MSI’s Win8 tablet hides slide-out keyboard

Computex — Windows 8 tablets are everywhere at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, this week. We’ve had our hands on a few so far, and MSI’s Slider S20 offered a surprise: a keyboard that slides out from behind the screen.

The keyboard can be extended just enough to expose the keys, although you’ll need extra-long thumbs to type on the device while holding it. Most folks will want to set the Slider down on a desk or their lap, where the screen can be tilted up for easy viewing.

As one might expect, the 11.6″ display supports 10-point multitouch input. While the resolution is only 1366×768, the panel at least uses IPS technology. After using an ultraportable notebook with the same screen size and resolution for several years, I have to admit they’re a good combo, despite the lack of high-DPI goodness.

MSI tells us the Slider will weigh in at 2.8 lbs and feature an Ivy Bridge CPU under the hood. Rather than equipping the system with a solid-state drive, MSI has opted for a hybrid hard drive that will offer much more storage than the average SSD. USB 3.0 connectivity is also included, as are an HDMI 1.4 output port, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The only thing missing is a touchpad, which might not turn off some folks given the proximity of the touchscreen. Look for the Slider when Windows 8 arrives later this year.

Comments closed
    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Hopefully secureboot is easily disabled so a person can put on a useful operating system.

    • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
    • 7 years ago

    About fucking time. Keyboard will greatly expand a tablet’s usability. I mean, have you ever tried to comfortably write something using touch screen? Aaargh.

    • Voldenuit
    • 7 years ago

    Glossy screen FTL.

    I mean, what were they thinking? A touchscreen device that’s going to see some outdoor use, which will be plastered with fingerprints and glare to the point of illegibility.

    Bad MSI, bad!

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    now this is something I would buy.
    Not that asus taichi.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    So this is essentially a netbook with a touchscreen?

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      And the screen visible when it’s folded up.

      • RhysAndrews
      • 7 years ago

      And the keyboard can be hidden away to turn it into a tablet..

      • ish718
      • 7 years ago

      No, this has an Ivy Bridge CPU…

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    This seems pretty cool. It’s basically a laptop with the screen on the outside in the closed position. As long as the glass doesn’t scratch, this should work nicely.

    • ew
    • 7 years ago

    This is exactly the kind of device my Mother wants. It pains me to say it but Windows 8 probably will be a big hit with certain demographics. Certainly not the demographic that reads TR regularly.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      The problem with Win8 isn’t metro, the problem is the lack of other interfaces. With devices like this, where one would want metro, it should be quite nice.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      Watchu talkin’ ’bout? I love Windows 8.

      I’m just sick to death of these lame-ass intel CPU’s with weak graphics. Gimme some Radeon integrated, thank you…

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        What’s wrong with the HD4000?

    • puppetworx
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like good implementation. Having Sandy Bridge in there certainly adds appeal, I’m betting it’s a rather pricy tablet though. A little on the heavy side too.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Can’t predict if it will sell, but it seems more affordable and practical than the dual-display Asus from a couple days ago. It’s also not going to tip backwards when the screen is upright.

      • From40zto5thz
      • 7 years ago

      The only thing that I would like to see is how Windows RT performs versus release preview which I am sure this device is running since its an x86 machine.Considering that this device is essentially a laptop and I would be more inclined to use this.

      The true test for windows 8 will be how rt performs on devices in the sub $500 range with Arm processors weighing closer to the iPad, which most people will buy and how that version desktop’s experience will be.

      That’s when I will decide whether to purchase a tablet.

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    tablet was never meant to replace laptop as original net-top wasn’t meant to replace laptops. Tablet is nothing more than apple’s version of net-top, a cheap web-browser. Trying to turn tablet back into laptop by adding keyboard seem like a pointless exercise to me.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      I get waht you’re saying but I don’t think keyboards+tablets are that bad. I would count reading and commenting on TR as ‘basic web browsing’ and I think I would hate to type even this short post on a touchscreen versus a real keyboard.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      I’m not sure where you get the idea that “tablet” was “meant” to do anything other than shovel gratuitous amounts of cash back to the mothership.

      You may think that a tablet with a keyboard is pointless, but quite frankly, I find tablets [i<]without[/i<] keyboards to be pointless. I can browse the web just fine, in fact, BETTER, on a conventional laptop. Tablets offer me battery life, and that's it (and even that's pretty overrated - tablets do NOT last as long as advertised). I want a mobile device that I can do work on, and that I can have fun on. Android and iOS, as far as I'm concerned, fail at both. I want Windows on my tablet, and soon, I shall have it.

        • RhysAndrews
        • 7 years ago

        You are welcome to find it pointless. Not everybody NEEDS a tablet.
        I enjoy my iPad and there are gaps in my technological needs that were filled by the iPad. But there are even times when I really wish I had a keyboard for my iPad. Going into meetings just to take notes, for example.

          • mattthemuppet
          • 7 years ago

          logitech do a really neat bluetooth keyboard/ iPad holder/ case thing which someone at the conference I’m at was using. Looked really cool, seemed to work well and didn’t weight much, plus it clips over the screen when not in use so it’s functional from that perspective. Cost $68 according to her husband although I’ve no idea what the model no. is. Worth checking out though.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Every week I see people in coffee shops using physical keyboards to type into their iPads. I still see a lot more laptops, but regardless of how you think these devices are “meant” to be used, people are using them in ways that make sense to them (and in fact are spending extra to buy the peripheral to do so). Somebody is going to make money catering to that market; this product might not be the right one, but something will.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      You are right but if you can innovate and make products that people will buy then it wasn’t a pointless exercise.

      • allreadydead
      • 7 years ago

      That MSI ‘thing’ doesn’t have ARM CPU. It has x86 CPU with ULV, aka almost ARM level power cosuming and battery life. It comes with a touchscreen but unlike other tablet OS’es, it has native support for keyboard+mouse input periphials.
      You can do everything you do with your tablet AND your laptop, in one, portable device with ok battery life. you can even emulate iOS and have same experience. It’s x86, the options are endless and solutions are more mature, refined.

      You can even make finger prints on the screen while working with excel; misclicking/misplacing/mispicking cells beyond imagination 🙂

      • Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
      • 7 years ago

      Depends. How expensive is a keyboard anyway?

      • clone
      • 7 years ago

      1st off which would you buy if they were the same price….. .I’d buy the keyboard equipped one.

      2nd a cheap web browser with a keyboard is better than one without.

      3rd a friend of mine has a blackberry torch and while he doesn’t think much of it the nicest feature is the slide out keyboard….. when I saw the photo’s above I was like finally a tablet I’m interested in.

      that’s it’s using an ivy bridge…. love it…. although would have preferred a CSSD instead of a hybrid.

      if it can be replaced I would.

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Depending on how rugged the slider mechanism is, this could be a compelling form factor (it’s basically a giant Palm Pre 🙂 )

      • HallsMint
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, I agree with you on at least one point. If the slider mechanism is rugged enough, this has a lot of potential.

      Actually, my knee-jerk reaction after skimming through the article was,”I want to see a picture of the slider mechanism.”

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