A funny thing happened to laptops in recent years: they're not really laptops anymore. Or, they can be, but they don't have to be.
These days, the PC market is all about convertible laptops. At IFA 2014, we've seen several laptop manufacturers introduce or extend product lines with detachable screens, or tablets that can be docked to keyboards.
Not content with just two user modes—tablet and laptop—Medion, a subsidiary of Lenovo, is showing off its 4-in-1 Multimode Touch-Notebook. The Akoya S6213T features a unique hinge that can detach from both the screen and the keyboard base.
To get to tablet mode, you simply detach the hinge from the screen. Things get much more interesting when the hinge itself is detached from the base. The screen-hinge combo can be folded to assume the Creative Mode, where the hinge acts as a short kickstand, not unlike the legs on a keyboard. It's perfect for typing, note-taking, and sketching.
Folding the hinge in the other direction stands the screen up nearly vertical. In Stand Mode, the Akoya essentially becomes a minimalistic desktop computer, as the keyboard and touchpad can connect wirelessly.
The form-factor of the Akoya S6213T is definitely its most impressive feature. On the specs side, there's not much of interest. It features a Intel Pentium N3530 processor, which is little more than a multi-core version of the Atom processors that power wimpy netbooks. And its 4GB of RAM certainly won't impress gamers or those who like to keep 50 Chrome tabs open.
Where the Akoya does sport impressive specs is its storage options. It comes with a dual hard drive configuration: a 64GB solid-state drive for the OS and commonly used files, and a 500 GB traditional hard drive for media and bulk file storage. USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity are also onboard, offering a little futureproofing.
Sadly, Medion generally doesn't sell PCs in the U.S. (Some Medion-branded netbooks have been sold in American Aldi grocery stores, but the brand's high-end models aren't.) Still, there are plenty of similar options coming to our shores from rivals like Acer, Asus, and Dell.
If you're a fan of flexibility, it's a good time to be shopping for a laptop.