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Laplets vs Tabtops (a major difference in 2in1 devices)

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ZenBalancer|Post time:3-31-2018 05:19:39 View:1409|Reply:2

Edited by ZenBalancer at 3-31-2018 14:25

I didn't know the term "Laplet" until doodzilla used it. Then I found googling it, "Tabtop".

Correct me if I'm wrong.

As the title clarifies, the focus of these two is the 2in1 aspect. The difference is, is the exact approach. With advantages and disadvantages in both cases.

The Surface Book (Update: and Surface Book 2) *are truly *laplets. So is the Hi13, Hi12, and others. Hi13 "overview": And Hi13 advantages over Surface Book:

The Surface Pro 4, 3, etc.. are tabtops. So are their ("improved") "clones", like the recent Chuwi SurBook (+mini) and that of competitors.

Update: The CoreBook might be considered a tabtop+ (taptop plus) or barely a semi-laplet or laplet- (laplet minus). But it offers a laminated screen with better internals, at the cost of not being completely portrait-mode friendly (wrong aspect ratio). /Update.

True laplets ("tablets on the lap") necessitate, needs, must have counterweight in the pogo rotary docking keyboard,
to pass the lap-mode test. No way around that. To be able to sit "anywhere" with a laplet (screen+keyboard) on the lap to type with the physical keyboard advantages in landscape mode, by design easily usable even without a "table/desk".
Of course you can use it like a laptop on a desk as well, mind use-case limitations of internal specs.

Update: the CoreBook Indigogo-page shows a picture demonstrating the tabtop+ design on the user's lap, but it's still not a laplet, as it requires the user to be more careful to not accidentally lose control of the situation. It is dependant on almost the entire surface of one's lap, that doesn't leave room for a better distance from one's body for a more comfortable lap-mode typing experience. It also doesn't support a lot of use-case environments listed below for laplets. In my view, the CoreBook like most tabtops, barely passes the lap-mode test under careful conditions. So it shouldn't be considered for most laplet use-cases, but considered for the advantages of a tabtop, and a newer generation one at that. The CoreBook is not a laplet though. /Update.

The only way to bring down the total weight of a laplet, yet keeping the same screen-size, is by making the tablet-part lighter, requiring less counterweight in the keyboard. That takes industry-wide market progress both in innovation but even more importantly in affordability, without "watering down" specs too much. So unlike e-readers (Sony has a 13.3inch with active stylus support), very light with e-reader advantages, but much more limited in other respects. In regards to Hi13 weight, see: Hi13 screen-size/weight relevant perspectives

Tabtops (tablet on the table, I assume table-tops) complete with its keyboard, are by their nature lighter in total weight than laplets of the same size. Also as far as comparing same class-ranges at least. But at the cost of not ideally supporting lap-mode. Being dependant on the limitation of the integrated kickstands, to also bring down the keyboard weight, allowing the type-cove-design thus to be as light as possible. That way bringing down the total weight. And there are tabtops that are "table/desk-only" because of the screen-size, like 18inch+.

Lap-mode is good for typing with a physical keyboard+screen on the lap of the user (with more physical flexibility than a tabtop), while the user sits "anywhere", and thus without a suitable "table" to use. Good for:
  • Park bench
  • Benches on the way
  • Sitting on grass with back against something, a tree or each other.
  • Places with barely room on the table for a refreshment
  • Waiting rooms for appointments (not gambling with table height etc..)
  • Waiting benches
  • Waiting for flights
  • Waiting for trains
  • In the (busy) train with limited tables
  • In airplanes
  • In the bus
  • Carpooling and not driving
  • Taxi
  • Uber
  • Stairs
  • On the beach, preferably the device not under direct sunlight
  • Sitting back on a recliner with leg support
  • Using a "La-Z-boy"
  • Sitting back on the couch, not having to lean forward
  • On the bed
  • Even maybe in a hammock
  • Etc.. since I'm sure those are not all examples.

It's what you can do with laplets, without being limited with a laptop-only device. Laptops are needed for "power use-cases", not maximum flexibility in physical-orientation.

Edit: And forgot to mention, there is the "yoga twist" solutions, that are very ambiguous.. because it has lap-mode, and tablet-mode, but the latter (tablet-mode) most of them not optimal for handheld (holding it) because of the undetachable total weight and keyboard keys being pressed when the device has to be folded (not sure whether they have implemented a solution for this, but keys would be pressed either way, with very few exceptions). So in that sense it's often "DeskTablet+lap-mode/laptop". So not completely a laplet, nor completely a (handheld-friendly) tabtop. Like I said there are very few exceptions in that regard that I have seen. Mind the price of those for the specs. /Edit.

For tabtops to be used in lap-mode, it needs 3rd party keyboards with limited to no angle adjustments, and limited compatibility for "big" screens. And the cheap tabtops don't even offer an integrated kickstand with an ideal angle possibility on the table, even if adjustable at two angles at least.

And if you like table-mode portrait-mode (on the table) as well, then the integrated kickstand focused on landscape-mode angle(s) is of no help there either. I'm putting my (refurbished) Surface Pro 1 with its integrated kickstand with its single annoying angle, putting it on a portable tablet stand anyway. And also the other in portrait-mode also on the same table next to it on yet another tablet stand. See:

If you want a lighter device+itsKeyboard for the same price, you'll have to choose something else other than a laplet. Because again there is no way around the counterweight. If I'm not missing something.

Ultrabooks are the lightest laptop-only solution, that still means no handheld or table-top adjustable angles portrait-mode support.

Something having less total weight does not make it more practical in every way in practice for portability purposes, with the only exception being lowering carrying weight, at the cost of possible use-case-scenarios when choosing a tabtop or ultrabook over a laplet.

But if you have to walk a lot, or carrying a lot of other things too (maybe textbooks or unrelated stuff) you will be bummed down by the total carrying weight. So you will have to forgo the Laplet advantages, or getting a smaller screen; yet even that has downsides and still can't beat Tabtops and Ultrabooks in the same class-range as far as for the purposes of bringing down total carrying weight, with minimum sacrifice of specs or at the cost of much higher price.

"Repurposing" a carry-on-case, might change the possibilities when needed.

Edit2: I forgot to mention here that the appropriate screen aspect-ratio (3:2 is considered the "golden standard" by many) is very important for portrait-mode. With the exception of the CoreBook, a lot of Chuwi taptops and laplets implement the 3:2 aspect-ratio.

Edits: clarity, improvements, corrections + additions/updates.
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ZenBalancer| Post time 4-29-2017 05:32:04 | Show all posts
Edited by ZenBalancer at 4-29-2017 14:34

TabTop seems to be a trademark, perhaps even registered. So if ever the main terms in this thread are used to distinguish offered devices by Chuwi or as we reference to compare that of competitors, maybe it's best to reference lower case laplet and tabtop, as derived from laptop, tablet and even from "desk/table top".

Edit: typo.
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ZenBalancer| Post time 3-31-2018 05:19:39 | Show all posts
I've updated the OP with what I've observed about that new addition by Chuwi, the CoreBook.
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