tablet Edition, eerily similar to the Thinkpad Twist in this review. The PC/Tablet hyrbrid concept has always been sound---but the execution lackluster---thanks to the state of PC hardware. Performance and battery life are always a trade-off, but in that era, anything offering performance had a massive battery to generate three hours of run time. Touch displays were either resistive or used a digitizer for stylus input, and were not the convenient multitouch capacitive displays in use today.
Even after nearly 10 years, many of the same limitations that have plagued Tablet PCs are still present today. So can the Twist succeed where its predecessors could not?