Microsoft unveils tablet-laptop hybrid

Microsoft unveiled two new Windows devices - a tablet-laptop hybrid and a seven-inch tablet - at Asia's largest tech show in Taiwan on Wednesday. Tapping in to the "2-in-1" trend for laptops with detachable keyboards, which is a dominant theme at this year's Computex, the HP Pro X2 612 has a stylus, cameras front and back and comes with dual batteries in the tablet and keyboard. A seven-inch Toshiba tablet to be launched in the next few months was also revealed. "It's a really nice device, thin, light with a textured finish in champagne gold... this is Windows in your pocket at an incredibly exciting aggressively competitive price," said corporate vice president for device partnerships, Nick Parker. He showed the new machines during a keynote speech on the second day of the trade show in Taipei, which runs until Saturday. Microsoft also announced a partnership with leading free-to-play games developer Kabam whose games will be available on Windows phones and tablets, and that the company's smartphone personal assistant "Cortana" would arrive in China and Britain in customised versions "in the coming months". As part of its future vision, Parker and the firm's speech recognition specialist, Hon Hsiao-wuen, emphasised the importance of its real-time translation services, showing a film of a Skype conversation where both callers were being interpreted live as they spoke. One was speaking English, the other German. Microsoft first demonstrated the new Skype Translator at the Code Conference in California last week. It is rumoured to be developing a smartwatch but Parker did not mention the company's intentions for wearables.

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