The variety of designs, in fact, can be attributed to Microsoft, which pushed its hardware partners to step up their game by launching the Surface line of keyboard-enabled tablets. Analysts have echoed the refrain since mid-2012 that OEMs were not up to the task of design and form innovation as the traditional PC waned.
"What Surface can accomplish is providing a sort of permission to other OEMs that it's okay to experiment with PC design," said Ross Rubin of Reticle Research, in October. "When Microsoft does it, it's a statement that it can work in the Windows ecosystem."
Touch notebook shipments and penetration, 20 million and 11%, respectively, this year, will grow to 64 million and 40% by 2017. (Image: NPD DisplaySearch.)
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