Detachable notebook sales may fall short of praise

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jun 08, 2013 - Page 13

Notebook computers with detachable screens have been praised for cleverly combining work and entertainment functions, but may still not grab a significant share of the overall touch notebook segment, according to a research firm.

Detachable notebooks combine a keyboard necessary for office functions with the mobility of a tablet computer for entertainment and leisure purposes, WitsView research director Eric Chiou (邱宇彬) said.

However, sales of the two-way notebooks could be poor this year, carving out a mere 12 percent share of the overall touch notebook segment because of the products’ high cost and necessary accessories.

“The cost is the biggest challenge,” Chiou said.

A detachable hinge is a must, and an extra battery and flash memory are needed after the detachment, he said.

These components add about US$60 to US$80 to the product’s price, making the price of a detachable touch notebook at least US$100 to US$150 higher than that of standard clamshell types with similar specifications, Chiou said.

“The price difference is big enough for consumers to buy another 7-inch tablet, damping the hybrid advantage of the bi-functionality model,” he said.

However, the detachable product is likely to find a market in the mid and high-end segment and could help build a foundation for the development of new notebook designs with screens of 13.3 inches or smaller, he said.