Having received worldwide recognition for its compact desktop computers, Minisforum is looking beyond PCs to grow its business. Earlier this year the company introduced its first tablet and is prepping a tablet with AMD's Zen 4-based accelerated processing unit (APU) inside.

The tablet that Minisforum plans to introduce will be a 2-in-1 device with a detachable keyboard and a stylus, according to the company's presentation in China, which was caught by Liliputing. For now, Minisforum plans to use AMD's eight-core Ryzen 7 7840U APU with Radeon RX 780M GPU as the foundation for the device, though by the time the product shows up the form might decide to go with something else. 

Specifications of the device have not been touched upon, which is not particularly surprising given that it is at its early stages of development. Meanwhile, the company stressed that it will take advantage of AMD's AI-co-processor built into Ryzen 7 7840U processor and will therefore use Windows AI capabilities.

For now, it is hardly a good business to speculate what to expect from Minisforum's tablet, though the company is known for offering products with decent specifications at moderate price points.

While we do not know much about Minisforum tablets, the very fact that the company is going this route is remarkable. Keeping in mind that Minisforum is known primarily for PCs, notebooks were arguably the most logical way to expand its business. Yet, the market of notebooks seems to be too crowded, so the company opted for Windows tablets, an untapped market largely because Microsoft's platform is not particularly popular among tablet users.

The choice of AMD's Ryzen platform for a tablet is also noteworthy since we have not seen tablets based on AMD for quite a while. Perhaps, because the company makes so many systems based on AMD's APUs, it knows the platforms so well that it decided to use AMD's Ryzen 7840U for tablet, a form-factor that has not been tapped by this processor just yet.

Source: Liliputing

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  • nandnandnand - Thursday, August 31, 2023 - link

    I read a lot of text and comics on laptops/traditional displays. I figure one of the 12-15.6 inch 2-in-1s would work better for that, even if I'm always sitting down or propping it up while using it. I have not tried it though.
  • wr3zzz - Friday, September 1, 2023 - link

    I've bought so many 2-in-1 and tablets thinking the same thing, none worked to my satisfaction. My conclusion is that as a reader you really don't want anything that's heavier than 400 grams, ideally under 300 grams. Anything heavier you will end up reading it propped up somewhere. No 2-in-1 today come even close and the lightest 10-11" tablet still weights 450 grams with most over 500. So you either end up paying more for the same utility of a cheaper device or an extra device with limited utility.
  • meacupla - Friday, September 1, 2023 - link

    The way to use 12~14" sized 2-in-1 is to lay on your side while in bed, and have it in an orientation that doesn't block the air intake.

    For 7~12" tablets, get an adjustable tablet arm.

    But I do agree that if you want to hold one in your hand, 7" and under <300g is just about perfect.
  • ET1 Gulf War Vet - Friday, September 1, 2023 - link

    I travel a lot with a company laptop, a gaming laptop and a Lenovo Chrome tablet. The tablet can be on before takeoff all the way to the final destination and paired with my Bose 700 headphones life is good. A laptop must be powered off before takeoff and can't be turned on until the plane reaches a certain altitude. Not to mention the screen on your laptop might be one reclined seat from being shattered. Tablets can also run over 10 hours on a single charge so they have many great use cases.
  • qlum - Friday, September 1, 2023 - link

    This looks interesting to me at least, as long as it works on linux. I currently use a cheap chuwi as a tabletpc and the only reason it doesn't fully replace my laptop is that it just isn't performant Other options right now don't seem great but if minisforum pulls it off that could be a great option for media consumption on my bed and as a compact laptop when I travel.
  • abufrejoval - Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - link

    I actually started with a Notion Ink Adam and then went through near every size and make over the last 13 years, with a Google Nexus 10 being in use by one of my kids until even the last replacement battery started to go.

    The last Android tablet I used was a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 as a daily breakfast table reader and OLED TV on trips, but it broke when I slipped on a patch of ice end of last year.

    That was a near perfect device for me, which I had intended to use for many more years and it came fully featured with LTE and an SDcard slot for only €600, but it turned out near impossible to replace within that price range, as Samsung didn't offer 10" OLED any more and the bigger units were too costly for my taste.

    Since the weight wasn't that important on the breakfast table and I'd take a notebook with me on trips anyway I instead switched to a convertible laptop with a great 14" OLED at less than Samsung was asking for a tablet.

    It takes care of avoiding those tiny unavoidable bits of splatter that make a keyboard unattractive on a breakfast table while giving a proper viewing distance for older eyes and it also serves the OLED TV and laptop use cases in a single device. What it doesn't do too great is upright reading e.g. for PDFs.

    Battery life isn't a day either, but I rarely spend an entire day away from a socket.

    I've always had keyboard options or stands for the tablets, as screen keyboards are just too much of a slow-down, but I do prefer Android touch gestures to anything available on Windows.

    I actually use all, the screen, the touch pad and the mouse while power-reading, because each has it's ergonomic niche in terms of interaction, but the lack of touch customization on Windows (vs. mouse and touchpad) is just terrible, even with add-on products for gesture control.

    I also had the original Asus Transformer TF101 tablet, which had a rather solid keyboard attachment turning the tablet into much of an Android notebook and included an extra battery, both for endurance and balance, which might actually still be my preferred form factor, if it could also fold into a keyboard stand convertible today.

    My impression is that they'll have to spring some really juicy extra to get me to buy another device, because I am perhaps not entirely happy with the Asus Vivobook convertible, but too happy to split notebook and tablet back into two and paying double.

    And yes, judging from a Ryzen 7 5800U notebook I also own, I'd probably prefer a Phoenix Zen 4c device over the Alder-Lake i7-12700H on the Vivobook, but again not enough to fork out a kiloeuro on an upgrade.

    I guess it's for people like me that they created technical obsolescence into today's hardware, because otherwise we'd never by replacements. Unlike with the first couple of Android tablet generations, SoC performance has long ceased to be an issue.

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