My tech and me: James Read

Computers are changing. The lines between desktop PCs and tablets are being blurred by the rise of ‘hybrid’ devices. By offering productivity and portability in one eye-catching package, these all-in-ones are becoming the next must-have gadget.

In a new series on Think-Progress.com, our experienced tech and IT journalists talk about their personal experiences with gadgets and highlight their favourite piece on tech.

When the first hybrids came around I found myself in an awkward situation, I loved the touchscreen of my tablet but the scaled down OS and lack of any viable full size keyboard left me longing for something that was more pleasing when work had to be done.

Hybrids then began to hit the market and with Windows 8 landing on the scene – an OS clearly designed for convertibles – it was a match made in heaven.

It is clear that Windows 8 is an OS that begs to be used on devices like hybrids. The Metro UI remains one of the most pleasing experiences on a touchscreen and a simple connection of an uncompromising full size keyboard provides a fully fledged Windows machine, ready to run any application or program that you require.

Personally, the ability to run the full Adobe Creative Suite on a portable touch screen device, with a powerful Intel processor, is the pinnacle of the modern computer; it epitomises modern life, both hectic and busy – but there’s always time to detach the keyboard and unwind with a good ePub.

I’m not alone in praising the rise of the hybrid. A report by IT research experts Gartner earlier this year suggested that while sales of tablets are beginning to slow, hybrid and convertible devices could begin to find a greater foothold in a crowded computer market.

The report suggests that sales of ‘ultramobiles’ are set to increase by an incredible 195% from 2013 to 2015. That boost could see an additional 41 million hybrids sold worldwide, showing that the technology may have been slow to take off but has a future that is full of potential.

As a happy converter to convertible devices it would not surprise me at all if these figures ran to be true. Armed with an excellent OS, the innovative gadgets have the ability to boast both form and function.

Put simply, hybrids offer consumers what nothing else on the market can; flexibility that does not compromise on hardware or performance. It’s both intriguing and exciting to see how companies will take this unique technology forward.

Building the next-gen data centre

Where traditional and web-scale apps co-exist