re: 6 Reasons iPad Hybrid Tablets Are Inevitable
An "exercise in absurdity"? It all depends on the approach to the implementation. Never say never. In fact, if a MacAir like Windows-compatible PC were available for US$600 or lower, the sales volume of iPad would be different.
Imagine a hybrid notebook PC (0.65" thick, 10-hr battery time, cold-boot within 8s, warm-boot within 3/4s, < 3lbs, 64GB or larger SSD, 13" display at 1600x900 or 2560x1600, $700) with Win8 supporting both downloadable apps and full-blown desktop applications like Photoshop / OrCAD etc. Even at $800 or $900, I and many people would pay for it.
Lastly, how true is "ARM processors are energy efficient"? In principle, this statement is very context dependent. If you need a mobile computing device which can run business applications (I am an engineer for customer support, and I need to run OrCAD at times, iPad is useless), multimedia applications (high-def streaming, forward, etc.) and run personal apps at different times or simultaneously, even the A15 may have difficulty to do all these, while the slightly less efficient and more powerful IvyBridge or 22nm-Atom can be up to the task. As is, the applications which run smoothly on iPad and other Android-based tablets do not require such beefy processor. But, as time evolved, apps will demand more resources and the 1GB (or mostly 512MB) on-board memory and the skimpy A9/A15 cores will have problem to meet the demands. Don't you know that ARM is now trying to beef up the architecture of the Cortex core such that it is as powerful as whatever Intel's x86-architecture is capable of? Once there, an beefed-up ARM processor will consumer only slightly less power, at the same manufacturing process geometry, as the x86. This is simply physics! Anybody trying to argue against is simply "dreaming". In addition, Intel is consensed to have the best manufacturing process in the world and is at least one year or more ahead of everybody else. Consequently, even the slightly lower efficiency won't show. In fact, we may see Qualcomm, Nvidia, and TI engineers struggling to show better efficiency a year from now.
Lastly, what you are seeing today is not what will be need tomorrow. Keep you mind open. No architecture and solution can live forever and do everything without limit!