Computex 2012: MSI Slider S20 hands on

Everyone's packing a convertible hybrid tablet at Computex this year, and MSI is no different, with the Slider S20.

Although the design isn't exactly original — the Asus Slider is still recent enough in our memories — the Slider S20 doesn't run Android. Instead, like practically every new computer at this trade show, it will be launched with the upcoming Windows 8 OS.

We don't think the number of fingerprint smudges is a sign of its popularity.
(Credit: Vincent Chang/CNET)

The most talked about feature on this convertible tablet computer is that you can slide the screen down till it covers the entire keyboard, turning it into an 11.6-inch tablet, albeit one that is a fair bit thicker than the latest sleek models. When we tried it for ourselves, the slide mechanism seemed quite sturdy, even for a prototype. We couldn't do it with just one hand.

MSI told us that the slide mechanism has to be strong, since users would be tapping (and pushing) on the multi-touch screen when using Windows 8. Of course, given that moving parts are involved, we agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment, as we really wouldn't wish to have the Slider breaking down on us after a year or two.

According to the MSI product manager, the screen is covered by reinforced glass, though he didn't seem too sure on whether it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass. The display itself has a pretty standard resolution of 1366x768 pixels, and we did find it a bit too glossy for our liking.

We had to use both hands to convert this tablet.
(Credit: Vincent Chang/CNET)

The keyboard is predictably shallow due to its thin profile, and the keys are slightly truncated due to the limited space.

The prototype unit was equipped with an Intel Celeron processor, but MSI assured us that it will come with an Intel Core-i processor when launched. The company is also offering a choice of HDD (up to 500GB capacity) or SSD (maximum 64GB) storage. Prices are expected to range from US$799 to US$899, depending on the configuration.

The Slider S20 comes with two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and even an Ethernet port, which should be adequate for most users.

With the right price and perhaps a more streamlined design, we could see the Slider S20 as a good introduction to Windows 8.

Via CNET Asia

Check out more stories from Computex 2012.

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