December 11, 2012, 2:10 PM — Holiday shoppers hoping to buy a hybrid Windows 8 notebook--those half laptop and half tablet devices--will be sadly disappointed. Shipping delays are pushing delivery dates for some popular models made by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Toshiba into 2013. Experts say stronger demand than anticipated coupled with a shortage of touch panels are to blame.
Hybrid notebooks are one of the most innovative new Windows 8 PC form factors that highlight the operating system's versatility and touch-centric features. While demand for hybrid devices is tepid, as with Windows 8 PCs in general, the dearth of hardware is putting a damper on the potential success of the unique PC form factor.
PCWorld found the HP Envy X2, Dell XPS 12, Lenovo Yoga, and the Toshiba Satellite U925t are hard to come by at local computer shops. You won't fare much better online. When we asked sales representatives about availability of those hybrid PC models, each said ship dates are in January.
Here's the good news.
Despite an extended wait for some Windows hybrids, some models are available. Staples, for example, is carrying the Lenovo Twist--however, spot checks at stores in New York City and Boston indicate that stock levels for these devices are low. A Staples store representative said Thursday that the chain had only sevn units in stock across all its Manhattan stores.
Best Buy reports carrying the 13.3-inch Lenovo Yoga IdeaPad, but online checks at stores in New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle revealed that just a handful of retail locations had the device in stock. Checks at Best Buy for traditional laptops with touchscreens from companies such as Acer and HP were more readily available. And most manufacturers are still promising delivery in time for Christmas for non-touchscreen, traditional Windows 8 laptops.
Sony lists its Duo 11 hybrid notebook as out of stock online, but the higher end version is scheduled to ship on December 18. Other devices such as the Sony Duo 11 were spotted at retail shops several weeks ago, but are now hard to find.
The supply problems
Could these missing convertible laptops already be sold out for the holidays?